As an adult, I have lived in several cities. Moving around has been helpful in figuring out my identity. One of the drawbacks of moving around so much is that I am not sure I can ever go back. But another interesting question is: “Can I ever stay?”. While I face difficulties entering spaces where I have lived and created relationships (that have evolved) in the past, I also face issues staying too long in the same location.
The novelty wears off
When you first move to a new town, colleagues and community members will go out of their way to get to know you better, to make you feel welcome, to include you, and to help you meet people in the area. And that totally makes sense. Unfortunately, this tends to wear off after a while and these individuals expect you to no longer rely on them to socialize, but to instead find a romantic partner. What I mean is that people tend to be a little more flexible when you are new to an area. They are more understanding and will show compassion. The problem is that these noble behaviors tend to be temporary. They are simply trying to provide some support so that I can better integrate and transition into having a romantic partner that will take over. So, once the novelty wears off, I find myself back to square one feeling like I am living in a toxic environment surrounded by cold and underwhelming people that are obsessed with romantic relationships and have no time for anyone that does not fill that one spot in their lives. After they have known me for a while, they start to find me inadequate and try to help/force me to meet potential romantic partners. Obviously, it feels uncomfortable to me and I tend to want to escape and get a fresh start. This way, I get a short relief…once more.
There must be something/somewhere better than this
I often find myself praying that this isn’t it. I feel compelled to keep trying. I am consistently unhappy and feel dead inside, because I can’t find people to create and sustain over time emotionally salient bonds with. After getting abandoned a number of time and after having met a number of people in a town (depending on the size), I come to realize that whatever I am looking for, it’s not here. It’s probably not anywhere else either, but that is the only way I can keep hope. I keep hoping that, perhaps, one day, I will find a circle of friends that fills the massive void in my life. Perhaps these individuals are out there. Maybe they are looking for me too! Staying too long in one place, I fear that I am missing out on opportunities to keep looking for people that will enable me to be happy. It does not take me very long to establish that they are not wherever I am (through the #Funnel).
Getting a fresh start is exciting
One of the things I struggle the most with is constantly feeling isolated. I find life incredibly underwhelming, because the people I meet and can interact with reserve their time, care, and intimacy to one specific individual only. Whatever happens, they can never allow for a meaningful relationship to form. I always remain no more than an acquaintance. One thing I find distracts me from that loneliness is getting to know a new place (and I am talking about more than a weekend trip). Starting a new life is incredibly stimulating and it has allowed me to overcome isolation in a away that simple hobbies or work have not.