Originally published May 30, 2020
It has been about 3 months since I moved to my new community. As I moved to my new community, change was happening, COVID was taking over and social distancing was born. As a person who loves to hang out with friends, eat at the local hangout, have a cup of tea at the funky coffee shop or saunter down the streets looking at things in the stores my initial reaction was okay, this too shall pass.
As I entered into one month, one thing was painfully clear, I wasn’t going back to my hang out with friends. New community, new people and different ways to be. I had made a few friendships but now the friendship was being maintained by text, old friendships were being nurtured with phone calls or messenger calls. Okay, this too shall pass.
Month two is well into full swing and I am feeling isolated. Some days it takes all I have to reach out to one person. Being an introvert, I’d love to think this was okay but it has been an adjustment. I still love my ‘friend’ time. However, I started to feel lonely. I started to feel a bit helpless. If it wasn’t for the great job I had, I think things might have been different. I had a responsibility that had me getting up each day and still connecting with colleagues across the web in zoom meetings. On my walks, just saying good morning was connection to me. “The Chronically lonely crave human contact, but their state of mind can make it difficult for them to form healthy connections with others”. (Behind the Therapy Door, Randy Kamen, EdD) Was I becoming chronically lonely? Or was this a symptom of the times? Shall this pass?
I have realized that in my life, I create my situations and I also carry the solutions. My opportunity through any situation is somewhat of a idealist point of view. Ideally I’d just pick up the phone when I need to talk to someone and then I would feel 1000 times better. Once I hung up the phone, I would be okay until the next time. But would I feel like I still have that craving? Much like having that one piece of scrumptious chocolate cake and maybe wanting one more bite. However, what if the next time came and I didn’t want to feel like a burden with calling each and every time. What might I tell a friend who was feeling the same way?
My old normal would have been to schedule ‘coffee dates’ with friends, once a week so I could get my fill. That would fill my tank and I would continue on. Today ‘coffee dates’ seem like a little more effort. Worth the effort? Yes 100%. However, the game is a little different as my friends have lives with their beautiful families or partners. Perhaps there wouldn’t be a good time, perhaps they would feel overwhelmed with a ‘virtual’ coffee date. These thoughts pass into my mind as I want to reach out.
I’m very blessed to have many friends who I know I could call and would be okay with that call right there and then. I also know there are those who could call on me and I would be there right there and then. So what is different?
What is different is the in person connection. I miss the body language, the faces we make when we talk. I miss the atmosphere we would be in when we talk and laugh and cry. I miss the hugs. Oh the power of the hugs.
I accept my responsibility to keep not only myself safe but others I love and come into contact with. However, I also accept that I must grieve the old ways I loved so much. Grieving something I no longer have, is hard when I am trying to make a new normal. I think we all know what that is like.
I remember what I loved and why I loved it so much and why it meant so much. Today I make new strides to make this new situation the way I need it to be with what I have. I’m grateful for technology, but I’m also grateful for lawn coffee visits, walking dates and the occasional f* it, I’m going to hug you. It is with those connections I can move through my grief of my old normal.
I wish you safety and wellness during these hard times. Know you are loved and supported.
Let the beauty of what you see, be you!