I really liked the Shipping News by Annie Proulx when I read it three years ago, because it showed that no matter how bad things go in your life, things get better in time. Quoyle moves to an island off the Canadian coast with his two little girls when his wife abandons them, but time goes by and things get gradually (tedricen) better for him and the people around him. You just have to stay in one place long enough and things will get better; this is simply the nature of things.
But how long? I feel quite tired. There are people around me who've worked in this company for five years, for ten years, they have their circle of friends whom they've known for at least that long, and they have their husbands and wives and girlfriends and boyfriends of years, they've been to each other's weddings and they've taken vacations together, and how many years would it take me to reach that level of depth and comfort with the people around me? It takes so much work and time and I feel really tired and scared.
I know this feeling, this feeling of envy of the time, simply the amount of time people have spent with each other. And when I felt it before, it was made all the worse with the knowledge that I didn't have that much time, either because I was moving or the person was moving. Now I have the time, I'm not going anywhere. But I still feel like no matter what I do, it won't be the same with me because I'm different for having spent this much time away and I'll never have the same experiences with these people. And the experiences I had, they are worthless here. The people I took road trips with and lived together and studied with and went out with and gossiped with are far away. I don't want to over-dramatize but I feel like an alien at times, a wide-eyed, naive tourist who gets excited too quickly by everything and longs for acceptance. That's probably why I'm a bundle of nerves and I don't garner much respect from the people around me.
Time... Please go by.
"I have to admit maybe we are still too young to committ at 24. StilL too young to forbear the remaining opportunities and possibilities before we realize it's time to build something more lasting than self-centred and serving activities.
It's weird, I realized today that a third of my life has been spent. And also that onc again I'm finding myself in the spot of the newcomer to town, still in that vulnerable, in demand situation, because I'm the newcomer and I need to make new friends. I hate that situation. My 26 year old Norwegian housemate in London once told me that's the sucky part of moving to a new city, the first months can be lonely and a drag but eventually you always meet people you'll get to hang out with during the rest of your stay, and more. Other than that, my new city is good. But it's tiring to feel that way, maybe I won't put up with it long this time round.
I know I don't want to stay here in the long term. And also that I'm slowly spending my city-hopping time. I'm reaching the city-settling phase."
Something I wrote in 2009 and I'm in the same city and have felt truly comfortable in the last year and a half.
So to conclude: it takes time, but it's worth gritting your teeth, sucking it up when it sucks and it's lonely, and saving the energy for the good times, which will probably happen after a few attempts and some failures - and more so, if you know, you're most likely to stay :-))
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