Remember that Twilight Zone episode, Season I, Episode 1, “Where is Everybody”? I’ve been wondering that a lot myself recently.
Back in Raleigh, I lived within walking (or at least jogging) distance from the majority of my closest friends. It was nothing to text someone, “I’m coming over” and be there in just a minutes. Even when I moved out to the edges of the city in the no-man’s land that straddles Raleigh and Durham (AKA Brier Creek), I was still able to keep in touch with everyone. But then the mass exodus began!
Friend 1 moved to Boone, Friend 2 moved to Greensboro, Friends 3 and 4 to Germany! Friend 5 ended up in the Way Far Outskirts of Northern Raleigh/Almost Rolesville, creating a 45-minute commute every time we wanted to get together. Friend 6 and her boyfriend went to Florida, and then I moved to Durham, far from Friend 7, who used to be my upstairs neighbor. Friends 8 and 9 still live in Durham, but lead hectic lives that don’t allow us much time to hang out. Friend 10 got into a serious relationship and disappeared. And friend 11, my blessed roommate for over a year, took a job in Charlotte.
Durham is rife with awesome people, and Kyle and I are trying to connect with other folk in the area. We met one cool girl from Texas that we hang out with on occasion, and we’ve joined a dance class in the hopes that someone cool will come along (all very nice people, but so far, no one we’re hanging out with on a regular basis). We’ve been to two Meet-ups, and joined six more earlier this week in a determined act to be proactive. It’s not that there’s a lack of stuff to do. We go to music festivals, art festivals, First Fridays, and plenty of cool restaurants and bars. But we're suffering from a lack of people to go there with.
I know living far from loved ones is nothing new (my three BFFs from college have lived apart since 2001 but still text every day) but it is new to feel suddenly alone. Kyle and I love spending time just with each other, but we miss the group camaraderie we used to have, too. Is this what happens in your 30s? Everyone becomes busily entrenched in their own lives and no longer has time for cook-outs, weekend trips, or a 5:00 drink? I know Kyle and I are guilty of it, too, since most of the week we just work and come home. But I sure miss the connections we used to have.
I keep thinking about that Langston Hughes poem:
I loved my friend
He went away from me
There’s nothing more to say
The poems ends
Soft as it began --
I loved my friend.
So, friends, I just wanted to let you know that I miss you all dearly. And since you all recognize yourselves in the descriptions above, please know that you’re not in numerical order by affection, but by date of parting!
Maybe in another year I’ll be writing about my awesome new friend group and all the cool things we’re doing. Or maybe it’ll be another post about how it’s just me and Kyle and the cats. Either way, I don’t want out of sight to mean out of mind. Even if I don’t see you on a regular basis, let’s still stay in touch. I don’t want distance to mean goodbye forever.