Wednesday, September 06, 2006

some of the ways in which too much newness can catch up with you...

Last night I laid in bed and thought about how I miss having friends to hang out with in person. I like living in a new city, but the loneliness of it has started to nibble at my toes. I'm not really alone--I have my brother and sister, my husband, and friends who visit from out of town--but these days I'm starting to crave new friendship, someone to hang out with and simply feel comfortable. I miss the friendships like I've had with R. and K.--but time has moved us forward to new and distant locations. I'm not sure what got me thinking about all of this except that maybe it was the girl who knocked on the door petitioning for signatures. Maybe it was the instant "connection" that sprung out of nowhere. In the three minutes that she stood there, we talked about painting, jobs, the woods... She seemed like someone I could relate to and, to be honest, it was downright scary how similar we were--even in appearance. We looked each other in the eyes and both seemed to notice it. Granted, I'll probably never see her again, but it got me thinking about what it means to have good friends in the flesh. Someone to drink too much wine with, to talk about things that mean the most, to take long walks together, to drink coffee in silence. These days I just don't have the energy for shallow friendships. I miss the honest-to-god friends I've known. I miss them, yet look forward to whatever is to come. Funny how, no matter how many things change on the outside, I always feel the same on the inside. And maybe that's the best part of deeply felt friendships: no matter how many things change, their core remains the same.

In accumulation of a tiring day and too many thoughts, I went to bed with an incredible headache. This morning it came back with a vengeance--or rather, it never went away, but only got worse. All in all, yesterday left me feeling a little bit deflated. It was a long day at work--one where I felt like the perpetual "new girl." I spent the day asking too many questions and apologizing for it too many times. Of course, it is all new to me and I'm sure there's nothing unusual about any of it...but, man, I hate feeling like an idiot. I hate being in situations where my best self doesn't shine through. And, by "best self," I mean the person that smiles and makes other people smile, too. Yesterday's work-world lacked connection. Maybe it was me, maybe it was them, maybe it was just the weather...who knows. But today I'm grateful to have the day off and some down time to find my center again. You see, the thing is that I love my new job. I love talking about books, working with animals, meeting new people. I can be my own true passionate self--and that is what I love most about the place. But boy, I'm starting to realize just how much I have to learn. Children's and Young Adult literature is a whole new realm for me. Unfortunately, there's not much time to familiarize myself with the books while I'm working. It's too busy. So I've given myself homework.

For the past 10 years I've done something that I'm good at, something that I'm knowledgeable about, something that I know how to do. Even with teaching I felt more confident and comfortable with what I was doing. I'm not used to feeling like I'm so entirely stupid, so incredibly clueless. No pep talks, please. I know it's only a matter of time and I'll start figuring it out. I love what I do, and hold an honest interest in the books we sell. I'll learn. It just sucks being at the mercy of such newness and ignorance. I feel an incredible lack of control--and it is tiring.

But, on the flip side, the best part about yesterday was being picked up from work by my husband and 7 year old nephew who took me to the ice cream parlor down the street where we dined on oreo ice cream and sugar cones. I listened to Willem (my nephew) talk about his first day of school, explain thermal warming (good god, that kid is smart), and how he and V. played scavenger hunt with wolfie--all while eating ice cream that made a widening, sticky circle around his mouth and nose, all the way to his cheeks--well, needless to say, some of the frustration of the day just sort of fell away.

And I suppose the rest will come. Until then, I've got a lot of reading to do. There are certainly worse things. Anyway, I feel like a trip to the library coming on. The library, the grocery store, the woods and the hammock............where I'll finish just like that, a YA novel that I'm reading for work. It takes place in Minneapolis (more specifcally, places I see everyday)...and maybe that's why, so far, I can't help but love it.

(ps. and something that i just feel the need to say is: thank you, friends. for being friends. you mean a lot to me...and i just wanted you to know.)

11 comments:

paris parfait said...

A month from now, Jessie, you'll be feeling much more confident in your new position - and no doubt you'll have new friends to share too much wine and/or coffee and confidences with as well. Don't despair! What a lovely episode in the ice cream parlour with V and your nephew! You describe it all so well. Hope your headache is better by now! xo

Amber said...

Blogs are weird. They provide enough of a connection with someone that you know what they're doing and thinking, but not enough to keep you from missing them.

I've been missing you, Jessie. It's easy to forget that you're just a few miles away. We should find a place to meet up and talk soon.

Andrew said...

I felt like that once, like I needed more friends in my life. So I called up a guy I knew and went out on the town determined to make a new friend. I met my wife-to-be that night. 23 years later I'm still very glad I went looking for a friend.

Andrew
To Love, Honor and Dismay

Loralee Choate said...

Every type of friend has a place in your life, it is just a matter of what you are in need of most.

Sounds like you and Amber need to down some espresso (Or whatever) together.

HUG

deirdre said...

Newness is truly exhausting. And you've got so much of it right now. I think ice cream with a seven-year old is good medicine.

Mardougrrl said...

You know I feel you. I am so lonely here as well. I see so many other mothers, but they all seem to be together, and it's hard to break into those established bonds.

And the new job WILL get easier...but you already knew that. ;)

Loved the story about your nephew--and can't wait to meet you tomorrow!

Endment said...

Your posts each leave me wanting to hear more - what is happening in the next chapter?

for what its worth - When I moved here - I got involved in the "Friends of the Library" - find lots of opportunity to get involved in the community and met some delightful new friends...

erin said...

hey girl - just caught up. love the new blog - pink and warm. just wanted to say, i miss you here. its a new school year and nothing's the same, and i wish we'd had more time to become close friends - the potential was, is, there - i mean you're my friend, but - well, you know what i mean. that's why we're friends.

ruby said...

i wish we could have a little bloggie convention where i could meet all these inspirational people that i am "friends" with via blogging...you being one at the top of the list, of course...

melba said...

Sometimes I recheck your comments after I have left a comment because I know you sometimes respond. anyway, I thought I left you a comment here yesterday about wishing we lived in the same city, but I don't see it now. Weird, but maybe meant to be because I noticed that comment by Ruby and emailed her about justBe...
Everything happens for a reason somehow, right!?

Elizabeth said...

It's so hard to get together with friends, even when they live in the same town or work at the same office. We're all just so dang busy. And when we're not busy, we're tired and just want to go home.

I like Ruby's Idea! Andrew's got a point, too. Sometimes we just need to get out, even if it means doing something that makes us uncomfortable, like going to a bar.