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.)