Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Silver and gold

OK, first of all, I'm feeling better about the whole dog boarding thing, mostly because the director finally emailed me back. She agreed to honor the $200 quoted price (apparently they increased their rates recently), and answered some of my other questions. We are still trying to figure out if we'll be able to do an early pick-up or not, but most of the other issues have been resolved.

Still, I look forward to the day when we might have dog-friendly friends close by who could dogsit for us. There are a few people in town that we've started to become friends with, and I love them and I'm sure if we were in a pinch we could ask them to watch Montana and they would agree, but I just don't feel like we're at the point of closeness with any of them to be able to ask them to take on that kind of burden, you know? Especially over Thanksgiving when everyone either has their own plans to leave town or will be stressed hosting guests of their own.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that we've only been in Denver for nine months, and to remind myself that these things take time, sometimes lots of time. We do have a reasonable social life and people we really enjoy spending time with here, and I'm sure those relationships will grow and more will develop the longer we're here. It's just hard to leave a city where we had a whole social network built up and move to a town where we have no real connections and have to start from scratch. Especially without jobs and offices to get us out of the house and meeting people.

I know I've talked about this before, and I don't mean to harp on it too much, but sometimes it can be really hard. It's just weird with my parents in North Carolina and my sister in DC and my best friend in San Francisco and most of my other friends scattered across the country and the globe.

Even a lot of the friends who came to our wedding, all of whom I would consider close, feel further away. Not that we aren't friends anymore or anything, but just, well, for one thing most them are, geographically, further away and also a lot of them have started new things in their lives, jobs or grad school or relationships or some combination thereof, and we don't all talk as much as we used to.

I guess this is a typical 20-something experience, whether you're married or not? Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on the 20-something crisis that a lot of bloggers talk about, and that's not a bad thing because I love my life and where things are and where they're going, and I don't miss what I don't have, and I think that's crucial.

But there are a lot of supposedly "universal" 20-something experiences, like confusion about where your life is going and what you're doing with yourself and what you really want, that I seem to have just skipped over. And that's OK--I like being grounded and driven and knowing what I want and taking steps to get there.

But the experience of seeing your social circles shift, and seeing not only your own life change but also the lives of everyone near and dear to you, and finding yourself far apart from people you once couldn't have imagined not seeing regularly, and going down wildly different paths from people who used to seem just like you--well, THAT is a 20-something experience I think we all deal with.

And I'm excited for everyone, myself included, for all the thrilling things going on in their lives now and in the future. And I have no regrets about moving to Denver--I love it here. And when I was in DC I realized that the vast majority of my friends there have also moved on, so it's not like things would be the same as they were even if we were still there.

But still. This part is frustrating. I know that I will keep my old friendships with the people who matter, and a few small seeds have been planted for new friendships. But I still feel stuck in between, for now. And I wonder how long it will take until it doesn't feel like this anymore.


  1. I definitely know that feeling of relationships shifting and changing before new ones form. We live 1000 miles away from our families and the friends we considered closest in college, people who were really our second families. We have good friends down here that have started to take the place of that circle, but it's taken us five years to build that network ... and I still sometimes feel adrift.

  2. I have felt this shift ever since I graduated college. While most of my husband's good friends stayed in the area, most of mine went way far away, to the Peace Corp. overseas missions, etc. etc. I felt alone and without friends, even though mine were just farther away. It's nice to have a reminder that I'm not (by far) the only one out there whose social circles are changing when I start to feel lonely.

  3. I totally understand what you are going through, the last year I've felt my friends drifting all over the place. I've realized some of them have just given up on me, but at the same time I have given up on some of them....It also makes me really appreciate the friends I do have and can count on. I'm just riding it out because I hear it gets better :)

  4. In the last year, I've grown apart from many of my close friends. But I've made great new ones. Part of life I suppose. My mom always tell me people come in and out of your life for a reason. Who knows!

  5. First, unlike you, I was single when in my 20s and never felt ungrounded or wondered what I was doing with my life. And you know what? I didn't miss it, either. Just saying, not all 20-somethings go through those "universal" feelings ... and knowing what I know about you, I'm guessing even if you were single, you likely would've still skipped them, too.

    Also, as it relates to your dog ... it probably took 6-9 months before we were comfortable asking our neighbors to watch SoMi when we left town. Actually, the first time they ever watched her was during our rehearsal dinner, which was 3 months after we moved in. Anyway, one thought is if your friends have dogs, why don't you suggest that you and Torsten will watch their dog(s) while they're out of town. It quickly opens a new level of dialogue with friends. Even if they don't take you up on the offer, I bet you'll notice that things change. And maybe you'll become more comfortable asking them for dog favors in the future.

    Another thought? If there are kids in your neighborhood, why not find one to take Montana for walks, maybe once a week or something. Then, when bigger things come up, maybe you'll have a family willing to take her for the weekend (when maybe they're not ready for their own dog). That's what my parents do and it seems to work out really well for them.

  6. Bout to hop on this roller coaster... We've been in our college town for undergrad and grad school, so we've watched a lot of our close friends wander off into the sunset. So, on one hand, I'm glad we will feel less stuck once we are finally the ones leaving - but on the other hand... terrified!

  7. I think I still feel like that sometimes. Moving, kids, etc - it's hard to find and maintain good friendships sometimes.

  8. I wonder how long this will take, too. Most of my IRL realationships have shifted dramatically since I had Madeline, and it's hard. I wish that things would settle in again, because I hate the feelings of upheaval.

    We'll get through it, though. The 20s are, as you said, just the time for this. Hopefully we'll come out on the other side with stronger relationships!

  9. I think I'm having enough of a 20-something crisis for the both of us and it is really stressful so don't feel bad for sitting this one out. I know how you feel though about friends drifting away and moving to new places. Its hard to stay in touch and something I struggle with, especially since I don't know where I'm going to end up myself. At least we know we're not alone in feeling this way!

  10. Good, I'm glad next week is going to work out! Totally understand the friends in different directions and places thing - we were the first of our friends to get married and my girlfriends were supportive, but B's friends were a little weird about it.

    All this reminds me I owe you an email.

  11. this is a hard thing to deal with, i think. it's also a matter of realizing that you are "grown up" even if you don't want to feel that way. things just shift...some people have many friends in the town where they live. i happen to have very few in the state where i live. i just crave those friendships though and realize that i'm not going to find them at the drop of a hat

  12. It does take a while. I was in this situation (though single and dog-less) when I moved back to California. As long as you know that the move was the right decision (which you obviously do), then the friendships will come. And in the meantime, I like to remind myself that I now have folks to visit all over the country (and the world!).

  13. I've lost friends for two reasons - by choice (which I'm fine with) or by distance, which hurts incredibly.

    My best friend moved to SF, and changed completely. Not in ways that I'm happy about either. She's reverted back to her teenage days, I'm afraid.

    I think our 20's is when we choose paths - and those paths move us closer to some, and further from others. It's painful - but all growing tends to be.

  14. at the ripe old age of 29... i'm not sure that particular feeling ever goes away. now that we're out of college, i feel like everyone's sort of in flux all the time - not just for a set period in our mid 20s. people will continue to move for jobs, meet new people, get married, have kids, and all at different times, so people keep fading in and out of your immediate circle.. and i feel like that will continue indefinitely at this point.

  15. I feel adrift sometimes because I'm a pretty young mom. Most of the people with kids the same age as mine are about five years older than I am, sometimes much more. So it's kind of weird trying to get really close to people at Addy's ballet class or Sunday School. And all my old friends are doing such different things- job hunting, dating, finishing school- that even though we still talk, we have very little in common. There's nothing to be done about it and it's no one's FAULT (except maybe mine for going against the grain and deciding to have kids first and THEN a career once they're all in school.) But it still sucks sometimes. I feel like I'm drifting further and further away from my high school friends with every year that passes and every experience we each have that the other can't relate to.
    Thank goodness Jim's best friend married an AWESOME girl just a few years older than me who was also eager to get knocked up immediately! It's nice to have a mom friend that I really get along with, regardless of the fact that we both have little kids!

  16. Were you in the girl scouts too?

    First of all, if you are counting me as one of your seeds then I will warn you now that I am a bad seed. It's true that my time is rather limited but even when I have pockets of free time I tend to be unwise about spending them, and as a result I do not cultivate any friendship - new or old - very well. My closest friends at the moment are those I manage to meet up with once a month or quarter or something. It's terrible.

    Second, I am 35 and I'll tell you that this friendship evolution thing just goes on an on. I saw wave of friends leave after undergrad, transform in grad school, move away again in their late twenties, and get meshed up all in family in their thirties. Everyone seems to have less time and friendships get less priority but I do know that we still all love to reconnect, even if it's less frequent as we get older.

    Lastly, I have to say that I've moved around quite a bit and, coupled with my particular childhood circumstances, I've always found it takes years to really generate a good set of friends. I know this, and yet it never gets less frustrating. I'm relatively new to Denver myself and I still, once in a while think, Damnit! I need to make new friends.

  17. I'm 24. I'm finished University, and am finally embarking on my career as a teacher (I'm still in the early stages though and won't even be starting work for another three weeks). My boyfriend of five years is just finishing University himself, then he can get started on his career. It's a time of feeling "stuck". We're both still living with our parents, my friends are all in different cities doing their own thing... it's frustrating at times, and a little lonely through the week.

    But it's just a transition time, and I know that.

    I just know how you feel though. I think friendships naturally ebb and flow based on certain things, especially marriage/kids, etc. I think friends who are single fall by the wayside a little and friends who are couples sort of take over, then married couples ban together, then married couples with children.. it's just because it's more relatable. Doesn't mean you don't love your old friends, but you start to drift towards the similar.

    Fortunately, my best friends and myself have been dating our boyfriends for a similar amount of time and our boyfriends are all friends now too (who get together for guys nights sometimes!). I hope that will help us stay this close, while only one of my best friends is engaged so far (not to be married until 2011, mind you), I forsee us all sort of passing those milestones around the same time.

    It's such a 20-something thing, but you'll settle in soon and connect more and more with local friends. :-)

  18. I've been in Dallas for 4 years and I am just now to the point where I have a large group of people I've met since I've moved here. It's tough out there!

  19. Yes, well, I have had a LOT of 20something crises ... mostly about being grounded and driven but struggling with what I want vs. what I have. ... But especially the one regarding friends. I have one best friend who lived in Paraguay for Peace Corps and now lives on the east coast, and another best friend in Thailand teaching English and I miss them like crazy. And some people are married, some aren't, some are having babies, whatever... it's crazy. I've written about it quite a bit lately, actually.

  20. I'm an early 30-something and I will say that I don't think it's a 20-something issue. I think it's HARD to make & keep friends as an adult. Everyone has their own life and agenda and finding someone who you like, who likes you and who has a similar schedule and life situation is difficult. And proximity is huge when it comes to forging new friendships and keeping old ones going.

    After college I lived in what I call a "magical" neighborhood where it was insanely easy to meet people (historic houses, lots of front porches, area attracted an eclectic mix of residents, including lots of alternative lifestyles so 99% of neighbors were open-minded and friendly). I'm not kidding to say I knew everyone on my block within a week and not in a creepy Stepford way. In the 6 years I lived there I knew just about everyone within a 6 block radius. There were parties and cookouts galore and everyone from singles to married with children, old, young, etc. were welcome. And most of them were friends, not just casual neighbors. I thought this was normal.

    Anyway, we moved 2 years ago and it is SO HARD to make friends. We live in another historic neighborhood but the front-porch mentality just isn't here, everyone hides out in their back yards so just meeting the neighbors is hard…we know 3 other people on the street –sad! Young, childless folks tend not to mingle with families. Among families there seems to be a pretty big divide between those who have a parent staying at home and those where 2-parents are working. I’ve only had 2 girls-night-outs since I’ve been here (both times with co-workers) and it’s sad. We’ve met up with a few people we’ve met via Twitter/blogging and are building new relationships, but it’s slow and kinda lonely.

  21. Would LOVE to watch Montana if you ever need someone to watch her Thursday night thru Saturday afternoon. While that probably won't help much, the offer is there.

    And she IS a cute doggy (that is so cute that you say that, Jess!)