I sometimes wonder if it is just my fate to be continually searching for community. It seems I often find myself in this predicament and end up here writing about my need to find a place and a people with whom I truly belong. I know from experience it is just a matter of time and eventually I will find the people who will be my people here in Leesburg. But it feels disheartening to once again be searching for that elusive “fit”.
Part of what makes it hard for me to do this again is that I am changing. What constitutes a fit now and what did before has changed and my needs are not as clear at the moment. In the past I knew what I needed: people to do things with – see a movie, share a meal, talk to when I needed someone to listen, and just to live life with. People to fill my time schedule up. Now, married and adjusting to personal changes in my life, I need something else. But I am still unsure of what that is and how to articulate it. None of the above has changed necessarily – but now instead of looking for the person who will be my closest friend, I am looking to fill in gaps. People who will round out my life…not complete it.
When I was single, it was find people or I was alone. And so my expectations for what I wanted from other people was a lot broader. I would start hoping to find a “best friend”. Best friends take a long time and they are elusive (or have been to me) so I would soon give that up. Then, I would start looking for a variety of people who as a group could fill the emptiness that I sometimes felt. (It is never fair to be looking for that in other people, but it was my reality.) Then when that didn’t work, I would try to find multiple people who could each fill a spot on “the roster”. And when that didn’t work, I would finally settle into friendships that were more meaningful and real than the ones I had tried to find early on. But all of this took so much time. It was an exhausting cycle of looking, trying, expecting, disappointment, loneliness and finally – after a long time – relationship and resolution.
Part of my current angst seems to come from jealousy. My husband has the thing I have wanted for a long time. A support system that is not temporary and continues to be as strong today as ever. Need someone to hang with? Call Jerry. Need someone to talk to? Call Jerry. Need someone to help you move your new wife into your home? Call Jerry. Need to vent about your new wife’s stuff all over your place? Call Jerry. And to make sure it is known, those calls go both ways. If Jerry needs anything, he calls. No questions asked. No barriers to what is acceptable.
I want to be clear. I have great friends. They are loving and supportive and never more than a phone call away. But none are local. And for some reason that leads me back to this place again and again.
I know that it is just a matter of time. I realize that all of this angst is temporary and eventually I will have a community here…as I did in Culpeper, as I did in Woodbridge. It will just take time. But starting this cycle over again (and hopefully being more realistic this time about it) is always daunting.
In the meantime, maybe I will call Jerry.