Today I sat next to a woman who was holding her 18 month-old daughter on her lap. The daughter had just fallen off the bench and her nose was all bloody and she was crying . The woman was trying to soothe her daughter but she was agitated and eager for the service on her car to be finished.
She was really fragile and as we chatted she told me she had no family nearby and her husband worked out of town. It was just her and the baby all day long and she was so homesick. I remember how I felt when I moved to Colorado. I so wanted to be back where everything was familiar. Where I had my long-time friends and where my family was my source of entertainment.
And I remember when our phone was installed and I cried because I had no one to call. Then within a year or two of living here, I had to return to my childhood home and as the car was pulling away, I looked back at my house and felt a pang of homesickness for it and I hadn’t even left.
This woman is focused on what she doesn’t have (her family) and not creating what she needs (new friends) right here and now.
This is the thing: it takes time, energy and effort to make friends and create a support network. It takes boldness to stand in front of strangers and share your story with them. It takes patience to be available to connect but not appear too needy.
And making friends is about give and take. You can’t share your life story all at once. You can offer some information and then gauge how safe you feel. After sharing, it’s time to listen. Then share a bit more, then a bit more. I have a feeling you’ve been in her shoes. Moving to a new place only to realize you have to start all over again with new friends, routines, doctors, services, schools and on and on. It’s hard and scary in an exciting sort of way. And it’s lonely until you make that first friend.
- Making Friends as an Adult (experiencelife.com)
- 5 tips for making friends as an adult (dumblittleman.com)
- You’re not alone: Needing and making friends as an adult (huffingtonpost.com)
- How Can Parents Effectively Deal with Homesickness & Nostalgia Among Kids and Adolescents? (socyberty.com)
- College tips for homesickness: Improve campus life (cengagebrain.com)
- Friend Therapy
- Dump Your Troubles