Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another Day, Another Anxiety

So, we move in ten days.  Ten more days of looking around this house wondering what the hell to put in the next box.  Ten more days (well, seven really) of dropping Ethan off at this preschool and picking him up.  Ten more chances to decide between the Coffee Bean on this end of the block, or Starbucks on that end.  Ten more days to get face-to-face time with the friends we've made here in the past 15 months. 

And it occurs to me again, as it has several times since we moved here, that Los Angeles hasn't been "that bad."  Sure, there's the whole raging inferno of wild fires and the pavement-melting heat of the summers and the asthma-inducing smog even on the clearest of days.   But there are also amazing people and beautiful parks and awe-inspiring beaches.  I'll miss those things. 

When Husband first dropped the Los Angeles bombshell on me, I spent many a night in tears, long after both Husband and Ethan were in asleep.  There was much hand-wringing on my part.  How will I deal with making new friends?  How will I endure the loneliness of not having daily access to my nearest and dearest?  What if no one in Los Angeles likes me?  The thought of living a friendless existence kept me up at night and sent me straight to a therapist's couch (please, we know a fair-sized hang-nail sends me to a therapist's couch, but still...)

After I got here, I threw myself into the task of making new friends.  Ethan and I went to the park every day.  If I saw you there more than twice, chances are I came up and started talking to you.  My plight wasn't helped by the fact that my kid, in perfect 2-year old dealing with life-changing transition fashion, made it a short-lived habit to beat the ever-loving crap out of other kids on the playground.  It's hard to make friends with other moms when they are attending to their battered toddler, especially when your toddler is the batterer.  People can be so judgey, right?  

My ego took a couple of hits.  But I realize not everyone can like everyone else.  It's okay if not everyone I struck up conversation with wanted to be my new BFF.   It was tough, but nothing a few deep breaths and a low dose of Zoloft couldn't smooth over.   And in the past year or so, I've made some really close friendships with a few woman I hope to be in touch with for years to come.   So the "hit or miss" method of friend-making really only has to have a few "hits" to be counted as a success.

With this move, though, there have been no nights of waking up in cold sweats and fits of tears, or fretting or rocking back and forth in the fetal position in a corner about the how, who, where and when of making new friends.  I have kind of quietly reminded myself "hey, you made friends here, you'll make friends there," and put it out of my mind.  I've talked a lot about the nature of friendship and it's role in life transitions in therapy and feel pretty comfortable with the "who will stick and who won't" sort of thing (this was huge for me as I lost touch with a lot of women back east I really thought would be the "forever" types of friends).  

I've essentially spent the last two months being giddy about the idea of cooler weather, being close to San Francisco, wine country, our gorgeous new backyard and my new, modern kitchen. I haven't really thought about the process of making new friends.  I just figured, whatever, the friendships will come, no worries!

But now that there are only ten days left, this anxiety is starting to nag at me.  All that going to the park and throwing myself at other moms?  Was exhausting.  I don't WANT to do that again. The slow process of getting to know the other preschool moms and figuring out who among them is good-friend material versus acquaintance material?  I don't WANT to do that again.   

I know I have to, but the thought of it makes me want to crawl back into bed, or resolve to find happiness redefining Ally Sheedy's Breakfast Club role, updated to suit a 37-year old suburban mom. 

So now I wonder about what the universe has in store for me 400 miles north.  Is this going to be the big joke on me?  All my fretting about making friends in Los Angeles was for naught, but the fact that I've not been fretting about it in terms of this move to the Bay Area means that I'm going to end up being that weird woman without any friends there?  

I need a hobby.  Or a lobotomy.


lonek8 said...

I am going through the same things you are - I had completely resolved myself to making friends after I moved and so far...nada. The women at the preschool open house looked at me like I was a leper when I tried to talk to them (WTF is up with that? bitches). the park is pretty much deserted when ever I go there. I just started taking a stroller fitness class and teh women there are really nice so I have some hope for that to go somewhere because otherwise? I'm out of ideas. I just have ot get into shape quickly so I can keep up with them because I miss all the good conversation when I lagging behind huffing and puffing (my excuse is that i am oushing a stroller with TWO kids in it, weighing 20 and 30lbs each as opposed to their one tiny little baby). Whatver. We will make friends or we wont - but we'll always have our internet besties!

Tress said...

The thing is, we all have these same anxieties about putting ourselves out there. Plus, women can be real meanies, and we know it! You actually seem to do better than most at assimilating to new environments.

Monica said...

wow, 2 moves in such a short amount of time. You are a trooper and I admire your strength. I am living where I was raised, my only move was when I got married, and then later when we moved out of our tiny apt into our house we built. Hoping all goes well with the transition.

Bonnie said...

Best of luck with the move. You'll have just as much fun exploring your new hometown as you did when you moved to LA.