Losing & Being Lost

March 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm (Memoir) (, , , , , )

I keep losing people. 😦 It’s, as if, they’re there one minute and gone the next. It feels that abrupt and  that direct. They’re not dying off. They’re just gone from my life.

The first person I lost was my Dad. He left not soon after I turned one and I didn’t see him again until I was almost thirteen. He did bring more people in my life at that time. When he came back into my life I gained an awesome step-mom, two new brothers and three new sisters. An even trade-off 🙂

The next person I lost was my BFF B when I was thirteen. She moved into the city and gradually became just a blip in my life. We were pretty constant from the time we were born and I thought we would be friends forever. I lost a few other friends around the same time as parents were transferred or got remarried, and unlike today, we only had snail mail to keep in touch with. I wasn’t permitted to make long distance phone calls; too expensive.

I lost a classroom full of people when I graduated at eighteen. I grew up in a small town and went from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve with basically the same thirty classmates. I wasn’t popular but I had friends and boy friends and potential boyfriends. I was more of an outcast; a clique of one. Still, these classmates were constant in my life for thirteen years. I knew them in a way as they knew me. Life was predictable.

Two years later, I went to Calgary to go to Community College. I lost a whole town then. People who knew me day to day. People who knew my family better than me. People who barely knew me. The townfull of children I babysat for from age thirteen to age twenty. Around two thousand people who knew where I came from, who I belonged to, what my personality was. There is comfort and security and a sort of safety in people knowing who you are and what to expect from you. And in you’re knowing what to expect from them.

I had a small circle of acquaintances in Calgary, mostly from school. I lived closer to my Dad and his family so thus was able to get to know them all in a more day to day way. Got to know them, I thought, in a more real way as I participated in their everyday life. Then I didn’t graduated and moved to Saskatoon and lost them all, except for my family. But I lost the ability to be there with them on a daily basis.

Five years working in Child-Care in Saskatoon. Three years married. I decide to go to university after my divorce and lost a husband and any contact with his family. I lost, once again, the children I babysit. The children who were part of my day to day life.

And moving to Montreal I lost day to day contact with all my family. I went home once in six years and none of them ever saw where I lived in Montreal. This is what being poor and working class gets you. It gets you lost.

I had a bigger circle of acquaintances and friends in Montreal. Acquaintances from school who I saw daily (for four years of my BA program, two years of my Masters program) and lost completely after graduation. The friends I still write to and they write back. A few of them also blog so I feel on occasion that I am back in their day to day lives. We write sporadically and I wonder how the Victorians did it. How they were able to maintain friendships with sporadic visits and daily letters?

I graduated with my Masters in 1997. Since then I lived in one small town well working in another, one medium small town, a tourist small town and a small city or two depending on how many months equals living somewhere.  I am now back in Saskatoon.

As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now I keep losing people because I keep moving. I’ve lost not just acquaintances and friends but boyfriends and husbands and lovers. I’ve lost half a century (almost) of connections. And I don’t know how to get them back.

Everyone else’s life looks to be so full. I’m back in the same area where I grew up and can count the number of acquaintances I have on both hands and the number of friends on one. Family is constant but it’s been decades since I was part of their everyday life and they part of mine.

I went to my thirtieth reunion last May. It would be nice to be able to see some of these people more regularly. Some of them live in my city. Some of them I like better now than I did in High School. But they have full lives and don’t seem to be looking to increase their circle of acquaintances.

I yearn for more. I want to have people in my life to go to the movies or the theatre with. People to play with on a weekly basis. How do you do it? How does one make friends and connect with potential lovers when one is middle-aged and new to the community?

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3 Comments

  1. chartroose said,

    Are there any book clubs around? Maybe you could join one. Your public library may be a good place to start.

    There are other groups as well. After my divorce, when I was feeling especially vulnerable and alone, I joined the local Scottish Heritage Society, and ended up becoming Secretary for a couple of years. It really helped a lot.

    My circle is small too, although this is by choice more than anything else. Plus, I have my kids to hang with on occassion. I think your situation is a bit more lonely than mine, so perhaps you’re just going to have to bite the bullet and actively seek out some new friends.

    Just remember that as you become more used to the place and you make more acquaintances, things will get better.

  2. Steph said,

    Hang in there. I think it will get better/easier as you settle in. And a book club sounds like a great suggestion.

  3. halloween spirit said,

    I can relate to much of your experience. I have moved often during my adult life and it’s always sad to suddenly lose contact with people who were a part of your daily life, sometimes for years. Even with internet and e-mail, it’s not the same. My situation is a little different because my husband and two children have moved with me, but I still miss having a circle of friends and it takes time to build one.

    Like one of the other posters, I would suggest joining a group that reflects your interests. Also, you say you are back in the area where you grew up. If you have family members there, perhaps they can include you in some of their circles?

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