It’s been easy enough to find people here to go to a movie with, or play tennis with, or catch a show with. When it has come to real needs, however, I’ve found little in the way of substantive assistance. Needs such as:
I need help moving.
I need help finding a job.
I need to vent feelings of confusion, sadness, and anger.
I’m very happy with this upcoming job opportunity but now suffering some of the emotional fall-out– stress, anger over things not working out here, sadness. Last week I invited two of my more empathetic (and older) friends to lunch, telling them only that it looked like I’d be moving again for a job and I wanted to see them and to try out this restaurant before I left town.
We got to lunch today and they spent much of the first hour discussing their recent vacations with their kids. My brain is overwhelmed with thorny logistical issues at the moment, but I put those aside and tried to listen with interest. Eventually one of them said, “So what date are you leaving?” I answered with a short description of my new job, a brief bit on recent positions I had lost out on here that factored into my decision to leave, and some of the logistical challenges I was facing as far as a moving date. I immediately felt that I was saying too much and needed to keep it short and sweet– that there was little interest or comfort with real expressions of sadness or frustration. The man expressed again that he felt I hadn’t given it enough of a shot here (he got his job through a tight connection); the woman simply said it sounded like I made the right decision. End of discussion.
Turns out childlessness is not the only taboo subject in town.