Dealing with Loneliness


The desert is like a metaphor for my social life. OMG

In case you haven’t guessed from my previous posts, or from the fact that I spend such an inordinate amount of time on my blog, my life here in Tucson is pretty lonely. I’ve lived here about four years now and I do have friends, but I feel like I haven’t established the kind of friendships I had back in New York–the kind where you know you have a handful of people you can text on any given weekend and someone is going to want to hang out with you and have a good conversation. I also don’t have any family here, and in four years exactly one person I knew from back home has come to visit. Especially during the summer, Tucson is kind of a wasteland. Roommate is gone, calls and e-mails go unreturned while people are on vacation or have better things to do, and no one–I mean no one–takes the initiative to call and ask me to hang out.

Reading the New York Times’ recent discussion on the troubles of making friends in your 30s and 40s comforted me a bit. At least I’m not the only one who’s noticed that their peers run off and hibernate as soon as they’re paired off. I’m also doing the right things to try and make friends: I’m active in a local Meetup group, I’ll be volunteering in a community program starting next month, and I participate in graduate student groups on campus. During the semester, I do a great job of staying busy. But, man, sometimes when you get home after a vacation or conference and there is no one to pick you up at the airport, it’s crushing.

Lester Holt and I are going steady.

One of the things I miss most about being in a couple is that, when you’re paired off, you have someone you can count on. If you don’t make plans for your Saturday night, the default is that you stay in… but you have someone to talk to. These days, my Saturday nights are spent at home watching Dateline, usually following the mystery of some lonely single woman who got murdered in her home on a Saturday night. Eeek!

I’m rambling a bit here, but I’d love to hear any tips or experiences you’ve had with loneliness that can get me through the next month before I go back to work (where people are forced to socialize with me… ha ha). I also started taking Lexapro this week, which my doctor thinks will help me some with my depression and my “why-bother-no-one-ever-wants-to-hang-out-with-me-anyway” attitude toward social relationships. If you know about that, I’d also be curious to hear about your experience. So far it mostly just seems to be keeping me up between 3 and 4AM, which is not actually a prime hanging-out time.

Onward and upward, I hope!

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