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Claire (loquacity) wrote,
@ 2002-12-12 23:22:00
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    Now and again it seems worse than it is,
    but mostly the view is accurate.


    It's been consuming me lately, this loneliness.

    Throughout college, I had a lot of friends. My closest friends were a group of about 6 girls. We all met our freshman year and stayed close friends throughout the whole 4 years. We all had various friends on the periphery of our circle, but we were pretty much it. And it was good, and it was enough. And we were lucky.

    After graduation, we all went our separate ways. It made sense that the type of friends I would have would not stay still for long. Even though some of them stayed in Austin for a time, eventually most of them left. I went to San Francisco for a month in June, then moved to Krakow, Poland, where I lived for a little over a year.
    That experience changed me deeply, in ways I still don't understand. It was one of the hardest and best experiences of my life. I learned that I was stronger than I ever knew, and I learned I could teach and learn from people very different from myself. I traveled alone, met people from places I had never heard of, saw things that I still can picture in my mind when I close my eyes. I was terribly homesick, and incredibly happy to be away from home.
    When the customs officer in Philadelphia asked me how long I had been away, I mumbled '13 months'. It surprised me to hear it out loud. Thirteen months. Thirteen. Thirteen months, and it's like I'm a different person.
    Of course, I really wasn't. I was the same Claire who had left on this journey, I had just learned more of who this Claire was.
    The days after those thirteen months were some of the hardest I've ever had. I had left the US with a feeling that I was doing what I had always wanted to do. I came back to a country and city full of dot-commers who talked about stock options and their SUVs and the house they were going to buy in Westlake. These people were the same who had graduated with me only a year or so before. I could not relate. They looked at me with blank and/or confused looks when they asked what I did. "Nothing" I said, "I've been living in Poland and traveling for a year."
    I had come from a place where there are 600 year old churches on every corner and a horse drawn wagon still drives through the city carrying scrap metal... to this. More, more, more.
    Some said "Oh, I've been to Europe. Went for a month last summer. I got really trashed in Barcelona, blahhaha."
    Oh. I did too, but that's not what I took home with me.
    I got a job, working in a company, at a desk, with a computer, and business cards with my name on them. I was miserable.
    I tried to fit in. My old friends had all moved away, except for a couple who helped to keep me somewhat sane. I tried to meet new people, I missed having a busy social life with lots of friends. Living in a foreign country where you can barely speak the language makes you feel like there are infinite possibilities at home.
    I had left with many people I felt connected to. I came back to those people living far away from me and not meeting any new people to spend my time with. I saw potential friends' eyes glaze over when I told them where I had lived and what I had done. Very few questions were asked about my experience, and I learned not to talk about it anymore. Don't worry. I'm like you.
    I even lived in Germany for about 6 months when I was 24, with my boyfriend who I eventually fell out of love with. I came back to the same problems I had left at home.

    I feel as isolated as I did many times while living in Europe, but without the beautiful buildings and museums.
    I feel cheated. I was always told that it would be a great thing for me to do what I did- but I feel like it has just made people push away from me.
    I push people away now too. It's easier to be alone.
    There have been some people I have met since college who I have really liked and felt connected to- but not many. There have been those I have felt connected to, and then was hurt deeply by.
    You don't know me. I am words on a screen, with a few pictures on a webpage.
    All I want is to feel part of something yet all I want is to be left alone.
    And so, here I am. Waiting for a boy to call me to make me feel like I am part of something, that I am liked. It is 11pm and he is out with his friends- I wasn't invited. I will be invited when he has time for me.

    And I don't see that I have any other option other than to write these words on a screen and wait for things to get better.

    and you're not really sure
    what you're doing this for
    but you need something to fill up the days.
    ~bright eyes


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