Monday, April 26, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly

I've been reflecting on how much fun I had on Saturday evening. That, combined with some comments by the preacher on Sunday morning, meant I had a miserable Sunday. From high to low in one easy step.

After Sat evening, I was on such a high. I realised that I've really missed those kinds of interactions since we've moved back home. At church in the UK, we were heavily involved and we knew lots of people, which meant that we were frequently involved in some or other social interaction with new people on a regular basis. We had our circle of friends and we were always busy doing something.

Since returning home to SA though, we have really struggled with this. Sure, we have colleagues at work that we are friendly with, and we have some friends who are still living in the city, and we've got a great cell group, but none of them are really involved in our lives, or we aren't really involved in theirs. Despite having people around me all the time, I am incredibly lonely. The friends we have all have their own social groups, thus, we only see them once every few months, and usually only when we instigate something. That's the other thing that really hurts - that we often have to be ones to initiate contact.

I was saying to G that, quite honestly, I feel that if I were to die today, the only people who would miss me would be him, the kids and our parents. Sure, our friends, my colleagues and the people in our cell group would be sad, but it wouldn't really change their lives because we're not really involved in their lives. They could go on as before and not really be affected. In fact, I think that the kids I teach would miss me more than my colleagues, but even they wouldn't really miss me all that much. It's all rather pathetic, isn't it?

Anyway, after spending a morning feeling very sorry for myself, my daughter gave me the most awesome hug in the world. It made me cry it was so beautiful, then she cried because I was crying, because she thought she'd done something wrong... which made me feel TERRIBLE. I then had to explain to her why I was sad - which was hard. But I realised that I am going to have to keep this loneliness bottled up if it's not going to affect her and Nathan - which it must not be allowed to do.

As I'm already keeping my grief tucked away somewhere, I guess I can keep this tucked away somewhere too. Of course, I know that it will pop out at times - I'm not stupid enough to think that because I don't feel lonely all the time doesn't mean I'm not - but I'm going to have to make sure that it only appears when my kids aren't in a position to be affected by it. I'm not sure how I will do that, but after seeing how utterly distraught Nellie was that I was sad I simply can't allow it to happen again.

Of course, the best solution would be to create a community that is involved in our lives. Well, that's not as simple as it sounds in Cape Town. We Capetonians are the most insular bunch in the world. Making friends with Capetonians is very difficult, especially as most of them make their friends at school or varsity and then just stick with the same people for the rest of their lives. I've tried making friends with the parents of kids at Nellie's school, but that's also not easy as they are also Capetonians who already have their friends and don't really want any more.

Reading this back through, I sound so unbelievably whiney and pathetic. Ugh! So much so I considered not posting this, but in the interests of honesty, you get to see the good, the bad and this - the ugly. And it's ugly, I know. Here's hoping that after a few hours of work, and then some more quality time with my family, I will get completely over myself.
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