Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thoughts on Isolation

I know I've moved around a lot and lived in several places in these five decades of my existence. But all of my life I have tried to stay in contact with friends I've made.  My friends have always been important to me.  It pissed my mom off when I was little.  She'd say, "Your friends are ALWAYS more important to you than your family!"  That wasn't quite true, but I did heavily rely on peer support.

Before internet, I was a phone-aholic.  How much money did I blow blablablahing on the phone for, say, 30 years??  And how much unproductive time did I waste bitching about life instead of changing it?  I was also a letter writer.  I'd be in a far away place and write 25 page missives to friends or family.  Jim and I wrote up our adventures, photocopied them and mailed them to a hundred friends.  You meet a lot of cool people when traveling.  The world really is small and your chances of meeting people again are better than you'd think.  That always meant something to me.  I guess attempting to be a good friend and communicator gave me a feeling of connection with the universe or something.

Post internet, I kept up with emails pretty well at first.  Then I got carried away with the two years of medical report emails during Jim's deterioration and sort of lost interest in too much email ranting.  I decided to cut out so much ranting from my life; let the anger and hurt go.  As you can see by this RANT, I am still working on it!

So, as I whine about my friends not keeping in touch with me, I think about the emails I have received from them and answered with quick notes promising to catch up later, and then I don't.  I actually realize that all the sadness I feel from this I have caused myself.  Just one of those weird personality quirks I guess.

I think this is the first time I've made a move and felt so isolated from my friends (Actually Cape Verde, West Africa in 1986 was the most intense....but it was short term).  I've caught up with some folks from the past on facebook, and that's been fun.  But I've lost touch with too many of my close friends from my more recent past, and it makes me sad.  I guess that may have something to do with today.  It is Jim's birthday.  (I wrote this on March 27th, and have been mulling over whether to post it since then.)

I realize that these are difficult times for everyone financially.  Everyone is busting ass trying to stay afloat; it's no different here. One cultural difference is that it seems US Americans are always overbooked, in a big hurry, and super stressed out.  They really don't have free time.  I understand people live in a rat race and just can't keep up with everything AND everyone.  One of the reasons I moved here was to learn to slow down that pace.  I know I am too sensitive about missing contact with my friends.  Of course more of this is my fault too, since I talked everyone into getting Skype.....I removed the speakers from my computer(to use with the TV) and my headset is broken.  So now I don't have access to Skype. I am working on replacing the headset OR speakers....But I have also decided I don't care that much for talking on the phone anymore, and feel more comfortable writing my thoughts.  At least I can edit them. 

Another thought that rings in my head is my ex-neighbor telling me she doesn't write because she doesn't have interesting news.  She said her life isn't as exciting as mine.  Same shit different day.  My life is not that much different from hers on a daily basis, and I can't afford to do much exciting stuff these days either.  But I would still like to hear from her (them).  What's going on in my old neighborhood(s) with my friends still interests me.  And I enjoy the contact with friends.

I guess what I am trying to say is I understand why we lose contact with friends who have become close to us, especially when we move far away.  It's just that some days, especially those that bring back memories to begin with, like Jimmy's birthday, make me too sentimental, sometimes a little homesick for Hawaii, and just a little confused.   I isolate myself from my friends and family and then I feel bad that I miss them.  Go figure.


Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado said...

Happy Birthday Jimmy! Lin, I too have lost loved ones and I always have a BIG piece of cake on one of "those" days (and often a couple of glasses of Malbec too)Lin, I also have a burning desire to keep up with people from my past... and yes,I wrote those 25 page missives... I cry (buckets) when I miss people I love, especially when I know I'll never see them again... But even though losing love hurts, think what the alternative would have been? To not have known Jimmy? I never had that pleasure but through your heartfelt words, I feel like if you loved him that much, he must have been quite a guy... Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lin. I want you to know, I check your blogspot everyday. I know there will not be something new everytime I check, but even then it still feels good to see your words as they are certainly a part of you.

Love you.


C-Notes said...

Hey Lin,
Wow, I so understand your words...
I too move around a lot and find it hard to stay in contact with my dear ones - both friends and family.
However, sadly, I am also very much the reason why I am not in contact. I tend to bounce around within these United States so I am still inside the rat race that I try hard to escape (seeking much desired isolation) -- making a living (or trying to stay afloat as you appropriately mentioned), raising my 3 daughters single-handedly, writing, and now getting publications off from the new Press. I have so many duties, and yet, so many dreams...
Lin, we have come together because of our love for Story -- Personal Story and I am sure that this will keep us connected and I am sending these few words at this moment of juggling work and kids being home for spring break to let you know that you are loved.

Deb said...

ah, fer Pete's sake, it's life, yeah? We all have folk that come in and out of our lives that we get to enjoy and sometimes lose one way or another. At least you went off adventuring - think of poor pitiful me, left behind, abandoned. ; ) Anyway, wait long enough, and there is a bit of news. The house next to me (former hispanic worker housing) foreclosed and they are now desperately trying to sell it for $215.9 I think it was. There must be weeping and gnashing of teeth at your old digs. And, hopefully some sunshine for you and your great financial timing. Hope you have a great B-day! Aloha, Deb.

bamboodixie said...

Lin, I made a hat band from what was left of Jim's old purple shirt (it started to come apart in the wash)I got it wrapped around my latest straw stingy brim, it's way too cool for SoIndiana... don't get sentimental on me... as soon as I get the bullits I'm gonna get down there and let you and Pablo show me where the hot joints are! When I get off the plane you'll know me because I'll have Jim's old shirt wrapped around my head! Still loud and proud... you're my life line girl!

Linda Dorton said...

Wow! For some reason the comments are not coming to my email. Maybe they go to the one that got hacked. Anyhow I just read all these comments today, just after MY birthday, and I appreciate all your words and thoughts. Brought tears to my eyes.

Joanna, you and I have more in common in our life histories than you will ever know. I am happy things are going so well for you. I am glad to have met you and hope to run into your more often.

Bob, you know I will never forget you and that I love you. We have so many memories! And we will make more! I am sure of it.

Linda Dorton said...

C-Notes, I understand your schedule. I was having a little sad day of self pity. I know I have a fine life and things are going along just as they should be. Thanks for your understanding.

Walter, you nut, I am not surprised that shirt fell apart. Glad you saved part for the hat. Bet Jimmy loves to see that! I don't hve your email so I hope you read this. Please email me since I lost all my contacts.

Deb, I like to hear from you whether you think news is exciting or not. Please keep in touch. We could maybe play scrabble together online.....we obviously can't color or paint but......I miss you.