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Monday, March 28, 2011

Relocating

Friendships when you relocate can be difficult.

Seven years ago I moved from Kansas City to New York City.  Big move when you just compare the cities but there's so much more to things when you relocate.  Start with the basics, you have to learn where things are, how to get around, where the best local places are, what places you should avoid, a new job, a new house.......I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

Friendships..............well, that's a different story.  My friendships in Kansas City have changed, which is to be expected.  Yet it's harder to meet people in NY because I'm no longer in school and for the last five years I've worked from home.  I wasn't anticipating that.

When I moved I started this transformation that I guess I expected yet was surprised by it.  I know that doesn't make much sense but I'm sure you can understand.  I knew that certain things would change because of my new surroundings but I thought who I "was" would stay the same.   WRONG!  My moral compass still points in the same direction and I still have the same values but in a city that moves fast I lost what little patience I did have.  Yet, because there are so many more people and we don't all speak the same language I've learned to have more patience with people individually.  Driving.......well, Kansas City is the Road Rage Capital of the World and in NY it's just about being aggressive.  Here, people want to get where they're going and if you pissed them off they'd just like to get in front and be done with you but in Kansas City they want to get in front and then slow down and piss you off in the same way you pissed them off.

I still want the same things out of my friendships but it's different and after a lot of soul searching I think I finally figured it out.
My Kansas City Friends.......
Some of my friendships couldn't handle the distance.  Even someone that I thought would be standing by my death bed; unfortunately the friendship was split by the miles between us.
Some of my friendships have maintained and there have been visits between both parties and they're solid friendships.
Some of my friendships were people that I knew but weren't too close with and now, even though we're 1200 miles apart we've found a new connection and are closer than ever.
Lastly, some of my friendships started after I moved and even though we're so far apart we've built a strong bond that I do believe will stand the test of time.

That brings me to my New York friends........
I don't have as many categories for them.  lol
The first difference in meeting people here is that I'm not from here so I think differently about things, even simple things like "food", or it could be religious, ethnic or sexual differences.  Those differences were things that I thought would be no big deal but boy was I wrong.  Plus, life is very different for me now (as it is for everyone) I'm no longer in school or living in my first apartment where everyone came over weekly for a Game Night.  Now we're all adults, with Partners, JOBs, Children and bills.  A lot of people's friendships change just by the simple act of growing up but when you compound that with changing cities it's even more of a change.  You learn that it's not about the quantity of friends you have, but it's about the quality of the friendships you keep.

I don't regret moving and wouldn't change it for the world but I listen to people who say "I'll move, no big deal." and I think about my situation.  

I started over in a new city and I started over in every aspect of my life.  A new house, a new job, new favorite places to eat and new friendships.  I still have the same family but with me moving even the family dynamic changed.

It took me a while to realize that what I thought was me being homesick wasn't that at all.  It was me wanting the past back.  I wanted my friends to come over for Game Night on Saturday night, I wanted to skip work one day and go some place fun with a friend for a lot of laughter.  It doesn't matter where I live, those things don't happen like they did before.  They're still possible, just not on a weekly basis.  The past is the past and it has made me who I am but I am in charge from this point forward. 

Does this mean I passed the test?  Does this mean I grew up?. 

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