I often feel the same way. I know that people think I have a perfect life and a perfect family, but the truth is, I have a good life and a family that, while we love one another and enjoy each other's company most of the time, have very different needs and hobbies and passions. I have a couple of good friends here that share some my interests and thankfully I am able to get together with them fairly often, but it's never really enough. We don't live near each other; one has three kids and we all work and have many other obligations.
My husband is fantastic but he doesn't share my interests, and to be fair, I don't share his either. We manage, regardless, out of a shared value set and respect for each other's time and a profound commitment to each other and our family, but there isn't really anything we do together in the way that I see other couples sharing. He bikes, I walk. He relaxes with television; I choose books. Even our taste is movies is miles apart. It's weird how you can build a life together, despite these differences.
Both my children are growing up and starting to pull away, Karin most dramatically. I can still get Martin to do things with me, but I can see the divide widening. It's a strange, saddening feeling and makes me sympathize even more with my own mother, whose children are all very far away from her physically.
When I was in junior high, my best friend and I wrote reams of stories about our adult lives and how they would be. We imagined that we'd always be together. That we always be able to spend time together; our days together, laughing and doing the same things that we did when we were 13 and 14, despite falling in love or having boyfriends, or marrying. Silly, really, considering we were all children of military families and knew the drill. Deep down, we knew the chances of us living anywhere near each other when we reached retirement age was a daydream. And it's come to pass, as well. My oldest friend is in Oregon. The others? Kansas, Florida, Massachusetts, California, basically the four corners of the map.
My best girlfriend from high school is in Virginia. My best girlfriend from college is in Michigan. My best friends from Chicago are still there. Even some of the friends that I have been closest to here in Sweden have moved away. And there's no guarantee that the ones I still have here will be here forever, either. People move, it's a fact. Things change. The dream of having people to share things with, to do things with...well, having children doesn't solve that. Even having a husband doesn't necessarily bridge the gap, no matter how much you have in common and how much you love one another.
Don't get me wrong; I'm a social creature. I belong to an organization that regularly allows me to meet and make friends that share my interests. I keep my time filled. But sometimes I think how nice it would be to go antiquing with my mom whenever I want. To play cribbage with my sister, whenever I want. To live spontaneously with friends nearby who are happy to say yes when I ask them to go with me somewhere or do something with me that I know my family will groan about if I ask them.
I'm thinking about this more and more as the years pass and friends become more important. Even now, as I write this, I'm by myself in the house. I don't mind, exactly, but, still, there it is. Karin is in Malmö with friends watching a soccer game. Martin is in Lund watching a movie with a friend. Anders is in Germany on a work trip. I could fill my time in a myriad of ways. And yet, here I am, online, talking to a bunch of voices in the wilderness, even more scattered and distant globally than one would have thought possible. I don't even know who will read this, much less respond, and yet, it's the sharing that's important. It's the knowledge that my voice, too, is one in the wilderness.
It's nice to know that, even though I'm by myself, I'm not alone.