Sunday, August 21, 2011

Loneliness is a place that I know well. It's the distance between us and the space inside ourselves. ~ Annie Lennox

We arrived here in Michigan on the 5th of March, I believe it was.  We've been here almost 5 1/2 months now.  I can honestly say I haven't been homesick or lonely yet. 

It's a funny thing how once upon a time I was very shy and unsure of myself.  Self-confidence wasn't something I possessed at any level, to any degree.  I have written many times about my "epiphany" year of 1999 where my whole world imploded on me and I was face-to-face with a person I didn't know at all any more...myself.  Somehow, somewhere, I'd lost the basic essence of me.

That's a very scary place to arrive at in a person's life.  I was 45 years old.  You would have thought I'd have it all together.  But spiritually...emotionally...physically...mentally...I was scraping the bottom of the barrel so hard yet coming up empty.  My doctor had told me if I didn't begin to change a lot of things in life I wouldn't be seeing too many more sunsets.  That drew me up short and zapped me right between the eyes.  I began to look and I began to see.  And I sure wasn't very happy with what I found myself confronted with.  A woman functioning on nothing but fumes.  I had nothing left to give anyone.  Which means I had even less for me.

Thus began a long and arduous climb out of the pits.  I felt like I scraped and slithered back and forth for a while, one foot forward, two feet back.  But I persevered and realized one day I'd made it.  I no longer feel I'm a doormat.  I no longer say 'yes' all the time even when I'm dying to say 'no'.  I no longer despair if the whole world doesn't love me.  Do I love everyone I come across?  No.  So if someone doesn't become my best friend five minutes after I meet them, I can let it go.  I don't sit and worry and fret about what's wrong with me if they're not responding.  Life is too short to be worried about other people's shortcomings.  

Coming to a new part of the country to live, almost 2400 miles from everything I knew, everything familiar and dear to me, as we've settled into our new neighborhood I haven't sat back and waited for people to come to me.  I've approached every single one of them myself.  And I've shook hands and said, "Hi, I'm Kris from Portland, Oregon, and I wanted to say hello and tell you how much I love it here!"  And do you know, I haven't had one negative response from any of them.  If anything, I think they're thankful I've broken the ice.  And nearly all of them have told me how hard it is to get to know the neighbors, tho everyone is basically friendly.  We have one couple who live next door and everyone has told me how standoffish they are so I've made a special point of talking to the wife.  She was out in the back yard the other day with her little twins and Dylan and Cooper were talking her ear off over the fence.  I went over to them and told her, "I hope they're not bothering you!"  and she said no, she loved it!  She said after living there 6 years she'd never had anyone to talk with over the fence before and it was wonderful.  So there you go.  She's shy.  Nothing else.

There's a scripture about how, if you want to have friends,  you need to show yourself friendly.  I never understood that before my epiphany year.  It's one of life's most important lessons I've learned.  I don't have to be lonely.  I don't have to be homesick.  All I have to do is be friendly.  And it works just about every time.


Betty said...

People say that about me too, that I¨m "stand offish". I completely understand that woman and I´m so glad you went up to her.

Rob-bear said...

Your story is so wonderful, Miss Kris. About your change. About it's impact now.
Blessings and Bear hugs.

Judy said...

Oh, Kris. I am soooo glad that there is you.
I'm one of those stand-offish types myself.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

A message everyone needs to hear again, and again, and again. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Yea, being a quiet person can make others think you are not friendly. Glad you are enjoying living there! We do enjoy some parts of living here in the South too...people are generally pleasant, even if not wanting to be your best friend.

LC said...

Hooray for your perseverance in "climbing out of the pit" after your epiphany. I have had such moments, although not as dramatic, and the climb has always been arduous but worthwhile in the change in my outlook or behavior or both.

I always envied those folks who gave testimonies in church whose "moment" was like being struck with lightening and everything immediately changed.

Mine were definitely like your experience: craping, lithering back and forth, one foot forward and two feet back until one day I would realize with amazement that I had made it. A new brighter path had been worn among my brain cells and into my spirit. You always inspire!

Isabella said...

This is such an inspirational story, I'm so glad you shared it with us. How do you like living in Michigan? I moved from Colorado to Wisconsin a year ago and I'm just dying to move back to Co.
Sweet Zen Life

TWBookmiss said...

Kris! how I understand! I am so self-conscience at times and over talkative at others (a sure sign of low self esteem) Moving to Portland I thought! in a year or two I would have friends and hang out with them all the time and do things. NOT! Underneath I knew that it wasn't going to happen, but I was hopeful. I have found things that have given me great confidence. I produced and directed the last two Easter Dramas, (All with God's help!) I was thrilled at the response. I help with the lights in the front of the Tab for the Christmas on the Campgrounds.
A huge job I would love to hand to someone else! {grin}
I hope to find someone that will step beyond the casual friend and say "This is our time come on we are going!" {insert song "Beautiful Dreamer"
It is so much fun reading your blogs.

HORIZON said...

This was a good post Kris- l think there are so many woman out there who would relate to this- l did. Many of us have reached that point in life when we have no more to give. I am so glad though that you pulled through and are here now and doing so well.
You have a deeper insight into so many things and l am so glad to know you - l wish l was your neighbour. I'd be in for a cuppa every other day ;)