This transient fucking place

Posted on 18.04.2012

8


I was having a talk with Marco the other night about how the newest generation of adults (this probably includes people my age, but I’m not certain) is much more ok with the idea of moving around and not living near their families. He listed his siblings as examples, and we were talking about how earlier, the goal was to grow up, get married and buy a house down the block from your parents… not so anymore, we discussed.

I was thinking that night that it was ok, since I obviously fall into this group who doesn’t feel the need to stay close to the ‘roots’ (even though technically, in my case, I am much closer to them now than I ever was in the US). I think it’s kind of silly to spend your entire life in one area and never branch out when there’s so much world to see out there.

But then yesterday, I was slapped with the realization that there is an amazing downside to this.

Those of you have been reading for a while probably know this by now, but my newer readers might not: it is insanely hard to make new friends here. This has nothing to do with the German people being cold or disinterested, because that’s only true on the most superficial level. It has everything to do with the people I’m meeting here. And I don’t necessarily NEED to make new friends, since I have such amazing and supportive friends already. But you meet people sometimes and know that you’d be a good match together. And those are the ones I’m talking about now.

I have three groups of friends:

~ I have my friends from ‘before René’, who I met on my own and have my own relationships with. This includes members of the JNK, since I knew them far before I was involved with René, who is also in the JNK. R and I have our own, separate relationships with these people.

~ Then there are my ‘friends of René’: these people are the ones I have met through my relationship to a great guy, who were HIS friends before he knew me. I consider them my friends, too, since they are, and I have no doubt that if René and I were to break up (which is not even likely, but I’m using it as an example) that they wouldn’t just ditch me. They have fully accepted me and I am so thankful for that.

~ Then there are the ‘friends I have made here (on my own)’, and they fall into two categories: The Germans and the Immigrants.

I have like TWO German friends in this group. The rest are all immigrants from wherever else in the world. There was a girl from India, a guy from S. Africa, a guy from Brazil, a lady from America, and then a guy from England. There have been more. These are just the example few, the ones I was really happy to have met. I felt like we had so much in common, and it’s always easy to bond when you’re already both kind of ‘outsiders’ in a new place. But these people are the personalities I would be drawn to anywhere, and we’ve had some great times and talks together.

All but the last two are gone, and the last two are leaving at the end of the summer.

And it’s starting to just get… typical. And I’m starting to not want to bother with the excellent people who I happen to meet through work or classes who aren’t from here.

The first three, I didn’t have a lot of time to get to know them before they left, but the feeling was there, and we liked each other, and it was sad to see them go (or to learn they had gone). But these last two, the American and the Brit, I am SO incredibly sad about them leaving. I can’t even imagine what this town is going to be like without them. I’m starting to feel a lot like the one kid in town who ISN’T going away to college. I feel like everyone is leaving and I’m going to be ‘stuck alone’. I know I won’t be alone, but you know what I mean?

And that’s not to say that I won’t also leave at some point, because maybe I will. But I feel like I’m the one who’s going to come back, and the only thing I can say to myself to make it less heartbreaking is that Skype exists now.

When Matty wanted me to move to Cali with him all those years ago, I was too afraid to go out there and not have my friends or support group nearby. That was before Skype and Facebook even existed… to move across the country meant to be almost cut off, unless you enjoyed talking on the phone or emailing constantly.

That’s not the case anymore, and I certainly won’t be ‘all alone’ here once these two stellar people are gone… but I’m having trouble dealing with the fact that just about every person I’ve met here, who is here for someone from here, ends up leaving. Everyone has their own specific reasons, like a new job for themselves or the partner, but it always ends the same.

It’s making me not want to try anymore. And I don’t want to stop trying. All of the people I’ve mentioned are too excellent to NOT have bothered with, and I’m so thankful to just KNOW them, even if we’re not going to be close by forever. It just makes me sad that our time together is so short and it always ends when I don’t expect it to.

I always told people that this was my issue with Washington, DC: it’s a transient fucking town. Everyone is there for maybe 4 or 8 years, tops, depending on who’s in office. No one bothers to really get to know anyone else, since they all seem to know that they won’t be there long. It’s no way to live, for me, and it’s not good for ‘community’. I might not need my family nearby in order to be happy, but a little sense of community is a great thing. I never felt that in DC. I felt like even the people living there (minus a select few) were tourists on borrowed time. Or they were locals who didn’t care, since they felt the same.

And now here I am in this small town in the middle of Germany, and I’m seeing it here with all of ‘us’ who’ve moved here for someone else. Because that’s the foundation fact that we all have in common: the significant other is German, and that’s why we’re here.

I don’t want to feel like everybody always leaves. It’s something I felt for a few years in college as my friends graduated and moved on or out. Maybe everyone does leave, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re ‘gone’.

I just hope I can keep in touch with these people, and/or that they want to keep in touch with me. Not even ‘want to’, that’s not enough. I hope they have the time and can put in the effort, the way that I will.

Advertisements