Lonely teardrops


Alright! In three weeks you can all call me a Mistress in Magic (Master of International Marketing – from HULT International Business School). I’m counting down the minutes till I can revisit my stuff in storage, resort my wardrobe and repack to move back to London in the Fall. Strangely, it feels like I’m getting ready to go home when I’ve only lived there for nine months. London lingers in my heart.

I don’t know if I mentioned previously about the loneliness I’ve felt adjusting to life in new cities with virtually no close friends… I know we talked about how to build a network, but depending on how you draw strength, find community and navigate foreign dating cultures it can feel like too much. I’m a sociable person, I make friends easily (most of the time), I am rarely want for company – but there are moments when you move that can seem infinitely silent, empty…lonely.

Those moments are natural and prove that you’re not a robot. You are moving at a pace where it’s difficult to find tenderness from others, you have to create it yourself. With that in mind, I thought I’d drum up a few suggestions on how to acknowledge and live through those lonely moments and maybe find some quiet resolve in that pursuit.

First things first…some questions to ask yourself:
Is this loneliness or previously ignored unhappiness and frustration?
Unhappiness and ongoing frustration might be better dealt with talking to a professional rather than reading a blog post by a schmo like me.

Did you drink last night?
Alcohol, shockingly, is a depressant and will likely make you feel tender, sensitive and sad for no reason. If you’re feeling particularly down, try drinking less and see if it makes a difference.

Are you hanging out with sad people?
My brother (who has some tremendous wisdom sometimes) says that you become who you’re hanging out with. If your friends are particularly negative, maybe try cultivating some friendships with more positive people.

Okay, once you’ve asked these questions, the next step is acknowledge how you’re feeling and let it go (as best you can). I have a few suggestions on how to cope in those moments that work for me. I encourage you to find what works for you though.

1. Be kind to yourself – don’t beat yourself up about bullshit that doesn’t matter. Chill out. Recognize you need some down time.
2. Be indulgent (within reason) – I buy myself nice flowers, or a modest but delicious meal.
3. Say affirmations or set intentions for a day/week/month – this may feel weird to some, but I find it tremendously helpful.
4. Identify your restorative friends – the ones who require no effort and are uplifting to be around. Call them and see if they are free for dinner or a chat.
5. If someone gives you a nice note or sends you a nice email – keep it, print it, whatever – read it if you’re feeling down. I find those notes grounding.

Take care of yourself and I hope to see you in some great city of the world soon. Until then, here’s some Jackie Wilson. Enjoy.

Playing for keeps – moving abroad and other musings


I’ve been thinking about community a lot lately. How you build a life? Friendship requirements. Worthiness. I moved to London with a motley crew of acquaintances and find myself feeling more and more settled. I keep asking myself, “what’s changed?”

I’ve had a couple of friends ask for some tips on moving continents so here are a couple that seem relevant this week:

1. You’re never ready. You’ll repack your bag at least four times and you’ll forget at least five things. “Man, if only I had that *insert item of clothing/or piece of loved junk here*.” It’s ok. It’s just stuff, you can buy/sell/replace stuff. Or friends can bring it with them on follow up trips.
2. Take people up on their offers of friendship. If your cousin, friend, colleague, casual acquaintance, barista or dry cleaner offer to connect you with a friend or relative of theirs – TAKE IT! You never know. So and so’s bff from when they were 12 could turn out to be your fav brunch buddy in a new place. It’s like when you see someone knows people you know on Facebook. They are vetted and are less likely to be cray cray.
3. I know you hate ‘cold calling’ people, but get over it. Email those weak tie potential friends. Go to a Meetup and then judge whether or not you want to join from a corner in the bar. If the meetup is lame, make friends with the bartender (strategic friendship).
4. Put some work in. Friendships and business relationships take effort. You need to put some time and love into fostering that connection. Check in to see how people are doing by email, text or phone. Whether or not you can get together, it shows you’re thinking of them.

That’s my poetic waxing on a Friday friend. Be indulgent. Be kind to yourself take some risks. Here’s some ukulele music for you.