Riding home on my beloved scooter, having a slight struggle with the very outer edges of my eyelids, due to exhaustion, I considered:
This is the end of a very heavy week of work, the first full week of school since it started last week… It is Friday evening, and I want to go meet up with friends and do something to celebrate the completion of such a week of work… I want that happy hour evening, that friends dinner, that wine night or movie night or game night…. that night of friendship and release…
Instead, I am heading home to prepare and eat my dinner, to shower, and then to go to sleep… and I don’t even have anyone to whom to relay this information – I was not invited to any of those desired Friday evening and night activities… I’m not even sure who might have invited me if I were…
This feeling, this experience, I notice, is familiar… to when?
I believe to the last time I was teaching full-time in the US…
I work hard all week, throwing myself wholly into school (aka work), staying as late as it takes to accomplish everything I want and need accomplished for the next day or week, and then I head home on Friday afternoon, in an almost rush to free myself of the school and the feeling of needing to work…, and I head to where?
Home…. to eat and shower and go to bed…
I usually don’t mind doing this – in fact, I’ve done it multiple nights these past couple weeks, and I have been grateful for it, and have even turned down an idea of going to spend time with a friend here or there – I wanted to go home and be alone and go to bed to be prepared for tomorrow…
Fridays, however, have a way of reminding me that I am not normal, and of suggesting to me that I am missing out on one of the best parts of being an adult.
Personally, I loved having ultimate frisbee on Friday afternoons in college, where we all could release the stress from the week, free our minds and bodies, and have a wonderful time with other people having a wonderful time all together… and I long for something like this.
I did not activity (yes, I have made that into a verb here) with almost any of them outside of Friday ultimate frisbee, because we weren’t exactly friends, but we had camaraderie and mutual interest in playing ultimate together as a cap to the week, and that was all that mattered.
For me, it is the community aspect that I miss so much, the piece for which I long on a Friday night like this one.
My week has been good, but full of work and high schoolers, and I want some adult camaraderie and love now to finish off processing whatever my mind needs to process to be finished with the week…
I know that this is not what I would find at a bar, or with a group out drinking their troubles away.
It only minutely lessons the pain of feeling so alone in the world, however.
In these experiences of feelings of desperation at my own failure to have friends and activities for a Friday evening and night, (or any time, but they most often happen around Friday night no-plans nights) I notice an extreme desire to get anybody (almost, anyway) on the phone to talk to me…
But I know that it won’t fulfill what I am seeking, and so I make an effort not to call anyone – it seems somehow unfair to them, only to call them because I’m in need, not because I genuinely want to talk with that person in particular…
I don’t even call my mom, because all I really want is for her to hug and to hold me and make me feel loved, but I know she likely will be home, watching some show or other with my stepdad, and will want to get back to watching that ASAP – she is really usually only good for talking during the day, if I want to hang out with her over the phone (or in person)… it only would make me feel even less loved.
And those were my ponderings as I drove home this evening, hoping to avoid the imminent rain storm that seemed almost too close for comfort on a scooter.
I did as I’d planned, visiting the grocery store after I swapped the scooter for a car, and then returning home for dinner and a shower, and then getting ready for bed.
I did end up calling my mom just a bit ago, but it was for a genuine question, and we discussed that briefly and then hung up, my lingering being quite minimal for once, as I was conscious of my desire to be with my emotions on this, and not to aim for escape by talking with my mom.
Alas, here I am, still having spoken to almost no one, but having listened to almost two hours of my current audiobook while I was cooking and eating and cleaning up.
And, mostly, I feel okay.
Yes, I still want to have someone with whom to check in, whom to love, and on whom I can rely to love me… so I don’t feel amazing, exactly, but I’m okay.
Better, actually, since I didn’t call anyone – this is a new step for nights like this one, and I think it is a really good step for me and my life.
And, on that, I’ll sign off, so I can stretch and read and sleep ASAP!