Normally, I don’t really consider myself a pessimist but we live in some difficult times. You know what the problems of the world are and each of us might rank them differently in order of importance (or concern). Today was the first sunny (not super foggy, drizzly) day so I went out on our little balcony and just sat there with the morning sun beaming down on me. It felt good to be outside and to be quiet. I wrote in my journal.
Although we still don’t know where we will eventually be living when my husband finds a job, I do want to do a lot of things differently than when we moved here. We never really connected to a community of like-minded people. Living in a high-rise can make that difficult. We rent so we don’t go to owners’ meetings. There are 25 floors and 3 elevators and so many people coming and going that I’m never sure who actually lives here. The only people we know the names of are our next door neighbors. Our building is in more of a business area than residential, except for apartment/condo high-rises, so there are no waving-at-your-neighbor-across-the-street opportunities.
We found a Jewish minyan where the people are mainly our age and who have been very generous in sharing shabbat and Jewish holidays with us. But it is truly a d0-it-yourself community, with no Rabbi and while we have services and morning minyans–all member led, I miss the educational opportunities one usually finds in a synagogue. (We tried lots of synagogues first, but the people at the minyan were the most welcoming.)
I went back to school (getting a Master’s) which has kept me busy with studying. My husband’s position and department did not get the level of support that he was promised when we came here. Although he really built up the program he was hired to direct, he finally realized that he was never going to get the funding from the powers that be to hire the staff needed to do what he was actually hired to do. He came home discouraged more and more frequently.
Over the time we’ve been here, we both feel that we didn’t do what we needed to do to feel like we belonged here. That isn’t totally our fault, as explained above, but we could’ve and should have put ourselves out there more than we did. Life doesn’t come to you; you have to go out and get it. Because it is likely that we will be here through most of the summer, we want to enjoy what is left of our time here. We’ll take advantage of the many fairs, farmers’ markets, museums, city stuff and nature stuff as much as we can.
We learned a lot about what to do and what not to do when moving someplace new. We aren’t young parents with kids in school anymore so we have to work harder to find friends and build a community for ourselves, as middle-aged people. I am optimistic about being able to do that wherever we land. But in the meantime, we will do more here too.