I'm lonely. I go out everyday when hubby is at work. I've sent off endless job and volunteer applications, I've met up with lots of people for coffee and lunches, but I haven't found myself a friend yet.
In the UK I had friends who lived on the street, friends I'd made in places I'd lived previously and kept in touch with. I popped into friends houses unannounced and they popped into ours. We met for shopping, going for a walk, for the kids to play in the park and for coffees out just for the sake of it, just because we could.
I'm still in touch with these friends, I visit when I'm in the UK, we write letters, face book, some of them have been out to visit us, either on their own or with their families. I value these friendships. They've been made through a share of common interests, through the children, who despite going their different ways with schools and careers, we've stayed in touch and remained very good friends, despite our lives changing and with the huge distance there is now between us.
In South Africa I had friends I met through volunteering, very good friends, but our relationship was cut short by us relocating to Dubai. We are still very good friends, we write, whats app daily. I'm going back to visit for a month later this year and 1 set of friends are staying with us on their way to Europe, they don't need to visit Dubai other than the fact we live here and they miss us and vice versa.
It took around 18 months to start making friends in South Africa, I went out for coffees, lunches, joined groups and met people and although like now, everyone is very nice, helpful and supportive, it's not the same as a having a handful of close friends, on your doorstep, that just pop in unannounced, who don't mind what state yours or their house is in, if they're on their way out and you just go along with them, whether it's the kids football or just a dental appointment.
I'm 44, my children have left home, including the youngest at 16 who has been in UK boarding school for the past 2 years. I have 3 very good friends in the UK, whose children are now adults. I have three very good friends who still have school aged children. I have 1 good friend who doesn't have children. We are all a similar age, live a similar life style (despite us living in Dubai) we are at the other end of the phone for emergencies, we are more than often the first people we turn to with our news. My friends all know one another and some of them are friends together. But their not here.
I need a friend to come to pick up the phone within a few minutes of reading this and tell me to get showered and dressed and meet them for a coffee, like NOW. Not arrange a coffee in a week's time, not a rearranged appointment, not a networking session.
I've got plenty of things to do. It's 10am, I've prepared tonights dinner, I've run the hoover round, made the bed, watered the garden and walked the dog. The 16yo is here till the end of August, so I have company in the day, someone here that will actually talk back to me, unlike the cat and dog.
I'm networking daily, I'm making contacts, going places out of my comfort zone.
I'm spending today contacting more volunteer organisations, working with children in schools, children with disabilities, football clubs and other sports organisations. I've applied to work with animal organisations, cats, dogs, turtles. I've adapted my CV to meet the needs of the organisation, sent copies and covering letters to the Embassies. I'm co-hosting a linky for the school holidays, I have my daily photo prompts that get me out and about. I'm blogging, fixing things, making things, sorting things.
I have a bill to pay, yes I can pay it online but that reduces the opportunities to meet people. By going out to pay the bill, I get out the house, despite the heat, I can have a coffee, do a spot of people watching.
I make eye contact, I smile at people, I'll pick a busy cafe where I need to ask if it's ok to share a table and who knows? maybe today I meet someone who is on their own and is looking for a friend also.