I am lonely and I have no friends
OK so this is a subject really close to my heart. WTF is wrong with society these days? What I'm talking about is how separate we are and how unbelievably disconnected and unconnected we are in so many ways. Before I go off on full-rant, let me explain what I'm talking about. Social Isolation.
Right so the internet and social media are very marvellous things, they enable us to be connected to the bigger world, to have friends and colleagues all over the globe and to make connections that we would never have made any other way.
- I have made a lot of incredible connections and friends online and spend a ton of time on social media and I still feel disconnected.
- I work hard and have a crazily demanding day job, with a really close team who are a bit like my work family and I still feel lonely.
- I have two very beautiful, close coaching buddies, we are even starting an amazing new venture together (you know who you are ladies), and I still feel like I have no friends.
This isn't my personal sob story but I think we have a problem folks, I really do.
My life has been blessed in many ways, trust me there have been some seriously shitty bits over the years, but on the whole I have lived a privileged and blessed life. I am 44 years’ old, I have two ex-husbands (we'll skip over them), two gorgeous daughters, a small but close family, a great job and a steadily growing business where I get to do what I love - help women live courageous lives as they truly are. Oh and I'm training to be a Kinesiologist. And somehow I still feel disconnected.
Somewhere in all the moving around, divorcing stupid-asses and changing jobs I seem to have ended up not really being part of a real community. In spite of some really great people being in my life, I don't have a "person" that I confide in (if we exclude my mum that is, as she is my "person", but lives 100+ miles away). I also don't have a small but amazing group of friends that I could call on a Friday night and scoff pizza with at the drop of a hat. Somehow modern life has meant I have got more and more separate and ended up pretty much by myself.
Now don't get me wrong I am a natural introvert so I'm loving a bit of my own company. I am single (and very happy about that fact), but real in-person connection is missing in my life and this year I have really started to realise just how important it is. Life is soooo busy and stressful these days and we're all head-down getting on with it, you've got to wonder whether I'm alone (I know I'm not). We may have tons of people in our lives and we may be doing loads of stuff with our lives, but if you're in your 30s or 40s and like me, career and relationships have been a big thing, there's a good chance you've stuck your head above the parapet long enough to look around lately and wonder where your people are.
In recent months my life has been all about trying to create more genuine, in-person connection. It’s tough when you work hard and you’re building a business so I’ve had to get a bit creative. Here are a few examples:
- I started my Kinesiology training a few months ago and a training with an amazing group of 16 other women. These women are definitely “my people” and I get to connect with them one weekend a month as well as in person practice sessions.
- I have moved into a beautiful Cotswold stone cottage a few months ago and my neighbour is a lady in her 70s called Val. I had dinner with Val last Friday, she swears like a sailor, made me drink Rioja and tell her all my secrets. I like Val.
- The beautiful coaching buddies I mentioned above and I have agreed to meet up once a month to work on a joint project in 2018 (a project that’s all about in-person connection). Oh and we head to Australia in 4 weeks for 3 solid weeks of connecting with some of my favourite people on the planet. Now that’s a whole lot of connection.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s tough these days to make genuine connections with real women and get the chance to talk about things that have meaning, things that matter to you and to the world-at-large. If you’re lucky and you have tons of connection in your life, I’m so pleased for you lovely, nurture those relationships they’re invaluable. If like me, it’s a bigger challenge, try taking some baby steps to seek out your people where you can as I’m 100% sure it’s one of the missing pieces in our lives.