It’s Lonely In London

london tower bridgeLondon is pretty lonely.

When I came to London in November, I was living with one of my best friends.

When I came back after the holidays in January, my best friend had moved to Sydney, but I had my dog, Meyer, with me. (I know she is not a person, but she was excited to see me every time I walked through the door and that counts for a lot.)

Now I am back again and I had to leave Meyer back in Florida (she is living a lux life of retirement in FL w/my parents). 

I really am alone and I am lonely.

 

When I walk by a cafe and see a group of girls having a glass of wine, I am flooded with jealousy. I consider approaching them and asking if I can join them. There would probably be a 50% chance that they would welcome me with open arms or a 50% chance that would look at me like I am crazy and intrusive.

The pubs in England overflow into the streets at any day or time of the week. I am so tempted to walk up to a group and say “I love a great beer and watching a good game, can I join you?”, but I just keep walking.

I live on a really popular street for bars, restaurants, and markets. I can hear the world of socialization through my windows as it passes me by, while I stay in on a Friday night.

There is so much to do in London. I wake up each day and there is a flood of ideas of things that I could possibly do. Sometimes I go do them on my own. Sometimes I am lucky to find someone to join me, but my pool of options is pretty small (about 3 people), so I am typically left with the choice between on my own or not at all.

More often than not I feel like I am wasting this opportunity that I have in front of me and it riddles me with guilt and sadness.

 

Making new friendships is hard. I know some people compare it to dating, but I think it is more like job hunting.

First, you have to find the elusive potential friend who wants to make new friends. There are the typical suggestions of where these potential friends are hiding: alumni groups, mutual connections, meet up groups, blah blah blah. I have heard them all at this point, but just because there are 10,000 jobs posted on LinkedIn, doesn’t mean they are looking for you or that you are the right fit.

If you are lucky enough to find a potential friend, cross your fingers that you make it past the initial interview. Do they like you? Do you like them? Are they willing to welcome you into their social calendar?

If they are, you have made it to the 2nd round interview. Now you have to try to convince potential friend that you deserve the job. You might get the temp job, just a surface level friend who gets invited out for drinks or light socializing every once and awhile. But, when you have no friends, you are hoping you get the real friend job and have found someone you can get past the surface level and really be yourself. Without a real friend in this city, you can feel completely isolated and alone.

 

Friend hunting is exhausting. You are constantly trying to find new friends, work your network and get interviews.  When you chase down a potential lead only to have it not come through as you had hoped, you are left disappointed in the time you spent and in yourself.

If the process of making friends wasn’t hard enough, just getting the guts to put yourself out there is a feat in itself. It can take nerves of steel to walk into a room alone, meet a stranger, or do something on your own.

Living with depression, my mind instinctively tells me that I should isolate myself from others. If I hide away then I won’t burden anyone around me with my depression and I can relieve myself of the stress of trying to fake it when I am around people. When the depression is loud, it is a struggle to walk out the front door, but when it is quiet, I tend to forget that it is still there and something that I am feeling is not a flaw, but a symptom.

Right now, I am trying really hard not to give in and hide away from the world even though that is what my head is telling me to do. I am trying to win the friend hunt and create as many opportunities for success as possible and I know that eventually the probability will land in my favor and I will get the job.

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: I hate to follow my last post with another one that is on the less rainbows and sunshine side of this experience, but it is what is at the top of my mind at the moment. I promise, I have many informative and entertaining posts to come about my life in London.

7 Comments on It’s Lonely In London

  1. Karly
    March 26, 2017 at 11:49 pm (7 months ago)

    Hang in there love! I remember these feelings when I moved to NY. Spring/summer brings out the best in everyone and it’s right around the corner! Ps, I’m stealing your chili bar idea next weekend-I know, who eats chili in April but i love it! Xoxoxo

    Reply
  2. Rae Rae
    March 27, 2017 at 12:04 am (7 months ago)

    Bri! You are so brave. I hope my children will have the courage you do to make their own path in life.

    The friend game is hard anywhere you live! I think the first step is loving where you live and friendships will follow. I know you have heard it all but, maybe find a dog rescue there to meet people and cuddle with dogs. Rewarding and social all at the same time…

    Reply
  3. Jennifer
    March 27, 2017 at 4:02 am (7 months ago)

    Prayers and love sent to you from Me, Dylan and Rob. It is always darkest before the dawn.

    Reply
  4. Gillian
    March 28, 2017 at 1:32 am (7 months ago)

    Love you Bri We miss you tons

    Reply
  5. Jen
    March 28, 2017 at 2:40 am (7 months ago)

    I love reading your posts, whether it be the good, the bad, the ugly….. it’s raw and you are so courageous for moving and also sharing your day-to-day with us. This year I am committed to transforming myself. I have said I will have a closer relationship with God by venturing out to a new church and have taken on a 30 day new me challenge, where I eat relatively healthy superfoods to give me the energy and mental clarity I once had, pre baby.

    I don’t want to be that person that has the same peanut butter crackers and cherry coke every morning for breakfast and feel like crap the rest of the day…. or when I have a rough day not talk to the one person who can make it better! Our pastor just preached about Jesus walking on water and even during a major storm, Peter wanted to be with Jesus. In short, the lesson is for you to weather the storm, be with Jesus, start something new!

    I think your awesome Bri! Go say hi to those girls in the cafe. They will love you. (Whether the storm, try something new, be with Jesus)

    I’m rooting for you.

    Reply
  6. Peter Dehlinger
    March 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm (7 months ago)

    Your spirit and strength when facing the unknown is inspiring! It makes me so proud of you and the courage you have to speak out and share your fears. I think you embody the personal qualities of family members of the greatest generation, and they would have supported and encouraged you to press on. As you recall I was shocked when you told me of your plans, frankly because I would never have taken on this foreign adventure alone. Now I can only hope that when you boldly introduce yourself to strangers that they will quickly learn the genuine, caring, intelligent and dynamic person you are. When Mom and I were searching for the name for our then only daughter we chose Brianne which is Irish and stands for “strong, virtuous, sociable” = how right we were! You are the spark that enlightens our family, and your blog is a soul searching expose that has touched others. My heart yearns for you to find those new connections that will dispel loneliness and keep away the clouds of depression.

    Reply
  7. Kristen
    July 15, 2017 at 9:32 am (3 months ago)

    You are so right, making new friends IS like job hunting. Ha and even when you have some, you get to do it allllll over again later if you become a mom, so you can find kids that are the same age as yours who hopefully have moms that don’t annoy the hell out of you.

    London IS lonely though, I felt that way on just a 4 day trip. Are there any dog parks near by? If you can get/borrow a dog I swear by dog parks for meeting new people with minimal effort (I’m a total introvert so believe me on this haha). Or maybe even volunteer at a nearby animal shelter to take a dog for a walk? Point being, find a way of putting yourself out there by doing something that interests you.

    Chin up, buttercup. You’ll find your squad at some point.

    Reply

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