I’m just getting over the flu.
The last time I had it was 2012 and I was knocked out for two weeks, so much so the doctors were concerned I had malaria I was that weak (I had just got back from India, the two are connected!).
Being this sick is the first time I have been so in my new home and last Friday it caused me to hyperventilate as I was too weak to drive or walk anywhere for supplies. I text a friend who dropped off some painkillers at least, which was a God send.
Speaking of God, the Almighty must have known I needed someone and a friend of mine was in the area from up north had extra time to stay in Birmingham so she volunteered to look after me and I’ll be eternally grateful (because she’ll constantly remind me lol!).
And as we all do when we’re sick we watch a lot of TV in between napping to keep our minds of our predicament.
I caught up on some films and Netflix shows, had Friends a lot on in the background (which I’ll get to later) but what hooked me without me falling asleep was the ITV documentary about Harry & Meghan. Now I’m not one for watching the news and I don’t really know why people hate her (we all know it’s because she’s black, let’s not pretend) but I resonated with her a lot.
Now, unlike Meghan I only moved 100 odd miles away from what I call my home, away from my parents and comfortable life, to live and work in a city I vaguely knew, buy a house and try to survive here. And that’s all I’ve been doing in two years, surviving, one thing after another after another.
Now image, how hard it must be to uproot and move countries to a family so well-known you have no moment of privacy to be vulnerable and even when you are people call you fake?
A lot of Asian girls do this, move away for marriage, not just within the same country but across the world. Why does no one talk about how challenging it is to uproot your life, honestly? Not just the whole living with in-laws thing, but getting a new job, re-building friendships, making a life for yourself?
For me, being sick was the harsh reality that I think a lot of us singletons feel in our late 30s and that our lives are not what is portrayed on shows like Friends and Sex and the City.
The idea that people are constantly coming and going from your place of residence and checking in, cleary the city life dream that’s been (mis)-sold to many an individual.
I’ve probably had a handful of visits over the last 8 months (not including family when there’s been a family function), but no one just pops by because they wanted to and were thinking of me. And you know what that makes adult life? Fucking lonely.
Especially when you live in a city where you haven’t been raised, are not part of the community and no matter how hard you try and connect with people it’s on a superficial level, because deep down you are nobody’s go to choice for wanting to hang out. It’s not all coffee shops, nights out on the razz and sexy one night stands or meeting cute guys.
It’s more go to work, try and fit in a gym session and eat a meal at least twice a week that’s healthy and you don’t just shove in the oven because you’re too knackered to cook, sleep and repeat. I mean when is there time for coffee with friends and sexy dates?
Social media doesn’t help, you see stories of people with their families and friends always out and I spend 90% of my weekends by myself.
I’m not the only one who feels like this.
Others have shared with me they also feel this way, they’ve been single, much younger and much older, divorced, in relationships and with kids so why is that?
Do we have an epidemic? Lonely people just surviving and not really living? Have we just lost the art of connecting on a basic human level and checking in on friends, face to face, just calling around for a cuppa without making an appointment first? All because it’s much much easier to WhatsApp someone ‘you okay?’ and get a fake response?
When did life become so demanding we’d rather watch each other’s lives on a screen in our hands than the ones around us?
I’m guilty of it, I’m also guilty of wanting people to accept me into the fold and that’s not quite materialised either, so I step back and don’t try as hard, self-preservation is key to my survival.
Maybe one day it won’t be so hard to connect with a human who wants nothing more than to be around me without it feeling like a chore.
Have a good day xo