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Challenge: Finding Your Village

'It takes a village' but what if you are in a NEW village and don't know the population?

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As I type this, I am sitting here wondering if noon is too early to pour a glass of wine. If I were to meet a girlfriend for a light lunch and Moscato downtown, it would not be considered too early. Yet, the very fact that I am alone in my house, makes pouring a glass now seems to damn early and dare I say, too damn sad.

You see I have no girlfriend to go have this fantasy lunch and wine date with. In fact I have no girlfriends period. No coworkers. No classmates. No peers. No freaking village. It seems as if all I have been reading online these days is “it take a village.” To do what, you wonder? To raise your children, to be your support system, to be your sounding board, to pick up the slack, to hold your hand, to cry with you and/or laugh with you (or both at the same time if you are really lucky), or to just BE. The thing is, I totally agree. I have been part of the population in a great village. I have done all of the above and then some. I loved my village, for all their faults, their petty jealousies, their silly judgments, their craziness and their awesomeness. I loved them because they were MY village. And now they are not.

You see, I moved. Not just across town to a new little village but across the country to a new village full of a population that I don’t know and they don’t know me. My husband and I decided to take a job and start a new life and have new experiences with a a new village. So we packed up my teenage daughters (pay attention to the word "teenage" as it will come back to make this whole editorial make more sense) and moved from Kansas to North Carolina. Exciting! We were going to put down our roots and start life in a new village with a new population of villagers! Except that we didn’t. I didn’t, rather. I did not expect that.

I am a personable chick. I love life. I am sarcastic, witty, fun, and well ... clearly humble about it all. I have a ton of interest and energy. I work out and stay in shape but I love to veg out on trash TV and day drink too. See, who wouldn’t want to be friends with me? Apparently, just about everyone. But not because they don’t like me, because they don’t know me. No one knows me in this new village. Let me tell you it is not for lack of trying.

I forgot the one common thread that pulls us mothers of villages together. Our beautiful children...babies, toddlers, kids...but not teenagers (light bulb moment). I have two teenage daughters who are pretty independent. They are content with mom and dad raising them and no longer need a village of mothers, fathers, faux aunts, uncles and cousins. If they don’t need the village, then I don’t GET the village.

It is nearly impossible to meet to friends without the benefit of having a small child. No mommy and me type groups, no meeting someone at the playground, no meeting while volunteering in your child’s school, no “hey, I think our children are friends…” No village.

*pausing to pour myself that glass of wine (12:30 is better than 12:00 and this is depressing to write)

I have tried. I have gone to bookstores to strike up conversations about books, I have gone to yoga and tried to break someone’s zen by talking too much, I have shopped at stores and struck up any conversation I can at the check-out (love that shirt!), I have gotten highlights I don’t need in hopes someone there will love them strike up conversation, I have gone out and attempted to chat up a gal at a bar (half the village thinks I am a lesbian I’m sure) and nada. Not a single lead. Not a single phone number. Not a single person to add to my new village.

Sure, I can get a job and try to meet people that way. I have two degrees and have decided I don’t want to use either of them (sorry about that 45 grand, honey) so I look for little mindless jobs to meet my village. I have found a few but their hours don’t align with the needs of my teenagers who DO need me but do NOT need a village. So I always pass. I have tried online dating for friends, and yes, that is a thing. I quickly noticed it’s one of those things that women sign up for but rarely follow through on. Probably out of sheer embarrassment for needing it, like myself. *sigh...pours more wine

Well, there you go! Since I have no village I am pouring my heart into an online community of my cyber-village. In hopes another mom might read this and think, I am not alone! There are other lonely mothers of teenagers, whose husbands work too much but they do not, who are new to an area and who are tired of reading about your damn villages! I'm not really, ladies, I am just jealous.

Chin up, loners! Here’s hoping we run into each other one day and can sense the loneliness in one another and become each other's new population.

Jennifer Thomas-Middleton

Freelance Writer (Lonely Mom)

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