A Steady Job In A Different State
Karen settled down at home for the fourth week in a row to follow her usual routine, dinner in front of the television before bed. Maybe a few pages of a book to digest as well after her nightly shower. There was a part of her that felt she should be satisfied and content. She lived in a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood and had a stable job now. But she wasn't satisfied. She was lonely.
After a thousand applications and a hundred anxiety-filled nights wherein Karen wondered if she would ever find a steady job, she finally managed to get hired working in an office building. She now had insurance, paid vacation, and a salary like she had always wanted but it came at a cost. The job was in a different state and she had had to relocate and leave all of her friends and family behind. Now she had no one to socialize with. She tried to connect with fellow employees at her new job, but she was discovering that it was hard to make friends when you shared no history. It was hard to connect and bond on a deeper level beyond casual gossip and conversations about lunch and the weather. It was very hard.
Falling Into A Deep Depression
The job she had longed so much for started to become tedious and mundane. What was the point of receiving a steady paycheck when she had no one to share dinner dates with? Or late night trips to the pier? Or shopping sprees on the few coveted days off? Days started to seem as if they were drifting into each other – all the same and all monotonous. Hours, minutes, and seconds seemed longer. Karen felt herself falling into a deep depression but there was nothing she could do to stop it.
Tasks that used to seem simple began to seem arduous. After a long day at work, she lacked the energy to do basic chores like laundry, vacuuming, or washing the dishes. What was the point of keeping her place neat and tidy anyway? No one was coming over to see it. Her self-care began to drop off a bit too. Sometimes, on the weekends, she would go two days without showering. She felt as if she was sinking slowly into quicksand but she no longer had the energy to care.
Seek Happiness In Five Months
It was during one weekend in which she lacked the desire to even get out of the bed that she realized something needed to change. She couldn't go on like this. And if that change meant finding a way to be happy in her new environment or quitting her job and moving back home to her old friends and her family, she resolved herself to do whatever made her happy. So with that resolution in mind, she gave herself five months. If she still wasn't happy at her new job in five months, she would move back home. If she could find a way to be happy where she was in five months, she would stay. To seek happiness in five months, she started to form a plan.
First, she decided that she would maintain good self-care habits no matter how hard the task seemed. She would create a routine of waking up at a regularly scheduled time, taking a shower, and getting dressed. She found that having a self-imposed time deadline of five months to make some kind of change in her life actually helped as a motivation tool. And on top of taking care of herself, she decided that she would reach out to more people to try to form the friendships and social connections that she was missing from her old life. She started this process by using the social app, Meetup.
Karen knew that a great way to work through her new feelings of loneliness was to talk to someone about them. But her friends weren't there with her, so she couldn't talk to them. And talking to them online about how much she missed them would only cause her to miss them more. She also didn't feel quite ready to visit a therapist. So she decided to host her own event every week at her home, asking anyone in the area who had similar feelings of displacement and loneliness to join her for snacks, chatting, and maybe a movie. She was quite surprised when her event turned out to be a hit with seven people showing interest in coming to meet up that very week. For the first time in a long time, Karen felt excited.
When the week of the meetup arrived and everyone showed up, they shared food, drinks, and laughter. They also shared stories of how it felt to live in the city alone, away from their friends and families. Karen was relieved to hear other people put into words all of the things that she had been feeling and going through. She was relieved to know that she wasn't the only one who had fallen into a rut and needed help getting back out. She no longer felt like a failure or simply unable to appreciate the things she had when others had it much worse. She realized she had a right to feel the things she did and process her feelings in her own way.
When the meetup was finished successfully and Karen realized she had hosted an enjoyable evening, she felt a strong sense of accomplishment and pride. She was proud of her home – which was clean and presentable – and she was proud of the fact that she had managed to stay engaged in the social environment she had created while engaging everyone else as well. The other people seemed to enjoy the event too and they agreed to continue their weekly meetups. There were even a couple of women in the group that Karen felt she related to very well. She had the feeling that they could possibly grow to be great friends.
Life Always Finds A Way Of Working Itself Out
And that's exactly what happened. At the end of five months, Karen gained friends and managed to find a way to socialize in a way that brought her joy after a long day's work. And she used her vacation days to take trips home to see her friends and family. Life always finds a way of working itself out.