A Friend Is as a Friend Does

I was feeling a little down and very much alone in my big empty house. Sus has gone on a side trip to Vancouver so I have me and only me to contend with. I realized my “people” hadn`t really had much contact with me since my return. I know they are busy but I had to wonder what happened to my “welcome commitee” especially after they begged me to come home. I understand that it is hard for non-travelling types to understand or even fathom the shock of coming home. I also think it is difficult for people to be around someone going through this.

A fellow traveller put it perfectly when he said this is the typical (unspoken) response: “What are you feeling depressed about? You just came back from traveling (insert countries), got to meet people from all over the world, and got to experience many great things that I can only dream about. I don`t relate nor do I pity you since I`ll never be able to have that luxury.” Not that they act like this intentionally, but you know how it is when you`re caught up in the rigmarole of life and your mind is on everything else (bills, relationships, family affairs, work, taxes, illnesses, etc…), but the things that you really want to do in life.

Another friend, Tracy put it like this: “I really think that for those who don`t travel (aside from the yearly one week packaged vacation), they don`t understand how taxing and draining it can be. I mean there`s everything to deal with from loneliness, heartbreak/love, poverty, walking around lost in a new city for 3 hours with a 25lb pack, sights/senses of a new culture, language barriers….and that`s just to name a few! It`s not all sunshine and roses–but wow does it make you a stronger person.”

I am seriously tapping into online travel forums for support at the moment but that is no replacement for a good strong hug. Most of my pre-travel friends are gone for one reason or another so I last summer I began rebuilding. My friend circle is still in the skeletal stages. I kind of for saw some bumpy times ahead so I secured a support friend who I could rely on. Turns out my “phone a friend” didn`t understand the request and flaked out.

I will get over how my so-called friend treated me, but now I can see he wasn`t qualified. When I expressed my disappointment, he ended a heated defensive rant with “Welcome to the big city” and hung up on me. After that statement, I had to laugh. Because after coming home from the big world, this little city seems more like a fish bowl. And we all know, there are a whole lot more fish in the sea.

Today I am grateful for genuineness.

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