I have been feeling isolated lately. I grew up in a big family, and as an adult, I've never been good at making friends because I've always had built-in friends. My family is my network, my support system, my friends, and my community. I have a couple really good friends and many lovely acquaintances who bring wonderful things to my life, but I never built a community out of my social networks. I know many people do - they build families out of friends, but I guess because I was lucky to have a big, close family, I didn't create a tight friend community. My best friend is someone I've known over 20 years, and I consider her part of my inner circle, but everyone else I'm close to is family.
But my family is spreading out, both figuratively and literally, and I'm feeling more and more alone. One sister lives almost a two hour drive away, one is moving an hour away, my brother and dad are each close to an hour away, and my mom is an hour and a half. I do have one sister that lives 10 minutes away, but we are both so busy that we hardly see each other.
This is the time in life where I need people, where we need to support each other. Every day I feel overwhelmed with everything - work, kids, home, life - and I have this vision of surrounding myself with people who I can lean on and whom can lean on me. I thought those people would be my family, but somehow lately that isn't happening. We're all scattering, and we're all hunkering down into our own lives and our own problems. We're all getting by each day, relying on our own small family units instead of relying on each other.
I feel isolated despite my big family. I don't know how to re-establish my community, and I don't know how to build a brand new one. It feels unnatural for me to live like this. I want my community back.