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Author Topic: Starting over??
snupy
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2008 11:37      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Background: For those of you who don't know me, I moved from Chicago to England in December of 2005 to marry an Englishman I met online in 2003-thanks in large part to my trip to the UK to meet up with several GC forum members months earlier. We had visited each other's countries several times over 2 years, and I decided to move there.

I was emailing an old friend of mine the other day, complaining about the fact that very few people in the UK really know me. They don't know what I did for a living, my sense of humor, what my life was like in the states, etc. Her viewpoint was, "What a great thing to be able to make a fresh start at age 42-I was so jealous at the time and still am!".

Now, The British people on here will understand when I say that Brits don't really get to know each other very well. There is a far bigger sense of privacy here than in the US. In the states, it's the social thing to do to ask about your job, your family, your love life-pretty much anything is fair game. Here, people(at least the ones I've met) don't ask questions. What I took at first to be rudeness is really just a strong sense of privacy that was foreign to me.

It got me thinking. What role do your friends and family play in the person you are? How important are shared experiences? When you leave them, do you inevitably lose a part of yourself? Is it better to "reinvent" yourself every once in awhile? How important is that core support system you spend your whole lives building?


I certainly am not perfect and have made my share of mistakes. So, whilst I was missing being around people who knew me and could read what I'm thinking, pick the perfect present, know what to say when I'm down, etc, I was forgetting that they don't know any of the embarrassing stuff either!

What do you all think? Anyone else who has moved far away have the same thoughts?

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"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted August 25, 2008 13:16      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I moved away from the place I grew up a few years ago... (whoa, almost 7 years ago.) Although it was very difficult to do, I've found it immensely freeing and wish I had done it sooner.

I do miss some of my old friends, and I miss the old farmhouse we used to live in, but the sense of a "fresh start" has been wonderful. And the Internet has helped me keep in touch.

Of course I don't have much of a life, so your mileage may vary. [Razz]

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CommanderShroom
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2008 14:01      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not much to say about it snupy.

I moved about 7 months ago from California to Utah. Not near what you have done, but far enough to make it hard to hang out with my family and friends.

I guess it comes down that you really do need one good friend. I guess I was lucky enough to move with one.

Now as far as others. That just takes time. For some people it can take years, other weeks.

Think of it as liberation and a chance to try something new. It will make it easier.

Good luck.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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geekygoddess
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2008 18:08      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used to move around every five years or so. I would get bored, and pack it all up and just go and start all over. I thought it was great, I am pretty outgoing so, I had no problems meeting people. However, I did not move away as far as you, I don't know about that. Good luck to you!!!

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"It is better to press ones shirt, than ones luck"- Confucius

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2008 17:36      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I try to re-invent myself in my work every few years, but my old habits keep coming back. I end up as the same guy every time, no matter what situation it is. So I can't escape who I am, but at least I have a new crop of people to tell my stories too. And the stories get better each year as I realize most people live life far too conservatively and don't even bother trying to have interesting experiences.
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Antiquity
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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2008 18:14      Profile for Antiquity   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Brits don't really get to know each other very well
snupy, this isn't necessarily true.
I'm British and live in London, as the capital city it is MEGA impersonal, but if you go to a small town or hamlet the situation is TOTALLY different. People say hello to each other in the street, the newsagent enquires about your grandmothers health and it really is a close knit community.

Ironically, as you find our coldness strange, i found it unsettling when everybody was nice to me. As a result of these clashes of attitudes there is a major division in the way people are even if the loacations are only a few hours drive away. Weird huh?

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Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2008 19:46      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think we move for the reasons that drops the sand through our hourglasses -- love, career, survival, sunsets, good beer, cat avoidance.

We just gotta be sure that the one thing that caused us to move is something that we consider worthy -- more worthy than what we are giving up.

Maybe it's part Brit personality, but on the other hand, ask "Should somebody be prying into a part of your life you were willing to give up for that one big thing?"

I'm a corporate brat. Every five years moved with transfers because of father. Lived the same life afterwards.

I moved back to a part of the country where I spent the most time growing up. I like the sunsets on the lake, cool breezes in the summer, the produce and 90 minute train ride to a pretty nice metropolitan center.

You give up things when you move. You should always gain more when you move.

CP

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Free! Free at last!

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snupy
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted August 27, 2008 07:20      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Antiquity:
quote:
Brits don't really get to know each other very well
snupy, this isn't necessarily true.
I'm British and live in London, as the capital city it is MEGA impersonal, but if you go to a small town or hamlet the situation is TOTALLY different. People say hello to each other in the street, the newsagent enquires about your grandmothers health and it really is a close knit community.

Ironically, as you find our coldness strange, i found it unsettling when everybody was nice to me. As a result of these clashes of attitudes there is a major division in the way people are even if the loacations are only a few hours drive away. Weird huh?

I see your point, and I agree people in the small towns are friendlier, but I still think privacy is fiercely protected much more in this country versus America.

I actually live in a really small village in West Yorkshire. While people I've gotten to know here will ask about current things, very few ask about my past or family back home.

Maybe it's a clue that I need to start living in the present and learn to let go more.
[Roll Eyes]

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"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

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snupy
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted August 27, 2008 07:23      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:

Maybe it's part Brit personality, but on the other hand, ask "Should somebody be prying into a part of your life you were willing to give up for that one big thing?"


CP

I never thought of it that way, CP-very interesting...

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"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted August 27, 2008 16:45      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems that everyone's reply here has already enabled a solid 360° view, but maybe my experiences will also help.

I've lived most of my life in the Chicagoland area. About a dozen years ago I had the chance to get out of Dodge, if you will, and get my life on the road. I took the opportunity (which wasn't without familial drama) and headed to RI. I was there for 4 years, then made the move down to Orlando. I was there about two years when things just looked plain awful, and headed back to the Chicago area.

I found that out on the East coast it was damn near impossible to make actual friends. Sure, I had college buddies, but I haven't spoken to them more than twice since I left RI. Orlando was even worse, the only person to speak to me who wasn't a co-worker was some random woman at a Starbuck's about two weeks before I moved. Now that I'm back in the Chicago area I still haven't made any "real" friends. The only person who is my real friend is Mrs Tweety, and that's been true for the last dozen or so years. Everyone else who's been in my life has, at best, been an acquaintance. And, no, no one along the way has ever really inquired about my life, family, or history.

While in FL we were in a pretty bad car accident. Outside of my boss wanting to know if I was well enough to come back to work, no one asked how I was, nor did they seem to care.

Now, about taking those moves as opportunities to start over. I took the move to RI as such, but found I was still saddled with myself. There were events that I needed to focus on (such as school), but I do believe I learned a lot about myself along the way. Orlando was mostly about being in a warm place and enjoying life. Unfortunately, it became something quite the opposite.

What I've ultimately learned is that for all the culture shock people tend to be very much the same wherever I've been. Therefore, the onus is on me to make the most of my life. I've never been one to have a lot of close friends and confidants. At best, I've had two very very close friends at any one time. Mrs Tweety is my close friend, and I don't really have much room for more than that.

That has been my experience over the last 12 or so years. For each person I believe it can be different, but ultimately, we only get out of our environment what we seek. Sometimes, if what we seek is not coming to us, then it is most likely because we are asking the wrong questions. Just because the question worked elsewhere does not always mean it will work everywhere.

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If I were a good man I'd talk to you more often than I do.
American Fairy Tales
IT, A Philosophy

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snupy
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted August 28, 2008 09:11      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What part of Chicagoland do you live in now/are you from, Tweety? I was born and raised in the city, moved to Colorado for 2 years in my 20's, then back to DeKalb, Naperville, Chicago, Arlington Hts, Chicago, England!


It's a bit different for me because I've always had a core group of 4 or 5 close friends from grammar and high school, so 30-40 years of knowing each other. I think that's what I'm missing.

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"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 28, 2008 09:28      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to think then snupy, that the core friends would definitely be a source of your discomfort.

It is not really a concern of mine, since I keep very few people close to me. And even that people I am friends with know that I am sporadic at best with the actual interaction thing.

So when I pack up and move, I have less holding me a single place, and less reason to miss it. Now, this move out did throw me for a big loop. I had been in the same town for quite a few years. About the closest thing to a hometown I have ever had. but after the initial shock to the system went away, it got easier.

Anyway, now I may be looking at another move. But this time it will to the south. So back into the heart of the desert. Not exactly the first place I want to go. But hey, at least it will be something new to see. Dead and barren with the roofs of suburbia for a view, but different.

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted August 28, 2008 11:27      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
snupy – If I tell you my exact whereabouts, I have to kill you. [Wink]

Kidding aside, I was born in Skokie, family moved to Bloomington, IN at my tender age of 18 months, then moved to the NW 'burbs just when I turned 5. Aside from a stint at U of I, lived in the same house for 16/17 years. I'm now in the West 'burbs, about 20/30 minutes north of Naperville.

For me I suppose it's been a bit easier in that I've always only had 2, maybe 3 people at any one time I considered close friends, and that ended for me about 13 years ago. The longest friendship I had lasted 13 years, but we just changed as people and moved on in our lives. Another very close friendship exploded in college (yes, my friends, never, ever room with your best friend). Before I met Mrs Tweety I had gone about a year or so without any real friends. In that time I dated someone, it got serious, but fell apart (turns out she was using me to get her "real" boyfriend jealous so he would marry her [Confused] ).

Any friends I had made while at U of I weren't really close, so, out of sight, out of mind. I suppose I've just had longer to get used to that situation. I wish I had some magic pixie dust advice to blow your way to help you out, but as you can see, I don't. Starting over is a double-edged sword. In so many ways it can be a wonderful opportunity for you to forget the dark side of your past and to fluff up your bright spots for new people. Make your life seem adventurous, exciting, mysterious. On the other hand, you ultimately spend years without those close ties you've come to rely so heavily on, and I'm sure you wonder if you'll ever have anything like it again.

I don't know how to answer that. Maybe the best advice I'm qualified to give is to not fear the future, to work toward what you want, and to always evaluate where you're at to know if you're heading in the right direction.

Oh, one question for you: What does your husband think?

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If I were a good man I'd talk to you more often than I do.
American Fairy Tales
IT, A Philosophy

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted August 28, 2008 14:20      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by snupy:
It's a bit different for me because I've always had a core group of 4 or 5 close friends from grammar and high school, so 30-40 years of knowing each other. I think that's what I'm missing.

That is the heart of the issue right there. I grew up in a military family so we moved around quite a bit. Usually you'd be on/near a base so many of the kids were in the same boat and we'd make fast friends knowing full well we'd be uprooted at any time. Once, when we posted to a non-base town, finding friends was a bit more of a challenge because it was a town where there weren't many 'Outsiders', most people had been living there for generations and were a bit leery of any n00bs.....I blamed it on all the inbreeding that had been going on. You're still the new 'bird' in town so things will come around slowly I guess. Have you tried getting all liquored up down at the pub and dancing around to 'You shook me all night long'? That may open the dialog....

[Wink]

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snupy
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted August 28, 2008 15:07      Profile for snupy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
[QUOTE]Have you tried getting all liquored up down at the pub and dancing around to 'You shook me all night long'? That may open the dialog....

[Wink]

Who told you about that??!!!!!

[Eek!]

(BTW, it wasn't a pub-it was cheezi git's house, and as I recall, there was a home-made bong involved [blush] )

--------------------
"I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up"-Jay, Modern Family

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted August 29, 2008 09:51      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by snupy:
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
[QUOTE]Have you tried getting all liquored up down at the pub and dancing around to 'You shook me all night long'? That may open the dialog....

[Wink]

Who told you about that??!!!!!

[Eek!]


I know everything......plus, I saw the pics.

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(!) (T) = 8-D

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davor
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Icon 1 posted August 29, 2008 12:22      Profile for davor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm, I would say that people in the U.K are rather friendly. Maybe its because asking to much private things is considered rude and nosey ...

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Davor

http://davortech.wordpress.com

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