January 27, 2011

To Travel or Not to Travel?

Yesterday was a bit of a crazy weather day in DC – hope you all are doing okay wherever you are. Mid-morning, the snow started coming down, and the forecast was just terrible. The federal government closed their offices two hours early, and as is their policy, my client followed suit, but many people started leaving even earlier than that. By 3pm, the office was deserted except for us consultants, and we had been warned that we should leave early too to avoid the nasty conditions.

We were lucky enough to get a cab back to the hotel (where we planned to work from the lobby for the rest of the afternoon/evening), but our usual 5 minute ride turned into a 45 minute traffic jam.

Walking would have been much faster, but the other women and I all had heels on, and the snow was coming down thicker and faster than I had ever seen – so we took the lazy way out. Not a huge deal for me – I had already gotten in a rockin’ Cosgrove workout at 6am that morning, with 5:25 of planking and a whopping 50 pounds for my single leg deadlifts!

Despite having a hectic first half of the week at work, things started to calm down by yesterday, so I actually didn’t have to work too late into the night. Instead, I settled in for some takeout (Asian steamed vegetables and a Vietnamese summer roll, natch) and Top Chef, planning to get to bed super early around 9pm. As I mentioned on Tuesday, I’ve been exhausted lately! However, before I went to bed, I found myself thinking too much, and dredging up all kinds of problems that were getting me down. The biggest issue on my mind was just loneliness 🙁

While I love to travel, part of the reason I plan to be away so much is that I often just don’t have friends to do stuff with in NYC. I’m very lucky in that my job allows me to travel to amazing places for very little money out of my own pocket, so I want to take advantage of that as much as possible while I’m young and single and not tied down. If I’m going to stay in NYC for the weekend, I want to have lots of big plans to “make it worth my while.” However, my closest friends mostly don’t live in New York, and a lot of my New York friends are either very spontaneous or very flaky (depending on whether you look at the glass as half-full or half-empty). As a result, I often end up sitting home alone on a Friday night, plans with those flaky friends canceled, and totally unable to find someone to do something spontaneous with me. It’s then that I find myself wishing I had just gone somewhere cool for the weekend instead.

Now, a lot of this stems from the fact that I’ve always been someone with a lot of different friends instead of one or two close friends with whom I do everything. I really like having a ton of friends who are all very different from each other, but it does mean that I’m always the one calling around to see what activities I can join, because I’m not in that inner circle where it’s assumed that I’ll take part in everything. Of course, it becomes even easier to be forgotten when I’m away so much – so my traveling becomes this vicious cycle where I go away because I don’t have close friends to spend the weekend with, but then I weaken my friendships by being away even more.

But the upshot of all this thinking and reflection was that I ended up crying on the phone to my best friend for over an hour, until like a two year old, I finally wore myself out and hung up to fall fast asleep, tissues littering my bedside table. Of course, when I woke up in the morning, I felt a thousand times better, for no particular reason. I don’t know what it is, but at night things like this often seem pretty dismal, and then I wake up in the morning in a good mood again. I actually recognized this right when I first started feeling down, and tried telling myself that everything would look brighter in the morning… but just couldn’t get myself to fall asleep when I was so upset. I suppose that’s what a nightcap of a glass of wine is for!


6 thoughts on “To Travel or Not to Travel?”

  1. Ugh, sorry Laura! I’ve been there before too. Actually, I feel like that sometimes now – many of my close friends live in other cities, and many friends in my current city have families and live out in the suburbs. It’s hard. Hang in there. 🙂

  2. Haven’t commented before but a long time reader of your blog, which is awesome by the way – definitely know how you feel but I admire you for getting out there and doing fun stuff rather than sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself (which is what I tend to do)!

  3. I can sympathize with the problems that come from having a ton of different friends from different groups. Sometimes I find myself wishing I had more of a core group too, although then I wouldn’t necessarily get to see all my different friends as much or even have them at all. Both sides have their benefits and costs!! Glad everything seemed better in the morning!

  4. This post totally hit home for me – NYC can be very lonely. I have lived here a year and find myself going back to my CT friends or having them come in when I want to do something. When is the next weekend you’ll be in the city? We should totally get together again; it was great hanging out at your party last year!

  5. I think we’ve talked about this… but I’m one of those people too. I seem to have a lot of casual subsentence and only a couple of close friends. Unfortunately, those close friends are in TX and IL! 🙁 SUck.

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