School holidays are coming to an end, we are back from our summer time vacation, and our overseas guests are gone. Even our supply of Chuck episodes is starting to run out. Is it any wonder I seem to be in a rather saddish mood?
Yes. But I argue that it’s all the good things that came with this summer that are making me sad. It's the winding down of the better as the prospect of another year at the office beckons. With the fading of those good things one big issue surfaces yet again: we, and for that matter I, are severely lacking in the friendships department.
I said it before. I have friends in Australia, but nothing that can be compared to the intensity of my childhood friendships from Israel; the latter are still very much there, but Israel is a bit far from Melbourne. The problem, therefore, is in my inability to create strong and frequent friendships in Australia.
Work doesn’t look like a source of salvation. It comes down to two things: I’m too different from the majority of the people I work with, and the individual nature of my work means I do not get the opportunities I used to in the past to become close to people through the experience of doing stuff together. Then there is the matter of the physical world we live in: people like I, and the people I am likely to befriend, are people with responsibilities and a life; not the people that would jump over for a quick round of Settlers of Catan.
The alternative I have been clinging to, perhaps too strongly, is the virtual world. Once geography is out of the equation one can befriend the most exciting people ever (or, more appropriately, people with whom one has a lot in common). Alas, the virtual world can only take me that far. Friendships limited to 140 characters cannot go too far; they are not true friendships but rather short snippets of someone’s character, snippets that may have not much to do with that someone’s true character. Then there is the fact that virtual friendships are not that easy to acquire: because of the casual nature of things online, no one goes out to invest in creating proper friendships. Friendships are created, but they just spontaneously combust into existence; they tend to only happen over longer periods of time and only when there are significant common interests.
It looks like I just need to shut up and learn to accept reality. Eventually, the ordeals of regular life would divert my attention elsewhere.