Searching for a place called home

This month marks the two-year anniversary of our move to North Carolina. We’ve managed to thrive in our relationship and in our finances, but our social life is still at a standstill. We haven’t made many friends, and we really just don’t feel like we fit here. Being home last week only made that clearer to me.

I miss having a place to go for Sunday dinner. I miss getting together with friends for dinner or drinks. I miss having a support network of friends and family close by to help us through the tough times. Being with so many people who love us last week made it clear to me just how hard it’s been for us to get through the last two years alone.

Tony and I are blessed with a wonderful, supportive relationship, and for a long time I thought that we were enough for each other. But the closer we get to starting a family of our own, the more sure I become that we can’t do it alone. We want our kids to know the kind of childhood that we did — surrounded by grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends.

I’ve written before about our tentative plans to move back to Indiana when Tony graduates in December 2010. Last week pretty much cemented our plans. Even though it’s been two whole years, I’m more homesick than ever. I can’t imagine going through a pregnancy and my first year with a newborn without my mom, sisters and best friend there to hold my hand.

Every time I come home, my nieces and nephews have grown into entirely new life stages. The tiny infants I left behind two years ago are walking and talking and looking at me suspiciously because they don’t know me. It breaks my heart.

We’ve struggled with this decision since we began planning our lives together three years ago. We’ve dreamed of living as ex-pats in Europe for a few years or trying life in a new part of the country. But the older we get and the closer we get to starting a family, the more I know we need to be closer to ours. I’m craving a place to call home.

Between college and grad school and the time in between the two, we’ve been living in transition for seven years with another year and a half to go. We’re ready to find a home of our own.

12 thoughts on “Searching for a place called home

  1. Grace

    I so hear you. We’re moving farther away from home rather than back towards it, and I’ve been thinking and writing quite a bit about this as well. Especially in regards to having a kid. I can’t imagine s/he not growing up with family around, like I did. It’s so sad.

    But I’m hopeful for you–you have a plan to go home, and it’s not that far off.

  2. Marsha

    Karen – I moved back to Raleigh about 18 months ago and my husband and I are also having a hard time making friends. I think the older we get the more difficult it is to break into social networks in new areas. I have tons of Facebook friends in RTP – but not the real hang out and do nothing kind of friends that women especially like to have around. My husband and I are determined to meet some couples our age so we are now being very intentional – inviting couples we meet at church over for dinner…meeting coworkers families, etc… But it is work and it takes time. I wonder if there is some sort of Meet Up frugal living group in the area. If not, you certainly would be the one to start one.

  3. The Non-Student

    Funny, I went to college in NC, and it’s definitely a place I feel I could call home again! But it’s definitely not for everyone. My partner and I just moved to DC, and while I love it here and I do have friends, I don’t have a group of friends, and that can be hard. Also, being the sole support for another person can be stressful. I hope you can make it home soon.
    .-= The Non-Student´s last blog ..TV Will Bring Us Together =-.

  4. Melanie

    where in NC are you? We live near Charlotte; I’m a native…been here all my life except for some grad school time done in Waco, TX. I can sympathize about feeling “in limbo.” My husband is working on his PhD and I’m working on my M.A. and working full time in another field. Sometimes you feel like you’re a step behind everyone else because so much is in the air and you’re always “working toward” something that you feel you’ll never complete;).
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..All Quiet on the Weaver Front…. =-.

  5. Mrs. Money

    I could have written this myself… we spent last week with my family and I desperately want to move back now. Unfortunately, they live in MI and we all know how the economy is there. Also, my hubby is a chef and I don’t think he could get a job there easily. Plus we’d have to sell our house. Ugh. :(

  6. Jill

    I can easily relate, having lived away from family for nearly the last 5 years. We are in the process of moving back now. Even when you do have a great group of friends and supports, it can still be hard…esp. coming back to a little niece or nephew who doesn’t remember you. I’m afraid now, since we’ve been gone so long, that we’ll have a hard time finding/making/re-establishing friendships. Hang in there though–when we first got married, I thought this time would NEVER come! You can get through it! :)
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..Keep the Change… =-.

  7. Sara

    The great thing about family and real friends is that you can slide back in where you left off.
    Think of all the wonder and achievement that it takes to relocate yourself and try to make friendships.
    I feel sad that you are homesick… and I am all the way over here in Sydney, Australia. A different world away.
    Hugs * a billion,

  8. kasey

    I moved to New York City after graduating from IU 4.5 years ago. A month after I moved, my college boyfriend who was in New Jersey at the time, broke up with me and I knew no one. It was pure stubbornness that kept me from packing up and moving home. I worked in an office with only two other people, so I had to do something. I went to the church down the street from my apartment, it was small and there was one couple my age. We became friends and part of a church plant. I now have 20 couples in my support group. It took a good two years before I felt like I had a good group of friends. Also, I went to networking and industry events, a lot of them, and some of those contacts became friends. I was invited to a birthday party by a friend from a new job, and that is where I met my husband. (we got married about a year after we met, married a year now) But as I’ve changed jobs I’ve continued to go to the work get togethers and birthday parties, we now have a group of individual and couple friends that we meet for coffee or have over for dinner. I know that going out and spending money isn’t really frugal, but I usually buy one drink and then get water after that. I’m happy for the friends I do have, but it was really two – three years before I really felt I had a support system. There are days I still feel isolated, like I will never have that best friend, like the one back home. It’s tough. So my advice is just getting out to meet people. Oh, one more thing, I realize I was doing most of my meeting people as a single adult, which does make a difference, but about once a month my husband and I try to have a girls night / guys night, which helps build those relationships with friends we maybe don’t know as well. End of the world’s longest comment.

  9. Lori

    Have you thought about checking out church? We moved to Columbus, OH, a while back, and that’s where we found our “family.” My parents have moved here since then, and it’s wonderful having them here. It was great, though, when they weren’t here, to have people to hang out with and to share support with. We go to a large church, and for awhile we felt we weren’t connecting. I told my husband, though, that we hadn’t made the effort to get involved. We then made the effort to join an Adult Bible Fellowship, and we made many great friends. There were small groups to get involved with, and we joined different ones, over the years, where we got together once or twice a month for dinner, Bible Study, or just something fun to do. I also joined the choir, and later the orchestra, and that was tons of fun.

    Just a thought. I have found so many friends and so much to do through our church–everyone should at least give it a try. God might have something special waiting for you there!!

  10. Pingback: Another change in plans, but this time it’s good news! — Living Well on Less

  11. Pingback: Frugal year in review – 2009

Comments are closed.