Last year I moved house and changed jobs at the same time. We got the keys for our new home in the last week of May and I started my new job in the first week of June. In both cases it was the start of something new in an unfamiliar town. We had lived in west London for a number of years and now we were moving out to a country town. I had worked in central London and now I was off to a small market town a few miles from my new home. In the process therefore I cut myself off from my neighbours, from my community at my old mosque and from my friends at work all at the same time.
Looking back on it now, this may not have been such a good idea. It has been a very strange year for me. The sense of isolation I have felt at times has sometimes been quite acute. I have realised this more over the last week or so having joined a tiny group for writers. The members are international, but there is some sense of relief as I hook up regularly with my new found virtual friends. This is not to say I have been living in a cupboard for the past ten months – friends have come to visit us and we have visited them. But there is something in having people to talk to near at hand.
I have great respect for my colleagues at work: they are very good at their jobs and extremely competent people, but conversation isn’t their strong point. I like to feel alive sometimes, but just coming to work, getting on with it and going home sometimes makes me feel like a tree. I guess everybody feels like this sometimes. Sitting next to the constantly whirring photocopier, my ears ringing, I often wonder what it is that is driving me around the bend, but I think I have a fair inkling now. The absence of like-minded folk.
But there we are. There is no conclusion to this post. I’m just writing down random thoughts.