My main complaint about rural living

I really do try to stay positive. I have even been occasionally accused of being pathologically optimistic. Yes, me! I know complaining isn’t particularly useful, but after four and half years of trying hard to find a few good friends here, I need to talk about this issue.

friends help friends pandasFirst of all, I am a master at spending time alone. I have a healthy appreciation of  solitude. I love to let my mind wander wherever it wishes without any outside distractions. I have kept a journal since junior high and lived alone most of my adult life. I am fundamentally a loner who has spent years learning how to welcome special relationships into my life. I now have an amazing partner. We connect very well, and I love talking to him about just about anything for hours. But I also need a few like-minded friends….

making friendsFriends who write and appreciate good writing and art. Friends to talk about films with or gardening or what birds they’ve been seeing at their feeders lately. Friends to share my hopes and fears with, to talk about philosophy or psychology or history with. Friends I respect and who respect me. Friends who understand the solemn bonds of friendship. Friends like I still have up north in Fort Collins.

I cannot find friends like that here, and I have really tried! So many here come and go with the seasons, others work all the time and don’t have time for friends. Many are older with serious health problems, and most apparently already have their friends and don’t want anymore. Yes, there seem to be as many excuses as people I have met.

Please don’t respond to this post with, “I haven’t had any problem making friends here.” If that is your experience good for you! I need friends who are there for more than small talk. I don’t just want to talk about my husband, or the weather or finding services here. I seek a higher level of discussion exemplified by this blog. I seek those who think about deeper issues like meaning, life, death, philosophy and psychology. Please let me know if you can relate to this plea. Perhaps we could be friends.

10 thoughts on “My main complaint about rural living

  1. Laura, I absolutely hear you. And it isn’t due to any failing on your part. My mother in law, when we moved her up here, was not able to make friends for almost two years. She was extroverted, a good listener, took excellent care of her appearance, and found that the senior development she was living in had people organized into several cliques she was never able to break into. Where she had lived the previous 50 plus years she had no problems making friends. It made her so isolated. She finally made one friend, and she was so good to my mother in law, but by then my mother in law’s health was failing. I worry about leaving this area and making friends – as an introvert I would have even more trouble.

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  2. I moved to Huerfano county not quite 2 years ago. My partner and my beast friend Buck are my main contacts still. It’s hard to make new friends no matter where you are. I desperately cling to my best friend from my 31 year hometown in the mountains west of Boulder. I certainly understand all that you say. Perhaps we can have a meet up for coffee or a beer at the brew pub one day and see if we can plant the seeds of a new friendship? I have enjoyed your posts so much. Would love to meet you in person.

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  3. I hope you can find a like minded soul there. When I lived there for 9 years I met a few people I liked but I have always been a little socially awkward or attracting those that needed my help but were not a good match for deep relationships. Or people were only into members of their own church or clique. My best friend was the Land. Many people I liked were loners or runners like myself and were afraid to open up. Some were just so busy with their own families and friends. Busy working and surviving. You know, in life it is hard to find like minded souls. But never give up! It gets a bit lonely there in the winter. I sometimes dream of returning, finding a way to and writing my book of things I have learned. I have read a few of your books and reference them often. Thank you for your presence.

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    • Thanks for your encouragement Sydney! The land is a good friend here, except when it’s blowing like HELL like today…. I have no choice, I will never give up on finding true friends here. Thank you for your presence too.

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  4. Hi Laura…I agree this is a common problem with rural living. I moved back to my family farm some years ago after living and teaching college classes in a small near-by city. Even after I moved to the farm I still drove and taught for several years and then worked at a software company also commuting.

    It has taken me some time to start making connections again here now that I am semi-retired and have a small business. I found that when I got involved in a local theatre (justl lending items for the stage and on committees), worked on a local campaign I was passionate about and joined a women’s entrepreneurial group it widened my opportunities to find friends interested in things I was interested in. In fact I was surprised at how it widen my world. Good luck.

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