All My Friends

In 2008 I began the first in a series of three events that, to my dismay, have led to an erosion of my friendships.

In July 2008 I became a flight attendant. A little less than a year into the job I was at the end of a particularly gruelling five day pairing. On the last night I went for dinner with two other female flight attendants. They were both a little older than me and had lots of interesting insights to share about their lives. One of them said, “when you become a flight attendant you lose your friends.” Being still quite new to the job I was puzzled. I was sceptical as she described how one by one her friends had stopped calling her, stopped inviting her out, stopped being involved in her life because they never knew when she would be around. She wasn’t blaming them for this, she understood that it was tough to keep up with someone who flies for a living, but lamented those friendships and expressed gratitude for the one friend of hers who remained. My scepticism was short lived when, a few months later, I realized that a good majority of my friends had stopped calling me, stopped inviting me out, and stopped being involved in my life presumably because the task of sorting out when I would be around had become too difficult.

However, this was also about the time I became engaged. Marriage seems to be another event that has cost me some friendships. Without commenting on the terrors of engagement, it seems that somewhere over the course of saying “I do” and moving in with a boy a lot of my friends vanished. I’ve heard that when you get married a lot of your single friends sort of fall away, but it seems that even some of our couple friends disappeared somewhere between the wedding reception and our return from our honeymoon.  While I found the first year of marriage to be wonderful and not nearly as difficult as so many people said it would be, I definitely felt isolated from my friends and lonelier than I’ve been in a long time. I also found myself wondering whether my loneliness was largely my own fault.

Moving to another country also appears to have caused a decrease in friendships. This has been a valuable learning experience for me. A number of friends have moved far away over the past few years and I now realize how crucial it is to keep in contact with them, especially in the early months as they are just getting settled and meeting new people. Actually, even months after moving, I find myself missing certain people more and more. To those of my friends who have moved away in recent years who I have neglected, I am sorry. Moving away can be lonely business and I’m sorry I didn’t support you even a little more.

And now I am lamenting the loss of my friendships. I understand that some relationships are seasonal, while others can go dormant for years and pick up right where they left off. I am thankful for the new friendships I’ve gained since moving to the UK, but there are days when I wonder whether the choices I’ve made are worth the loss of so many great friends.

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Video for Danger Beach Song “Apache” created by Ned Wenlock and Rodney Selby

Okay, no disclaimer needed for this video. Everyone should watch it. Everyone! I can’t get enough of the song, the scrolling movement on the screen, and those sweet characters. First we meet a little guitar playing Native American, next a buffalo and then, and this just does me in, a headband wearing abominable snowman monster thing! There are so many great layers in here that even after 10+ views I’m still finding fantastic little details. Ned Wenlock, director of the video, states

The pace of the music suggested traveling to me. I liked the idea of the Apache traveling from his home via different old fashioned modes of transport and finally getting swallowed up the modern city-

To read more about Ned Wenlock’s ideas for this video and an explanation on how he put the video together head over to Motionographer.

(Via The Fox Is Black)

Ten Things I Have Learned About The Sea

This pacific video, by Lorenzo Fonda, filmed on board the “Portland Senator” en route from Los Angeles to Shanghai in December 2008 is one of many pieces that have culminated into a current preoccupation I have with the sea. Other pieces include the books Peter Duck by Arthur Ransome, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, Hello, Sailor by author Andre Sollie and illustrator Ingrid Godon, as well as recent walks to the river with the hopes of seeing the tide change, a weekend away along the English coast, and a boat trip up the Thames to Greenwich complete with a visit to the Maritime Museum. Each piece has revealed the sea as a site of adventure, terror, longing, romance, and general intrigue and the video sums up many of those ideas quite nicely.

(via The Fox is Black)

A Thought On Travel

I’ve been thinking a lot about travel and my experiences as a flight attendant, which led to the following thought.

There’s a difference between travel and movement. Celerity in itself does not create a travel experience.

Sunday morning Jonathan and I spent three hours sitting and walking along the Thames in the warm sunshine, we were only 5 minutes away from our flat in a place we’ve been many times before, but it felt like we were in another country, like we were on vacation. I traveled further, that is to say that I had a more deeply resonant experience, in the slow meandering along the water where I live than in the thousands of miles I covered as a flight attendant.

Feeling Unsettled

A friend of mine recently asked about the adjustment to life in London and commended me for making such a big move while simultaneously attempting a masters degree. As I thought about her question I realized that, as a flight attendant, I was constantly adjusting to new schedules, new surroundings, new colleagues, new procedures, and last minute changes. Nothing ever stayed the same. Even at home my suitcase was never completely empty and lay open on my bedroom floor, sometimes lost under piles of clothes, but always waiting for the next trip to the airport.

In the one year that Jonathan and I spent in Calgary since getting married and moving in together, we never did find the time to fully unpack. In fact, it took us roughly 5 months to make the slightest dent in the piles of ratty cardboard boxes stacked along two of our living room walls. After 5 months one wall was nearly clear, but the other wall never became the vacant space we hoped for. Our little apartment never quite felt like home.

Settled is not something I’ve felt for a long time so perhaps its not surprising that I didn’t feel “unsettled” when we made the move to London. Feeling settled is not something I’ve come to expect, and this realization makes me feel a little sad. I think there’s much to be said for pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, but what happens when you don’t have a comfort zone from which to push beyond and every day is filled with a sense of insecurity?

Currently, our days are a little more structured, especially now that Jonathan is working during the day. We have regularly scheduled events like class, church, small group, volunteering, and the marriage course. But the future, at this point is uncertain. I’m not sure what will come once I’ve completed my degree and I’m starting to question if this unsettled feeling is something that I carry inside of me. I wonder if I might live in the same place for a long time, end up in a job with a very regular routine, and continue to feel unsettled. The idea of adjusting to new places and new situations seems, at this point, to be the norm and, I must confess, I’m longing to feel a bit more settled.

Leanne’s 2010 Year in Cities

These are all the cities and towns I spent at least one night in throughout 2010. The places I stayed more than once on separate occasions or were home base get an asterisk.

  • Calgary, AB*
  • Rocky Mountain House, AB*
  • Abbotsford, BC
  • Toronto, ON*
  • Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Winnipeg, MB*
  • Halifax, NS
  • Banff, AB
  • Victoria, BC
  • Montreal, QC*
  • Orlando, FL
  • Kelowna, BC
  • Ottawa, ON*
  • Wainwright, AB
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Vancouver, BC*
  • Edmonton, AB*
  • The Dalles, OR*
  • Seaside, OR
  • Hamilton, ON*
  • Prince George, BC*
  • Saskatoon, SK*
  • Regina, SK*
  • Seattle, WA
  • Charlottetown, PE
  • Carlyle, SK
  • Fairmont Hot Springs, BC
  • Quito, Ecuador*
  • Riobamba, Ecuador
  • Shell, Ecuador
  • Tena, Ecuador
  • London, England*