My friends are doing NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month this month. They will each sit and try to write a novel each throughout November. Today we sat in cafes with them writing away and me typing away at my blog. It seems like a really cool thing to be part of, but I don’t really write stories. BUT I found that there is a blogger version! NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month, where the members will try to post every day.
I’ve not signed up officially because I don’t see the point in adding myself to a big long list of bloggers, but I will try to join in in my own way by blogging along with them. I also don’t see why it’s hosted on a females only blog website… can’t men join in?
ANYWAY, today’s theme is “When were you last really, truly lonely?“.
Being an expat, you can sometimes feel on top of the world – surrounded by truly amazing and international people, it can give you a real buzz. In Japan, at the start it felt great to have the locals come and ask me questions, and marvel at how I could speak Japanese. But after a while it just felt so fake. Were these Japanese people friends with me because they like me? Or do they like me purely because they think it’s cool to be friends with a foreigner?
When I was in Japan, I think this was the thing that brought me down the most and it really was the time when I have felt the most lonely and the most depressed. I worked super, super hard to build a group of friends (both foreign and Japanese) around me, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I got sick of superficial friendships and Japanese people being surprised that I can speak Japanese, and use chopsticks.
Though it’s not nearly as much, I still get pangs of loneliness here in Frankfurt. When I did the Twitter FFM thing the other week I did feel really alone in this city. On a closer scale, though I have amazing people all around me, sometimes it can really sting when you feel that no one really knows you deeply here – that all our friendships are quite new, and with people coming and going all the time, you never know how long an expat friendship will last.
At the end of the day, loneliness is just one of the downsides to living a great expat life. I would still choose working abroad to working back home any day.
Let’s see if I can blog every day in November! If you have a blog, please do join in!