I have a few really good friends from my college days in Pittsburgh. We get together a couple of times a year, sometimes more. Since I moved to West Virginia in 2011, I have been trying to develop a social network. Now I have one or two friends here. It takes a long time to develop a friendship when you get older. At least that has been my experience. Maybe I can volunteer or get involved in a singing group as a way to meet like-minded folks.
I am involved in a support group in Morgantown and am able to help people through that. It helps get me out of my head when I think about what I can do for someone else. And I have met some pretty cool folks through the process.
I just got back from my niece’s wedding in Florida. What a nice event. Seeing some of my siblings and their children (and their children) was good for me. I am the youngest of seven. Our family has had our share of tragedy in the past several years. I need to be reminded of the vitality of our clan.
Being in the tropics was also a welcome change from Appalachia. The wedding was in the evening, so Saturday afternoon I took a walk. I saw some beautiful birds and signs that said, “Beware of Alligators.”
As I get older, I care less what people think. Don’t get me wrong, I can still be affected by callousness or hostility. It’s just that I am less afraid that these things will permanently harm me. I am a sensitive person, but I am developing a thicker skin. Now I can see that everyone is fighting his or her own battle. If I get in the way, there may be conflict. It’s my job to stand my ground.