This past late March marked four years of living in Quebec. It has also marked more or less four years of isolation. This needs to change. A myriad of snowflakes within.
posted by Kitteh to health & fitness (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I moved here from Atlanta, where I lived for a decade and where I always had friends to hang out with (drinks, movies, eating, art openings, drinks, etc.). While I loved living in Atlanta, I fell in love with a Canadian, married, and gladly uprooted my life to move to Canada. I knew it was going to be a challenge. I had never lived outside of the US; before my marriage, the furthest North I'd ever been was Winston-Salem, NC, and the furthest west was Denver, CO. I was aware my future husband lived in Quebec, and while I am not at all ignorant of Canada or its geography, I just never really thought about French-speaking Canada. I knew it existed, but really that's about it.
It's been hard-going. I took some French classes about six months after I moved. I got as far as Debutant I & II, passed the exam to move onto Intermediare I, but opted not to because I felt so far removed from the other people learning French (much younger than me, much more boisterous than me, and it made for a disruptive classroom environment). I understand French pretty well; I can read it, write it if necessary, but my spoken French is not great. Mostly because I am terribly shy and because there doesn't seem to be a social network I can plug myself into. At least, one that seems comfortable.
My husband and I have Anglophone friends, but unlike my previous social circle, most of them are married w/kids or ready to have kids, or live 30 minutes outside of town, or seemingly inclined to not be very social except on rare occasion. Whereas back home, I could count on texting friends for food/drink/going to see a band or art opening, I spend a lot of my time alone. Obviously, my husband has a proper job that requires him being in the office from 8:30 to 5, five days a week. I am in the process of trying to get my nascent vegan bakery/catering business off the ground. (But again: horrible horrible shyness.)
I don't stop very often to let myself think about how much time I spend alone, or how much I have spent alone in the past four years. If I do, then I just burst into tears. I feel bad by how much I keep babbling on and on when my husband gets home from work but I don't talk to anyone except our cats! When he gets home is sometimes the first time I get to interact with a human voice all day. (Aside from maybe going to the grocery store or something like that.) My social life is 90% lived through social media; I tweet A LOT, occasionally post on Facebook, but I am not kidding when I tell you that I will sometimes realize I haven't left the house in days. To make things worse, I feel so incredibly guilty. I know it's my fault that I am in this situation, that I have brought this on myself, but I don't feel confident to try and figure out to how make friends, how to practice my French, so I say nothing at all to my partner. I married an wonderfully kind and patient person, but I know he too gets exasperated with me.
So, Hive Mind, what do I do? How can I feel better and make real friends and not feel so terribly isolated?