Tuesday, February 4, 2014

On "Fitting In"

So we've lived in this new place for about 5 months now. Not too shabby. The practice is going well. Patients seem to really like me, and Charlie is making sure the business side of things is running smoothly. I've got plenty of patients and plenty of surgery. And everyone is happy that we're here. People keep asking if we're liking it. If we plan on staying.

I talked to my friend Ryan the other day. He and I met and became friends on my Ride for World Health. He's in the military and is an ER doctor in Washington State for the army now. He just got back a few months ago from deployment in Kuwait. It was so good to talk to him, we haven't caught up in several months, maybe longer. He asked the same thing, "So is this like your plan?"

And it is. We did not move here, buy a practice, buy a big house and furniture to fill it, because we weren't planning on staying (much to Barb's dismay). And when we first got here we were so busy with everything, it was all good. But now, 5 months in, it's getting lonely.

I think that's probably par for the course when you move to a new place. I've never moved somewhere new and not started school of some sort. And that always gives you a set of friends early on because you're all in the same boat. But here we are, from the "east coast" as far as these people are concerned. I've never shot a gun, I don't listen to country music, I have no idea what "calving" really entails, and I'm feeling lonely. I miss my friends from Columbus. I miss my restaurants in Columbus. I miss my house in Columbus. As spring approaches I'm thinking about my dogwood tree and my peonies and my heart hurts.

I've met a few women here who I like and think I could relate too. But lots of people have young kids, which means they don't really go out too much. Or when they do they go out with other people who have kids that are a similar age. And I'm finding it really hard to find common ground with many of them. They don't work outside the home, the most exotic place they've ever been is Chicago, and the vast majority of their spare time and energy are taken up with their kids or thinking about their kids (as it should be). But I'm the one who's the doctor.

And I feel like some of them are judging me, even if just a little bit. There is one woman in particular. I've met her several times, we even met on our first interview. She is nice. She's got 3 kids, the youngest is maybe 7 or 8 months old. Her husband is a general surgeon in town. They go to our church. Mike always says hi, but Kami pretends like I'm not even there. I swear. Last weekend I was talking to another woman and she came up and started talking to the woman I was talking to like I wasn't even there. She didn't even make eye contact until I finally said something directly to her, then it was fleeting. I'm not sure if she's threatened by me, or if I did something to offend her at some point. I don't know how that would be possible since we've barely ever spoken. But I can't help but feel that some of them judge me for the life choices I've made. Most people around here assume we don't have kids because we've chose not to until I got out of residency. You know as well as I do that's not true, and it's not a secret, but it's also not something I regularly bring up because it's sort of a downer in conversation.

I try not to give it much thought. I can't control what other people think of me. And there have been other women physicians that have been successful and happy here. And I think the honeymoon phase is over, this is where it gets hard. We will be here for at least 3 years. With any luck by the end of 3 years it will feel like home and we'll want to stay. All I can do is smile and be myself. Some people will like me and others won't and that's OK. But I really wish I had someone around here my age that I felt like I could relate to.

1 comment:

Tammie said...

I feel your pain. I have so been there! Still am to a degree.When you are my age, there are many people that you have been friends with that I still wish were right next door.

I have also been where you are with people like Kami. I don't know either why people are like that, she is probably afraid of your strength, or jealous, or just too busy to really understand you. As Daddy always says after he listens to me talk about similar situations, "Forget about it, she's a stupid bitch!" LOL.

The best thing about your writing in this blog is I know how I can pray for you. I am going to add this to my prayers every day for you. I will pray that you will be able to find people who can be your friend. You have been in a position to have friends your same age in college and medical school, and it is wonderful, but right now, I have no one who is my friend in this town who is my same age. Many of them are retired and some younger, friendship can happen there too.

I love your spirit, your optimism, your ability to express your feelings, I love you.