U ok hun?

Well, not really. Not today, anyway. Today I feel like bursting into tears for no good reason. I don’t know if I’m just hormonal, or whether it’s something deeper, but I am not having a good couple of days. Last night I wanted to post about my new SOI Penny dress but when it came to taking the pictures I spotted that the hem was wonky and that just set me off. I had a tantrum and since then, as ridiculous as it may sound, I just feel like a cloud has descended. Needless to say I have not finished the dress.

Moving to a new place and starting a new phase of life isn’t easy. It took me ages to adjust when I moved from Carlisle to London after graduation, and looking back I know I was depressed for several months. I went to work, I came home and I didn’t do much else. I resented good friends for the fun they were having, but I also found it hard to join in. Then one day something changed. I started exploring the city, I got involved with Guides and began doing a bit of exercise. I started to really love London – I felt like I belonged and a weight lifted off my mind.

In Seattle it’s a bit different. I knew that I would have a month or two before I’d be legally able to work (five months and counting now…) so I made the effort to do some volunteer work. I’m now involved with the Girl Scouts, which will start in earnest in September and I’ve been doing the odd bit of volunteer work here and there. I’ve just joined a couple of Meetup groups (one for running, one for sewing) and I’m looking forward to having visitors in the next few weeks.

But it doesn’t feel like enough. When you’re a kid you make friends really easily, but it feels so much harder when you’re an adult. I have plenty to keep my mind occupied, but as I’m not working at the moment I can go the whole day without speaking to anyone apart from Chris, and tbh it’s really fucking hard.

I do like Seattle. It’s a lovely place and there’s a lot to be positive about our life here. I can see us staying for a while but right now I feel lonely and I don’t really know what more I can do about it. I know this is a temporary dip, and it’s completely normal to feel this way, but I could really do with a hug right now.


28 thoughts on “U ok hun?

  1. Sew Sarah Smith says:

    Big hugs Jo. I know what you mean having moved to London when I turned 20 and staying there for a decade. I also get to spend a fair bit of time in the US – very very different places, culturally and socially aren’t they. Big hugs to you. Don’t fight what you’re feeling – I guess it’s a totally normal response to your current situation – ask for and take all the hugs you can! Xxx

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Sarah, much appreciated. I’m feeling much more positive today after some serious hugs from the husband and a well-timed trip to the pub last night with some of his colleagues. I know what you mean about the cultural and social differences – while we’re alike in many ways, I really notice the differences between America and the UK/Europe. It’s taking a bit of getting used to, but I guess it’s to be expected when you move abroad! Hope you’re enjoying your hols this side of the Pond 🙂

  2. Naomi says:

    I had the same think when we moved to Holland – compounded by living in isolation, and the language barrier sometimes. I’m glad you’re doing the MeetUp thing, saved my bacon. I suggest joining a MeetUp that is purely social and perhaps just ladies. I found heaps of women in the same boat, and it was nice to go have lunch and talk with some people who had no other objective other than to be social. Keep your chin up – you will get there. Sending love xx

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Naomi, I’m feeling a lot better about things today. MeetUp is great – I’ll definitely look up some women’s groups, but the problem is sifting through all the different groups and finding one that looks good! I didn’t know you used to live in Holland – how long were you there?

      • Naomi says:

        About a year. We would have liked to have stayed longer but – despite being the wife of a Dutch national – I wasn’t granted a visa. (V long complicated story.) However I went to a meetup that was like a social lunch on a regular week day and the first day I went I met 3 women who I became really good friends with for the entire time we lived there. Life saving.

  3. bellecitadel says:

    Hi Jo! I know exactly what you mean having moved around a fair bit too – it takes time and not being able to meet people through work makes it even harder. I’ve just moved out to Bothell from Ballard and so am going through the same thing again a little. I don’t have a US driving license yet and need it soooo much more out of Seattle city. Anyway, on the bright side if you’re interested in a coffee/wine with a fellow transplanted Brit sewer, give me a shout! I’m on IG under belle_citadel and blog of same name. Chin up! 😁 Claire.

    • Jo says:

      Hi Claire, thanks so much for getting in touch. I’m feeling much better about things today but I may just take you up on your offer. I need to sort out a driving license too – I can get to most places on the bus but a car would be so much more convenient. I’ll be in touch by IG! x

  4. craftycreeky says:

    Oh I feel for you Jo, I think it’s really hard to make a new circle of friends, especially in a new country, I think as women we so need that close circle. You’re doing all the right things in joining groups but it will take time, so take all the hugs you can get in the mean time, you deserve them 🙂 Can you ring your friends in the UK for a chat, or Skype them? I’ve got a very small circle of friends locally but when I heard of someone moving into the area from America to marry a very distant relative, we made the conscious decision to bring her into our group, as I said every woman needs girl friends, that’s what you need at the moment, someone to take you under her wing, and I’m sure she will appear soon. Talk to your OH too, if he’s all excited about a new job and new work colleagues he may have not realised what it is like from your side. In the meantime I’m sending you a big Yorkshire hug, and they are the best 🙂

    • Jo says:

      Thanks – my husband’s been pretty great and has given some great hugs over the last day or two. I’ve been chatting to some mates in the UK and they’re all v supportive from the other side of the Atlantic. I’ve also got my parents coming in a week or two so it’ll be great to see them. That’s really kind of you to help your American friend settle in – she’s lucky to have you! And thanks for the (virtual) Yorkshire hug – never had one of those before! x

  5. Colesworth says:

    virtual hugs from here. I know what you mean. I had a baby and then we moved away for 2 years. When I came back all my friends had left or were not Mums and I couldn’t find work for 7 months and I hated living in limbo for so long. I honestly think most of it was not working, after about 2 months I was just feeling lack of purpose (and worrying about money!). I did make some Mum friends (wives of my husbands friends though) and after I started working again I found a meet up sewing group – met some great friends and continuing to meet people that way ;o) Sounds like you’ve done some positive things that will help you feel better soon – so good for you!

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Colette – it’s really helpful to hear from people who’ve been through it too and I’m feeling a lot better about things today. The lack of job is definitely a big part of it. While we’re not struggling for money I feel guilty for not contributing, even though Chris has repeatedly assured me it’s not a problem. There’s not a great deal I can do about that until that work permit comes through, but I do feel a bit of a pang whenever I buy fabric! I’ve got high hopes for the MeetUp groups, so will see what comes of those. x

  6. Annabelle Smith says:

    Awkward virtual hug from an introvert here!
    I spent a summer living essentially alone (both in house and in friends) before I started my graduate degree, and the alone time was deafening by the end of it… I also turned to some volunteering as a way to get involved, and it definitely helped out that summer even if I couldn’t continue with it afterwards.
    No advice from me, I suppose, but some support and solidarity, that I think the sewing community can provide!

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Annabelle, it’s much appreciated! Luckily Seattle seems to run on volunteering so there’s plenty to get stuck into 🙂

  7. Renee says:

    So awesome that you are recognizing this and doing lots to combat it. Still, in the meantime, it’s fucking hard. Transitions without purpose are tough. A couple years ago I was on medical leave and the lack of socialization sucked. Hope that all your activities pick up soon.

  8. Lynsey says:

    Really feel for you, it must be so hard to be so far away from what you know and your used to but things will get easier if you can stick it out a bit longer. I think getting out at least once a day is must, walking, shopping, visiting new places, finding new fabric shops, this way you can see others and talk to others even if it’s just a smile and hello. I’m sure when you start work you will feel much better, hang on in there love xx

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Lynsey. It’s really good advice to get out and about – I try to do this, even if it’s just popping to the supermarket or something. They’re really good at customer service in the US so you can pretty much always have a chat with people at the till! I’m feeling much more positive today after some good hugs from my husband and a night in the pub xx

  9. Angelle says:

    You have my sympathies. Moving away from friends and family is incredibly tough. I imagine moving countries and cultures is harder! I moved to SC for my husband’s job almost two years ago, and it’s been very lonely. Seattle has a lot more different kinds of people and lots more activities than where I am, so I bet you will adjust way faster than I did (am?).

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Angelle. I hope you’ve managed to find a good circle of friends in your new place, and that you also get to see your family and old friends regularly. Where did you move from?

      • Angelle says:

        I moved from Louisiana to South Carolina, and have been lucky to make a couple if friends (one was my sewing instructor!). I think taking classes and going to meetups are good ways to meet like-minded people.

  10. Caroline Joynson says:

    I am sending you a virtual hug right now.
    I know how you feel I moved to New York City for a job by myself when I was 21 and had homesicknesses for the first time in my life and found it all a bit overwhelming.
    It’s great that you have been proactive and joined a number of groups to get you out of the house and spend time with others and before you know it you will have a bunch of lovely friends. Your parents are visiting soon (if I remember correctly) and I’m sure you will be able to squeeze in lots of hugs to last you a while x

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Caroline, I certainly hope so! It’s weird how it strikes – I knew that this might happen so signed up for Girl Scouts pretty much straight away, but I thought that 5ish months in I’d be ok. I do feel much better about things today (comments here have really been a big help) and I am very much looking forward to a hug from my mum next week. No-one gives hugs like your mum! x

  11. Leigh says:

    Sorry to hear you’re feeling shit, Jo. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things though with the volunteering and the Meet ups. I can’t even imagine the state I’d be if I moved country. I’m sure you’ll start to feel better once you’re working and your visitors will help. Take care xx

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Leigh, much appreciated. I’m feeling much more upbeat today and looking forward to mum, dad and the in laws being here. xxx

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