The other night, I found myself in the emergency room. Yikes. I'm fine (I think) now, but all I can say is I will never get a pedicure again (this breaks my heart).
Anyways, when I found out I had to go to the ER because of the infection/fever, I kind of freaked out. The nurse on the phone told me I should not be driving myself in the case I was in too much pain/had to get minor surgery. I looked around my empty apartment and smirked -- I didn't have anyone to drive me and sit and wait with me for what turned into be a six-hour adventure. When I finally arrived at the ER, I began to freak out. There were hundreds of people in the waiting room and the line to check in was out the door. I felt lonely and isolated among so many people surrounded by family. When I finally reached the check-in window, two of the first questions were: did you come here alone? can you list three emergency contacts?
Yes, I came here alone. I don't think I have any emergency contacts. You can list my mom, but she's a few hours away. Yes, that's it. Nope, no one else.
As I trudged back to my seat to wait for three hours to be seen, I grew more and more upset. I had been living in San Diego for a few weeks now - why didn't I have anyone to call up and wait with me? Why didn't I have anyone nearby who could come get me if something really bad happened? Why hadn't I found my emergency contact?!
I knew post-grad life would come with its own set of challenges. I knew finally getting a job and moving out would not solve all my problems, but rather create an entirely new set of problems. However, I didn't expect it to be this hard.
I've always been fine on my own - I am independent and like to explore places by myself. Plus, I am notoriously tied to my alone time. Plus, after having such a hard time adjusting to Vanderbilt where I knew no one my first month, I thought I could conquer anything. But, night after night of coming home from work to nothing to do and no one to talk to became upsetting. The emergency room was the culmination of this, particularly as I saw so many people having fun on social media as I scrolled through my phone in the waiting room.
I know it's a matter of patience (not my virtue whatsoever). Eventually, I'll find a group. It happened (slowly) in college...it's bound to happen again. For now, it's meet up groups, alumnae chapters, new churches, and a lot of awkwardly introducing myself. Thanks, Parks & Rec for keeping me occupied in the meantime.
So, if you just graduated and are feeling lonely, you aren't...you got me.