You may remember from my last post, “It’s Time for a New Adventure,” that I recently moved back to St. Louis, my hometown. I’ve been back about two weeks and just finished my first week of work at my new job. The transition has been mostly easy, and I’ve only gotten lost driving home from work once or four times.
I anticipated there would be hard moments or lonely moments — moments when I would miss my friends and the familiarity of Colorado. But I also miss the structure that my life had there. I miss the weekly routine of get-togethers with friends, going to the gym, book club, and meeting people for lunch/coffee/dinner. Honestly, I miss having a full schedule and having every evening planned with something fun. Even the nights I had free were structured: doing laundry or running errands.
Since I’ve been back, every single evening is free. I haven’t made new friends yet or found a gym or settled into a routine. That will all come with time, but right now I feel insignificant. I feel unmoored. Unanchored. I found purpose and identity in my busy schedule. I found significance in being busy and social.
My best friend lives in St. Louis, and she’s married and has a toddler. We’ve been trying to get together for two weeks, and it just hasn’t happened. I’m available any day, any time, and she’s the one with a busy schedule. That’s been hard for me. I feel small and unseen because my calendar isn’t full.
I’m learning that a busy social life is a blessing, and being invested in the lives of my friends is a good thing. But it’s not the main thing. My worth is still the same, whether I’m crazy busy or crazy not busy. I still matter whether my Google calendar has a ton of appointments or nothing but white spaces.
In the absence of a spouse and kids, it’s easy for singles to find purpose in a busy social life. That’s necessary and good, but let’s not confuse busyness for significance.