Dear UK Friends,
This week I’ve enjoyed a few really really overdue phone calls. And as a result, I feel like a new woman. Recharged. Reconnected. And determined to carry on calling.
I can totally understand why some of you feel like I’ve dumped you, so I’m pulling out all the classic lines right now….
It’s not you. It’s me…
You deserve better than me…
I’m just at a very different point of my life right now…
I need a little more time…
I’ve not spoken to some of you for almost a year now. A YEAR! Yes, we’ve exchanged occasional chit chat via WhatsApp or Facebook, or sent the occasional email, but I haven’t heard some of your voices in forever. And it breaks my heart. I miss my partners in wine. My gossip girls. My lads.
And the more time that passes, the guiltier I feel. Not to mention the more awkward it feels to make that overdue phone call…
Let’s be honest, I was never really great at lengthy phone calls in London either. But I never needed to be. A big face to face catch up was always just around the corner with you guys – calls didn’t seem to matter much back then.
But now, calls are all we’ve got…and it’s just not happening.
I know it’s a two way street. But I feel more guilt on my side, as I chose to leave. I chose to complicate the friendship with distance and different time zones. And I’ve had all this ‘free time’ over here in the past year, not working, in which you probably feel I could have called you.
Let me assure you, it’s not you. It really is me. It is me and this big old move to the USA. You DO deserve better and I promise, if you stick with me, I will be better. I’m just at a weird point in this transition where I haven’t quite figured out how to be ME, your friend, over here yet. In truth, before I left, I was still working out how to be a better friend post babies, let alone how to do it 5,000 miles away.
The truth is, we do need a little more time. Like, actual time. The time difference really sucks. Eight hours. Eight freaking hours. Every morning when I wake up, it’s almost the END of your working day. So I’ve already missed heaps.
You might think that I don’t care anymore, but I‘m always scanning Facebook for any news of you. Or reading your WhatsApp message with a huge smile on my face (even if I forget to reply!). Every morning, after the chaos that is feeding, washing and clothing my kids in the morning, I often kid myself that I’m going to call you, as it’s usually your home time…. But then I’m met with little but loud chants of ‘Mummmmmmmmy, I’m booooored.’
Cue that nagging mum guilt that tells me that I should be outside doing something RIGHT NOW with the kids. Put the phone away!
Or there’s tantrums / sibling fights to referee.
Or there’s that other lingering guilt that still haunts me. The guilt of having left my own Mum and Dad to move to America. So most of the time, I call them, and lovingly use up all my phone hours.
Mid-guilt trip, I suddenly slap myself and remember that you guys have a bloody life. You aren’t sitting there waiting for my overdue call. You are out and about in London. Doing your thing. With your friends, partners and families. You don’t need a call from me right now, you’re probably busy. I have no real news anyway. My days are pretty samey….
By the time we’ve come back from the beach or park, and I’ve stopped panicking about what we are going to talk about when I call, it’s lunch time. And after lunch, it’s late in the UK –it’s bedtime.
And by the time the kids go down for the night and I’m actually free to call without distractions, it’s cruelly 2AM in London and no one is awake…or if they are, they are either drunk or mid night feed.
And so once again, another day has passed without me hearing your voice.
So…I’m full of excuses. Full of apologies. And full of homesickness for you. I really was hoping to come back in August. I was going to have an almighty catch up sans kids with you. Face to face. I was going to tell you about all the times I missed you, thought of you and should have called. But August never happened.
I’m still working on a home visit plan for 2017, but I promise to be braver on the phone. And more call spontaneous. Even when I go back to work full time. One of these days, we will have that catch up call, and like the good friends that I know we really are, despite the time and distance, it will be like no time has passed at all.
Miss you always friends x