Friday, November 02, 2012

A wilted birthday

G'day all!

Happy birthday to me!  It is my birthday in Australia but not quite here in Seattle yet.
Birthday sorbet yesterday with my friend L.

Over the years, finding out where I am from is becoming increasingly interesting to me.  Who am I?  Where am I from?

This is something that is difficult - my parents are dead, my grandparents are long dead (my father's parents so long dead my mother never met them), my cousins are old enough to start popping their clogs....  I'm at least third generation, more like fourth generation Australian.  One of my sisters has traced our lineage back to the Second Fleet, she thinks (lots of people with the same names is an issue).  So yeah, not only am I a colonial, I probably have convict blood in me, a matter of some pride in Oz.

This would look a lot nicer if embiggened.

Apparently I look Dutch or possibly from some part of Sweden.  I don't look particularly Norwegian if the people I see around here are anything to go by.  I'm too big, the wrong colouring and the wrong shape.  I know my ancestry includes English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish peoples but it doesn't really inform me as all of those have been such a melting pot for so long - wave after wave of invaders.

We had a rainbow at sunset yesterday.  Lasted forever!

So tonight, I went to a talk by Sylvia Olsen, technically about Cowichan sweaters but just as much about her life and the knitting that has informed it.  Here is a lady who was alien to the First Nations tribe she married into, yet she has put down roots there.   At the same time as it was inspiring and an interesting talk, I was also saddened because it became all about me, me, me.

I've been here since January, 10 months almost.  I have not put down roots.  I have not integrated in any way.  I have one friend, well one and a half friends - I have the phone numbers and email addresses for two people and one I ring regularly, though not as often as I should have over late summer/fall.

Still loving the leaves...

I've gone to knitting events and talked to people and tried to share things and given people my mini moo cards.  At the Nordic Knitting Conference, I talked to some people there who said how hard it is to be an outsider and how hard they found it to integrate into Seattle society - it's known as the Seattle Freeze but don't worry, I've found it happens all over the USA.  Anyway, the very next night after being all pally with me, they didn't want to know me any longer.  I wasn't interesting any longer.  They were not from Seattle, so it ain't just the Seattle Freeze.  I've had the same thing happen in Colorado and in California.  I rarely got to know people who had lived in that place all their life.  It was the imports who became my friends, the people like me who would like friends and did not have established groups and cliques.

Love the plays of yellow and red.

So it is a bit depressing on top of the usual I'm a year older (on the other hand, given the events of late 2009, I'm a year older!  I made it another year!  Yay!).  I am introverted.  I am actually quite shy and uncertain in social stuff - being geeky did not set me up socially for life, it usually brought rejection.  I don't make friends easily or often, though once I do, I tend to think of them being friends for life, even if we haven't talked for five years.  I had hoped that I would have some friends to invite out to dinner by now, but the only ones coming are my husband's friends, people I've met through him.  I enjoy their company and I'm getting to know them better and we can have fun but it would be nice to have some of my own friends.

Rugosa rose hip and fall foliage.

I go to knit nights and have been to the spinning guild twice now and I have some sorta friends there.  Maybe I am trying too hard.  Maybe I'm not trying hard enough.  Maybe I'm just a very dull person.  Maybe I exude loneliness. Maybe I'm too geeky, too chatty, too weird, too me

Instead, I fling myself into my crafting because it fills some of the gap.  If I can't have friends here, maybe I can have lots of nice things instead, things that I can say, "I made that, aren't I a clever girl?"  Having someone's approval, even if it is only my own, is nice :-)

A little quilt, the fish now has a big eye on it.
I made that all by myself, aren't I a clever girl?

I won a book tonight because it is my birthday tomorrow :-)  If I wrap up some of the yarn I bought online recently, I'll get a present too.  I could wrap up the new tops I bought to replace my lovely lime green fleecey that I lost today.  I can pretend.  I'm good at pretending.  Plus I know this too will pass.  I'll get used to being mumbly-cough soon enough and I'll find someone(s) to be my buddies sooner or later.

I liked these leaves against the paling fence.

Oh, btw, many apologies, I have been even worse than normal at responding to comments.  That's because some scumbags spammed my comments and I had to chuck about 100 comments into my spam box and now gmail throws all of the comments in there, and I'm not very good at checking spam as I discovered the other day when I found goodly handful of comments there.  I'm trying a different commenting form, one that I think will let me reply in the comments.  I hope.

anon!

16 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Lynne, sorry to hear that you're still feeling unsettled. As someone who also feels uncertain in social situations and breaking into new groups I have much sympathy for your plight. You are a lovely person and have much to offer, take it easy, it will happen :-)

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    1. DrBones, when I get back to Melbourne, we are so meeting up. If you'd like :-)

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  2. Happy Birthday!! I took up quilting when I arrived in a new town with no friends. I'm thankful for lots of blogging friends now. I'm sure you'll break through the Seattle Freeze soon. Happy Birthday again!!

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    1. Thanks! I am also thankful for blogging friends too - and for friends who are just an email away :-)

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  3. Happy Birthday dear Lynne,I enjoy reading about your adventures,keep em coming

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    1. Oh, I've got more adventures! So many photos, so little time to share them and the stories with them.

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  4. Happy Birthday Lynne. Hope you had a wonderful celebration.

    I can totally identify with your difficulties with making new friendships, I have had similar problems. I think people who have lived in the same place for a while, who therefore have friends/family there can become rather insular and do not reach out to others outside their "group". It can become this way in churches too.

    I have been reading your blog for sometime and have often wished for a friend such as yourself who I could share my crafty endeavours with, not to mention you seem like a lovely person and friend. Just keep reaching out to people and you will find at least one true friend.

    Take care, looking forward to hearing about more of your adventures.

    Ronnie

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    1. Hey Ronnie - thanks for your comment! It's funny how this whole blogging and internet thing makes us closer yet sometimes so far apart! I've made quite a few friends online and I'm glad of that - it is nice to find like minded people scattered all over the world. But as you know, sometimes you want to hang out with someone(s) and do stuff with them.

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  5. Happy Birthday Lynne,
    I share your experience making friends - most of my friends here in the USA are not from here - its an interesting phenomena. I certainly don't think you should ascribe it to any personality traits or defects - I don't think you are too weird, chatty, nerdy or anything else.. its not you - it's them! Hope you have a good birthday week.
    Alison

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    1. Thanks, Alison - you are a case in point, as am I! LOL

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  6. Happy Belated Birthday! I do understand your experience of making friends but you are a lovely person and I'm sure once people get to know you, they'll like you (I did!)

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    1. LOL -thanks, MrsP! I also find you delightful. I have been neglecting you shamefully - I shall have to get my blogroll going again.

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  7. Happy Birthday. I hope you find out about yourself a bit this year. Nothing wrong with a bit of me, me, me every now and then!!

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    1. Thanks, 2paw. I thought of you at the farmer's market the other day when three yellow labs all lined up sniffing each other, then two chocolate ones joined in the sniff fest. None of them had rolled in anything, yet, thank heavens.

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  8. "It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."

    No one ever told me it would be crushingly lonely sometimes, too. In the spirit of our common ground, I think we should break the "acquaintance wall" and have dinner. :D

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    1. Done! Email sent privately :-)

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I enjoy getting comments but if I don't have your email address, I may not be able to reply 8-\
I'm trying various commenting things so that I can reply to your comments within blogger itself.