In a way my life since moving to Sisters Beach has been a rehearsal for isolation. Living in a small community with only occasional trips to the nearest town has meant that I have spent a lot of time alone. I don’t really know anyone here yet so most of my conversations have been with the people who run the local shop or random people that I’d meet on walks. The tourists are all gone now, the ones that would stop me to ask if the road to the beach continued on to Stanley. (It doesn’t) When I’m out walking Cindy I see other people exercising or walking their dogs. We keep our distance, usually one of us will cross the street, but we wave and exchange a few words. The few motorists around wave too but then people in Sisters Beach always wave and say hello. It’s that sort of place.
Am I lonely? Not really to be honest. I’m enough of an introvert not to mind being on my own. Yes, I miss Naomi as she can’t visit at present but then her visits are often a month apart anyway due to her work committments. I miss getting together with my friends in the Huon Valley for lunch or coffee. I miss my friends from the Op Shop . I had a much more varied social life in Geeveston. However, even when I lived in Geeveston the days that I was not at the Op Shop I was on my own a lot and I was happy that way.
I am disappointed that I won’t be able to start my new volunteer job at the Wynyard Visitor Centre for the foreseeable future. I was looking forward to meeting lots of visitors and giving them information about the local area.
Of course Cindy is delighted that I am home all the time. She hates it when I go out and I often felt guilty when she’d cry when I left the house without her. You are never lonely when you have pets and Cindy and Polly are always around to keep me company.
I still feel connected to the people I know though. As it did during the bushfires social media is keeping people in touch with friends and family. I use instant messaging and email a lot and I keep up with what everyone is doing via Facebook. Fellow bloggers post about their thoughts and feelings and life in their part of the world. If I really want to talk to someone I can pick up the phone.
For me the present situation is more about loss of freedom than loneliness. I didn’t go out often but I looked forward to those trips to markets on weekends with Naomi. I liked catching the bus to Burnie to look at the shops or to wander around taking photos of interesting buildings. I don’t want to go out all the time but I miss knowing that I can if I want to.