Life brings changes. We do not realize it until it smacks us in the face. That happened to me on a Friday night. I still feel the pain in my cheek. It travels to my heart, which is breaking. Besides my husband, I felt, and still feel, alone. I don’t know where I belong.

Taylorville has changed since I moved away. The police are working with the community called, Taylorville Police Department Community Action Team, CAT for short. The team, according to Facebook, is working out great. Something Princeton should look into creating. Again, Princeton now has its own “Hollywood” Walk of Fame, with the recent star dedicated to Kathryn Hays. Not sure if Taylorville has one. If not, they should. But I digress.

When I went back to my hometown, I announced it on Facebook and mentioned where I would be at that night. I was looking forward to connecting with old friends. I “checked-in” often on Facebook, so they would know where I was. My husband and I ate at the Steak-n-Shake, then went to a cemetery and took pictures, visited my aunt, then went to the place my husband, Bruce, plays Magic the Gathering. He tries to travel to Taylorville a few times a year to play.

As I sat there, watching the door to the store open and close, and time went by, no one visited me. It delighted me in watching my husband and his friend goof around, but where were my friends? Eeyore has friends, why not me?

I have always felt out of place in Taylorville. My friends and I grew apart. They got married and had children. Heck, I used to babysit their children. But life caused us to drift apart. Then the town seemed to look at me with a different set of eyes. I asked why, but no one would tell me. All I got told was that I am a hard worker and loyal, at least I had that going for me.  But people stopped hanging out with me. I knew, and still do, in my heart that I did not belong in Taylorville.

I thought the move to Princeton would offer me a new lease on life, and new friends. I was wrong. I have been in this town since the fall of 2014, and still no friends. Most of the people think I am an invalid, that is how the people in the low-income housing apartments I live in treat me. Again, some look at me, like I am faking everything, especially the doctors. Yet, that feeling of not belonging is overwhelming.

Am I too weird?

Am I too boring?

Is it because I don’t drink or do drugs?

Is it because I don’t “party?”

Is it because I am poor?

Is it because I am not outgoing?

When friends become acquaintances, and I am not making any new ones, it does not help my social anxiety. Right now, it is at an all-time high. I use my husband as a service dog. I do not go anywhere on my own without him at my side. I know he is tired of it. He keeps saying he wants me to have one, but we can’t because we have three companion cats. One is seven years old, and the other two are eight. I am not giving them up.

There is a writing group in Princeton. I thought about joining. They meet in a church. I feel I will not fit in because of the genre I write and my beliefs. So, I stay locked up in my apartment as Bruce goes out into the world to work, grocery shop, or go to Kewanee to play Magic the Gathering.  We go to the store, out to eat, and to the movies together, but, other than that, I sit in the apartment.

Bruce wants to save up and buy a truck and a camper. He wants us to live in it and travel until we find a place where we both belong. He wants us to write about our travels, the haunted places we visit, do reviews on camping gear, and experiences of life on the road. We do not know where we will call home, but we know it will be near a forest, where I can sit outside and listen to the music Mother Nature has provided.

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