Just because it's reality doesn't make it any easier.
There are those friends you meet from the neighborhood, from work, parents of your kids, coworkers of your spouse, etc. who, like everyone else here, you run into every where you go.
In the states, I tried to work in communities away from where I lived. I've spoken many times before about the somewhat claustrophobic nature of living in a tiny community where you see EVERYBODY, EVERYWHERE you go. People here call it "living in a fishbowl," and at times, it really does grind you down.
But here's the flip side to that: you run into people who are your acquaintances, and soon find yourself at the same places with them over and over again. Before you know it, you are invited to birthday parties, days at the beach, BBQs, kids' birthday parties, card games, boat trips on the bay, etc.
For someone who doesn't always like to get out of her comfort zone much to meet friends, it's been nice for me.
|Some mementos from Sunday morning mimosas with friends at Windmill Beach. |
Invite me for mimosas, and I'll make you one, too. :)
There is a good chance that I will lose several colleagues who have become my friends during the last 2 years, as well.
This means the cycle of finding new friends, for both myself and my kids, will start all over again.
I have always had social anxiety issues. I hate crowds. I am the world's worst hostess---if I have never invited you over for dinner, please, please understand----it's because the whole concept gives me a panic attack. I don't throw big parties for my kids, because I don't want to deal with lots of kids and parents (or even worse, kids and parents who don't bother to show up). I know that sounds selfish, but I think my kids understand. I hate going to events where I don't know people. Eating alone in a restaurant doesn't bother me; going to a large party where I don't know many people gives me a gigantic case of the the butterflies.
For me, there is also the quandary of being raised as a nester---my parents live in the same house that we moved to when I was five years old---and desiring to be a wanderer. It's not to say that my parents are not very well-traveled---they've been to several countries and are currently planning their next big adventure to the U.K.---and there is a real comfort in having a place to always go back to. I've been thinking about this a lot recently as my oldest has only a couple years of high school left . Where will he end up for college? Will we be on the other side of the world? His little brother recently told me that he doesn't want his big brother to ever leave. When you have kids eight years apart, the reality is he will also get a chance to be an only child at home, even though he will never be an only child.
But with goodbyes comes the excitement of knowing that I will one day have a chance to travel to see friends in different locations. Whether it's a road trip or a major travel ordeal, there is no better feeling than being reunited with a friend you haven't seen in years. There's also the knowledge that we will meet more life-long friends. It's hard to believe that some of the folks here have only been a part of my life for one or two years. In a year from now, I will be celebrating birthdays and holidays and cookouts with people I haven't even met yet. I will be going to ferry landing and saying goodbye to people I don't even know today. There will be more teary goodbyes, and there will be people to share them that aren't a part of my life right now.
And that, too, is the beauty of living somewhere that is transient.
|Sunset across from our house---beautiful, isn't it?|