I read a blog post recently from a woman who, from what it sounds like, is struggling to adjust to her new military life. It tugged at my heart, ‘cause I get it. I’ve been there. And I’ll be there again, and again, and again. Almost everyone I’ve met feels this way at one point or another, like they will never make friends in their new city. Like they’ve completely lost touch with all of their friends from “back home”. Like they are alone.
This isn’t even a military related challenge, I’m willing to bet this happens to just about every human. I have definitely felt this way many times… my first year in college, my first year out of college, my first year in San Antonio, my first year in this tiny desert town. Are you starting to see a trend?
I have a theory that it takes a year to find your tribe, your niche, your ‘thing’ in your new city. Not going to lie, it will be a painful year… and there will be tears. Lots of tears. But one day you’ll realize that you don’t hate this place anymore, and that you’ve actually got a friend who is always down to meet you for coffee, or for a beer… or three.
And those besties from back home? We’re all growing and evolving and sometimes we just don’t grow or evolve together, or at the same speed. I think it’s all part of learning which friendships are built to last. In my 30 years of life, I have met and bonded with a lot of really cool people. Most of my favorite/hilarious/embarrassingly awesome memories are with those really cool people. Guess what? I no longer keep in touch with 99% of them. But that’s ok, because I will always have a special spot in my heart for them.
There’s this really cheesy but awesome quote one of my college roommates shared with me back in the day (hah! “back in the day”… I guess this means I’m old, huh?):
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
A lot of the friendships I have made so far in this military world are seasonal friendships, mostly due to the fact that we are all temporary transplants. We know we won’t be here in this exact location forever and our time here is limited, so let’s be friends for now ‘cause you’re kinda cool and I could use a friend right now. Maybe some will turn into lifetime friends, who knows? We are in unique situations knowing that it is possible that we will never see each other again, but maybe our paths cross at another duty station 10 years from now.
Friendships are a lot like dating… you’ll go on a lot of really awkward first dates that you know will lead to nowhere. Then, when you least expect it, when you weren’t even actively looking… you’ll find The One.
You’ll get there, girl. Just give yourself time.