A while back I wrote on this very blog about my decision to make new friends. I had spent too many years isolating myself in a military world and had a circle of military-only friends to show for it.
I think it is easy to fall into that pattern. Especially when you live on base. And especially when you are a stay-at-home mom. It's just that another military wife and mother can so easily understand your challenges.
Don't get me wrong, those friends were great. We were all there for each other during those first post-9/11 deployments and CB especially was there for me during some of the hardest moments of my life.
But I felt an elemental disconnect with so many of them. I just didn't feel like anyone really knew me and I truly thought that most of them wouldn't like me any more of they got to know me.
Which is why I started to blog. Blogging was my outlet and my connection to the rest of the world. And I've made some wonderful friends through blogging. Some of them have stood the test of time and our relationships have evolved way beyond blogger friends.
But still, it just isn't the same as having a core group of good local friends. Everyone needs friends they can see regularly, and laugh with, maybe even share a hug with once in a while. Maybe. Everyone needs someone they can turn to when they need a hand.
Making friends as an adult can be hard, especially when you're not sharing a workplace. But I accepted the challenged to put myself out there and see what connections I could make.
And, man, have I made some connections.
I think I was very lucky to find myself in close proximity to some great people. And I'm going to pat myself on the back just a little and say that I totally rock. I'm really very shy (I swear) and sort of a loner (no really) but I overcame those inborn traits. I also went out on a limb and took on some leadership rolls in volunteer committees that really helped me get to know more people.
One of the hard things I'm going through right now is telling all of my new friends about my husband's deployment.
Because they're not military, a lot of them just don't know how to react. And they hurt for me. I can see it in their eyes. It pains me to see them hurt for me. I am way too empathetic for it not to effect me.
But the upside is that I have friends coming out of the woodwork to show their support.
These relationships evolved so slowly over time (like good relationships probably should) that I hadn't even really realized how many friends I had. And then, boom! There they were.
When you live so far from your family, you make your own. These people may not be like my immediate family. Yet, anyway. But I suddenly feel like I have a great big extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles, and crazy ass in-laws.
And this loner isn't feeling so alone anymore.