Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New places, new faces..

Story time!

I was at church on Sunday and I was chatting with someone and he mentioned Sunday school to me.  I didn't actually realize the church I've become part of had an adult Sunday school class, so I was kinda glad he told me.  Not sure if I'll go while Teh Bear is still in FL, because that would cut into our now extremely limited skype time, but it is good to know for the future.  In my defense though, being Catholic for 20+ years, adults don't necessarily go to Sunday school, they stand in the fellowship hall/kitchen and drink coffee.  Or at least that's what I remember them doing while I was in CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (yes, I had to look that up) or Sunday school for my non-Catholics).

Then, without missing a beat, he suggested that I bring a friend.  Then I, without missing a beat, said, "Well, I'm still working on making friends."  Things got kinda awkward then, he was stumbling over an apology, saying he hated how people made statements like that and he'd just made one.  I told him not to worry, it wasn't weird, it's just been hard for me to make friends here.

And it has been.

It's extremely hard to come to a place where everyone knows each other, has been here all their life, has a family, have been stationed here several times, have friends here because they work in the same community, or they like to do S.MD things, like hunt and drink and fish and what I would generally refer to as "redneck activities" (nothin' against "redneck activities" but usually those things come with mosquitoes and we're not friends).  It's hard to break into that community.  It's hard to show people who don't need friends how awesome you are when you feel lonely and singled out because you aren't from here, you don't have a family, a husband, any kids, you've only been stationed overseas (and you know people get tired of hearing about your overseas stories, because it makes you that person), you don't know anyone that you work with or anyone even in the community.

For me, it's very difficult to ask someone, "Can I come?"  I was taught that inviting yourself was rude, so you have to wait on an invitation from someone else.  I've done it, out of sheer desperation to not have to sit at home, but the reality is invitations don't come from people that don't think of you as their friend.

This is also a double sided problem.  Because along with trying to reach out and make friends (and being mostly unsuccessful it seems), it makes me put more pressure on Teh Bear to find a job in S. MD (impossible by the way) so I won't be as lonely.  This stresses him out, I'm sure, and my comments about moving to S.MD are a daily thing (despite how much I hate myself for saying them and being that person).  Reaching out is also very uncomfortable for me.  I have a very nice comfort zone and to divvy from that just makes me twitchy.  But, I also realize that if I don't get out and do things that "make me twitchy," I won't make any new friends.

Now don't get me wrong, I've met plenty of great people, but honestly, rarely do I "hang out" with them.  We have plenty of things in common when it comes to the activities we do together, work, church, greyhounds..  But, not enough in common to be like, hey, you wanna get together this week and make dinner  together/go out for dinner and watch a movie (on the tv I never turn on)?

I've learned in my almost 4 years in the Navy, that friendships are flexible.  Those are the kinds of friendships I want.  The friendships where if someone goes away, the friendship doesn't go away.  Yes, it may decline because you aren't in each other's lives every day, but you know that when you sit down it's like you've always been there.  The other thing about friendships is that some are temporary.  Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you and when you're no longer part of each other's lives, it's ok.  You want to hear their crazy stories and they want to hear yours... for that time that you're together.  Then it's ok when you're walking away and you know that you had a friend, but now you're moving on.  I found this article (ironically, after I wrote this post) that kinda describes what I'm talking about: 5 Different Kinds of Besties.  The Navy taught me mostly about #3 and #5.

Gentle Readers, being an adult is hard.  It sucks a lot, at least sometimes.  Sadly, the easiest things are the most prominent things in our lives, having a job and paying the bills, things we don't mind talking about to strangers.  But the hardest things are the things we don't go out and tell everyone, we keep our "secrets" to ourselves, hoping we can figure it out sooner rather than later, I need friends.

Maybe I don't have any friends because I love this:

I think I'll go watch that video in it's entirety and laugh a bit.  Who needs friends when you have the internet?


  1. Hey! I like to think of us as friends! I'm still sad it didn't work out for us to go to Kohl's together on Friday!

  2. I was the same when when I got to Norfolk. I didn't have friends for about 6 months. :/ You're awesome, people will realize that soon enough! Oh and if it helps I really miss having you close enough to hangout with on a regular basis

    1. We get to hang out soon!!!! Sept 9th is less than a month away!!! We should figure out something fun to do after the run. My parents are going to be with me, but they'll be down for fun times. (not that it's regular basis, just something to be excited about). I miss you too, there's definitely something to be said about "wanna hang out?" then we head to our "back porch" and awesomeness ensues. :)

  3. I am the same way, I can manage (not always gracefully) social situations like work or school. But finding people to hang out with outside of those obligatory situations? Not so easy.

    1. The worst part is that I don't necessarily want to hang out with people from work all the time, since I'm already with them all day! Lets be honest, why am I even being picky??????


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