Six Friendship Experiments
Wait! Wait! Let me guess where you are when you’re reading this article.
I picture you in small, dingy TLF sitting on a lumpy upholstered chair that tilts to the side staring at your iPhone or computer. You are surrounded by crappy furniture, suitcases and have random bags of stuff at your feet. If you have kids, they are bouncing off the walls, annoying you to no end, but in your best “I’m a good mother or father” voice, you find them something over their age to watch on the television. You’re waiting to find permanent housing and staring out your TLF window wondering how you are going to find your way through this new assignment.
Or, maybe you’ve just moved into your new home at your new location. You are surrounded by brown boxes, loads of mind numbing beige paper and your fingers tips are so dry that you want to dip your hands in bathtub of lotion. You’re taking a mental break because you’ve lost the will to live – or at least unpack one more box full of things without a home. You are exhausted, mentally done with the moving process. You don’t know a soul at your new location and just the thought of process – and yes, it is a process – of finding friends is just too much to tackle.
I may be guessing on where you are, but I’m fairly confident you’re feeling a bit downtrodden. You’re missing that handful of friends from your last assignment and wondering when or if you will be able to find the type of friends that make this military life worth it.
I get it. I’ve moved six times in nine years. As a matter of fact, I’m in the middle of a PCS right now. I’m feeling the exact same way, half excited for the adventure but on the other hand, exhausted at the idea of having to friendship date all over again. (Anyone in Ramstein, Germany and want to hook a military spouse up? Hint hint)
I call myself “The Connector” because I love connecting new spouses into a community. It’s my thing; it makes me feel great to know a spouse isn’t sitting alone in her/his house wondering how to start. But what happens when “The Connector” is completely disconnected – cut off by another move? Who connects me?
The process of making friends is like constantly conducting a chemistry experiment while on a high dose of hormones. It can be a highly emotional and unpredictable process with lots with failed attempts.