Fellow expat-turned-repat Judy talked recently about being an expat who has gone soft. She discussed the stark differences between being an uber prepared, ready for anything individual while living overseas with the complete opposite once she found herself back home.
I wonder the same thing about myself when it comes to making friends.
Last night my daughter asked me “how many friends is the right number to have?”
When I asked her what she meant by it, she went on to explain that she only (ONLY!) has 17 friends at school and she whined “they are all in the same class as me, I need friends from OTHER classes too.”
She then asked me … as she often does … how many friends I have.
What a hard question to answer.
Does she mean the friends who know almost everything there is to know about me because they’ve been with me for the long haul and still love me?
She may be talking about those I bonded so strongly with before we left for India.
Or does she mean those who I Skype with, WhatsApp with and Voxer with?
Or maybe her definition entails the women who are in my same zip code, who I could easily pick up and have lunch with, or who I see during the week because of our children’s mutual activities.
Ah, maybe she means the women who live within a short flight away, those that I only see once a year but yet it seems as though no time has passed?
I know – in my heart – that the combination of all of the amazing women that fall into those different categories make up a pretty major powerhouse of strength and moxie as they are all pretty empowered women with great qualities and traits.
But I’ve apparently lost my mojo. I haven’t quite retained the same gutsy persona when it comes to making friends that find themselves under the same chunk of sky as mine. Like Judy and her emergency candle stash, I’ve gone a bit soft. I’ve become too accustomed to relying on Facebook for my friendship fix, my Trello for my emotional support, Twitter for my thoughts/tidbits and my phone gets used in place of physical conversations.
Daryn Kagan (who I totally love) recently shared about her boobs (yes, it is related to this post, I promise). Read that, and then come back over here.
(If you didn’t really click over, you need to. I’ll give you a second chance)
When I read her piece, I realized that I need to quit worrying myself up over my small pool of friends who know what I wore today (and not because of a selfie). I am going to discontinue the stress about “everyone living so far away” and whining about not having opportunities to meet like-minded chicks here.
The truth is, I have AMAZING women in my corner and I know that – without a shadow of a doubt – whenever I need them, they will show up for whatever the job may be.
Boobs, tats, sushi, pedicures, weekends away or just a listening ear. My tribe is as diverse as the snowflakes in December, as beautiful as the colors at an Indian spice market and as wise as the best panel of speakers “on life” one could ever ask for.
I haven’t lost my mojo, I’ve just forgotten to keep turning around – full circle – to see everyone.
Contributed by Naomi Hattaway. After living in several states in the United States, Naomi and her family moved overseas to Delhi, India and then Singapore. Now back in the United States and living in Loudoun County, Virginia, she enjoys making an impact -- even if only with a small corner of her world -- for the better. She is the founder of 8th & Home [http://8thandhome.com], a boutique real estate and relocation company and also blogs about relocation, life with itchy feet and living your best life at www.naomihattaway.com.