Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Meeting New People

Being an expat is difficult in a way I just didn't imagine when I was sitting in the UK surrounded by people I knew.  When you're an expat you have to introduce yourself, not like in the UK, here- you have to introduce yourself daily.  Everyone you meet is new, and that can be really exciting.  But everyone you meet is new, and that can be REALLY tiring.  Tiring in that nobody just 'gets you', because nobody knows you.
Academy friends
I have been blessed to have met some really great people.  When I was in academy I had a little group of friends that lived in each others pockets.  When I joined the ATC that group grew.  We had adventures together and knew each other really well.  There were 'in jokes' and back stories, and classes together and walks home and hanging out.  There were camps and trips and evenings talking until our throats were sore.
University friends on my wedding day
My two best friends from University were my bridesmaids on our wedding day and they supported me 100% during my totally irrational freak outs in the run up to The Big Day.  They were there all the way through Uni and I have so many happy memories from my time then.
Night out with my Uni girlies
So many classes together, or hiding out in the library trying to find sources.  Many walks and tears and laughing so hard that my sides were sore and my stomach was hard like I'd had a workout.  They know me so well and we can sit together without saying a word or we can talk and learn and grow from those chats.

Post Grad friends
Being an expat means having nobody like that.  When you're an expat you have to start again and this is a challenge.  I'm a happy introvert.  I'm quite happy to be quiet and read or potter away on my own.  I love being with a group of people, but I am more than happy in my own company.
FLASH! But still friend from Uni Job
However, now I'm playing a whole other ball-game.  I need to get on with it and start introducing myself some more.  Nobody knows me, but I'm never going to have anyone know me if I sit quietly at home pottering about.  Its something I didn't even think about in Scotland.  It's something I totally took for granted.
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Work friends
If, however, God grants me with even one person to chat away happily with, I will try my hardest to never take them for granted.  I will remember what its like to not know anyone, and to constantly re-introduce myself.  Until then I guess I'm just going to have to get out of the front door and get talking.