Being a part of the military community for over 10 years, having to relocate or PCS (as we call it in the military) every few years is nothing new to my family. We have had the blessing to live in places most people pay to vacation in. It is a great experience, but it can get lonely and stressful. You are far away from family and don’t get to see them as much as you’d like or at all. You are away from your cousins and other family members. Growing up, these are your best friends, your roll-dawgs. My kids have not had the benefit of growing up with their cousins like my husband and I did. They have to make new friends at a new school every 3-4 years. I have to start a new job every few years which makes it very difficult to professionally advance or climb the ranks within the current place of employment. I have to make new friends and learn to assimilate because every location is different with different people and different cultures (which I love). It can be very difficult, stressful, and lonely. Luckily, we have been blessed to make life-long friends everywhere we go.
We still stay connected with people we were stationed in Japan with and that was almost 10 years ago! Having technology like Facebook makes it easier to keep in touch with friends and family. I love seeing how my family and old friends are doing, whether it’s watching how they are professionally or personally advancing, or watching their kids grow, or watching them take vacations and trips! I love seeing my family and old friends happy and thriving! We have had the pleasure to make great friends along every duty station. It is truly a blessing.
Even though we were not on active duty while we were in NYC, my husband was on orders under the Navy Reserves while he completed a Post-Bac Premed program and a Masters of Science program at Columbia University. Again, we transferred from San Diego to NYC where we had to start our lives all over again. It was only 3 years prior that we relocated from Japan to San Diego. So or kids had to make new friends at a new school yet again. I had to resign from my job and look for a new one. We had to say good bye to great friends and family – my mom, dad, sister, and brother live in SD and most of my family lives in California. Just like Japan, we had to say goodbye to great people in San Diego. And now we had to say goodbye to great people in NYC when we transferred to Maryland. Yet again, my kids had to make new friends at new schools. I had to resign from my job, but I’m not currently looking for a new one. Husband and I decided it’s best for me to concentrate on our home and family this time around. Luckily, my kids are super resilient and are great at making new friends. They love meeting new people and living in new places, but I don’t think they know that this is not the norm for most American families. They were just born into this life and don’t really know any different.
While they have made good friends here in Maryland, I have yet to make any real social connections especially since I am a stay-at-home-mom and don’t have the chance to make friends through work. I have been blessed with great friends though because I am still very much in touch with my coworkers from NYC. We text almost every day if not a few times a week. In fact, we were just in NYC this weekend and met for brunch and it was soooooo refreshing to see them! I had no idea how much I missed them and our conversations! I hadn’t laughed so hard since we moved to Maryland almost 8 months ago. Seeing them was very therapeutic! Catching up with them and talking about the trips they have planned, how their families/significant others are doing was so fun! We went back to the hotel and walked my dogs, had dessert at Juniors Cheesecake “Home of the World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake and Desserts”. What’s more, they surprised me with so many mommy and baby goodies! These wonderful women surprised me with a ton of baby stuff! And a nice bottle of Jameson for after the baby arrives, of course. I had no idea nor was I expecting them to do this. I just missed them and was looking forward to enjoying their company while we were in NYC. Nonetheless, it was a very nice surprise!
It seems like every where we have lived, we’ve had the blessing of making great friends. While we were in Japan, my coworkers surprised me with a baby shower! And now, my friends surprised me with lots of beautiful gifts for my baby and I. I have truly been blessed with great friends!