I have been a borderline recluse since our move to Korea. Watching Netflix like it’s my job. Yoga pants and a t-shirt, my uniform. There is a certain comfort that staying home brings, and my past social self would be horrified to find how easy it is for me to now have a calendar full of nothing. Ironic isn’t it? To have something full of nothing. Yet knowing that each day is void of commitment is so so sweet.
Until your daughter looks at you like she’s holding a grudge and you know deep down that, while staying home all day everyday may be fine for you, she is only one and might need to see the world someday before her 18th birthday.
So you find things to do.
The problem now is, though, you don’t know anyone to do those things with. Sure, I don’t always need a posse to go grocery shopping or stroll aimlessly around the PX, but after you do all that there’s still another 23 hours left in the day.
So you make friends.
That above statement may seem obvious but from birth we have always had someone’s hand in our friendship making. Our mothers set us up on play dates, or schools filtered us into classrooms with peers in our age group, we had coaches, and teachers, and clubs, and employers. Take all that “common ground” away, and making friends turns out to be a lot harder as an adult. Now add in a foreign country and the demands of Army life and you’ll understand why its easier to have a relationship with your Netflix account.
In the military it is always said that your friends are your family. This couldn’t be more true. Our friends are who we spend our weekends, our birthdays, and our vacations with. Every Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, 4th of July and Super Bowl Sunday is spent with these people who, most times, will live in another state from you the next time that holiday or event rolls around next year. No matter how short the friendships last, however, these bonds are essential to surviving military life when flying home for the holidays isn’t an option and when there isn’t a grandparent to take the kids for an afternoon if your sick or just need some mommy time.
I know spouses who haven’t made it a priority to build friendships with other military families and it’s always those individuals who crack under the pressure simply due to lack of support.
When my husband mentioned I was slacking and I needed to make some friends here, I knew he was right. To be honest, it’s hard. It is ALWAYS hard. Making new friends can be scary, or awkward, or down right inconvenient at times, but it is necessary. It is essential for not only my survival, but for my families survival that we put down roots here in Korea and build bonds with others no matter how temporary they may be. That being said, I am so happy to report that I have made a handful of friends here at Camp Humphreys and I just can not say enough about how warm and welcoming these individuals have been. I am continuously impressed by the ease in which these women support each other-and more recently me-simply by reaching out, spending time, and laughing with one another. It is so true that a girl needs some girlfriends and I am so glad that I have found some here in Korea of all places.