We move a lot! Our most recent move was from Wellington, New Zealand to the DC Metro area. We left New Zealand in late September and I must admit that I’ve been struggling a little with the move this time around. I’ve never been particularly shy or introverted, but also don’t necessarily make friends easily. I’ve had to (kind of) get over the fear of rejection in order to really LIVE in this lifestyle.
I actually love being around people; meeting people from all over the world. During our previous postings, I’ve been quick to make conversation, join the PTA, volunteer at the schools, participate in Embassy events, etc. This time, not so much. Maybe it’s because I know we are here so very temporarily (only 9 months). Maybe because I feel like we haven’t slowed down since we left New Zealand. Maybe because we came into the school year so late that I’ve missed all of those start-of-the-year meet & greets. I don’t really know. I do know that I haven’t jumped in with both feet the way I usually do.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means for me to “bloom” here while we are posted to DC. I think that this time around, it means something a lot different than it has before. This time it means to specifically focus on caring for myself and my family. While I have made a new friend, chaperoned a field trip, maintained a friendship with a friend from New Zealand who returned to the US around the same time we did, I have decided that “blooming” here means to not try to be everything to everyone the way I have been at our last posts.
I’ve decided that I will take the time to visit friends that I haven’t seen in the years we’ve been overseas, specifically, my best friend who I haven’t seen in 4+ years. I’ve already booked the flights. I’ve decided that I will make our tiny, temporary apartment an actual home. I will make it a comfortable space that feels like ours even without all of our “stuff”. I’ve decided that I will have the surgery that I have been putting off for years because I haven’t had the support system in place to make it happen while we are overseas. I’ve decided that I will mother our children with purpose like never before. (For our daughter because middle school is hard in the best of circumstances and 3 grades at 3 different schools in 3 years makes it even worse. For our son because transitions and change are hard for a plethora of reasons.) I’ve decided that I will continue to chaperone field trips and be friendly with the people I meet around school and our apartment complex, but maybe not really form any meaningful friendships besides what I’ve already established. This time, “blooming” means something different. Blooming means taking care of me, of us. And blooming means deciding that I am ok with that.