We've got just over two weeks before we leave Louisiana and already I'm dreading the goodbyes. Beyond PCS stress and logistics, are the emotions one goes through while preparing to leave their current friends and support system behind.
We've been here for two years now and, though I really hate the heat and humidity (it's oppressive), I love the small town feel of this place. That could be stifling to some, but I find it comforting. I enjoy running into people at the store; the smiles and waves, the feeling of belonging when I go to church, or the kids' schools, and see familiar faces all around me. I've lived places where I could run errands all day long and never see a face that I recognize.
I've made some great friends here too. I can always count on them. Whether it's to get my kids on/off the bus, an ear to bend, a shopping companion, or to share a beverage after a long day, they have really been there for me. While I know that I will find new friends, friendships need time to foster and the first few months at a new duty station can be a little lonely.
I've found that volunteering my time with the unit FRG or at the kids' school is a great place to start. Besides the personal satisfaction that often comes from volunteering, it's a great to way to meet people with similar interests. Like I said though, building friendships can take some time. Acquaintances are good for a quick "Hello!" and "How are you doing?", but in order to become friends you have to be willing to make the effort. It's the effort required that can be intimidating.
Even though I'm excited about this move; our new home, the kids' new school, and the new locale, I'm disappointed that I have to leave my friends. Again. I just don't think that ever gets any easier. After all is said and done, the move is the easy part. It's the moving on that can be difficult.