Despite living in Chennai for over a year now, I find that I'm still struggling to find my place... trying to figure out where I fit in.
I left towards the end of last school year, at a fairly critical time last year when comfort levels were high and inhibitions low. I was finally aware of where I belonged amongst the cheeky Brits, the Consulate crowd, the non-Consulate group, the moms at the school. I was in a groove. I made some close friendships with a small group of women... friendships that maintained and became stronger despite my 3.5 month absence, missing the end of the year parties, and summer cycle turnover.
But now that I'm back there's a small emptiness. A lack of community feeling. A gap that I'm trying to fill with endless committees, School Board responsibilities, room parent opportunities, and the overseas women's group.
This year's Consulate turnover sent several families to new locations, and brought in very few. Four families to be exact... though none of them with girls. So sadly, no girls playmates = no mommy playmates. For the most part. Sure we try to get together, but when Riley and Sheridan want to dress up like princesses and run around in high heels, usually the boys want to hit them with their light sabers, and play with boy stuff (which I'm ever so slowly learning about for the future!). And honestly, I can't fault them. It's just frustrating.
Initiating friendships is exciting. Putting yourself out there is often exposing. One sided relationships are exhausting. But what takes the cake is attempting to make friends with people who clearly don't want any more than a casual "hello/goodbye" connection. I'm clearly a slow learner on this one... though I am getting tired of trying.
I am very, very blessed with the few close friends we have here ... a great group of ladies and families who we see on a regular basis. I'm lucky that I can pick up a phone, send a text, shoot an e-mail. It's easy.
So why is making new friends this year is so darn hard. Is it me? Do I smell? Am I too short? Are my feet too dirty? Am I too opinionated (wait... don't answer that one). At some point soon I need to stop trying and move on. I just haven't figured out the right combo of putting myself out there and letting whatever is... just be. It's distressing because it's never been this difficult at a post.
Until I figure it out, I'll be here. Looking. Searching. Trying to find where I misplaced my Mojo.... or at least where I can bargain for a new one.