I've Misplaced My Mojo

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.


Zephyr Vintage said...

Just know you have friends (like me!) who love you dearly...even if it is from afar. And don't worry...you smell great, your just the right height and frankly, I value your opinions :-) - Leslie

Melica said...

I'm a little relieved that if you can feel like that, that I'm normal too, right?! :) We're having to adjust to this place too and I swear I had that very same conversation with Will yesterday about how exactly I will fit in here. He didn't quite get why I cared, but then, he has work and automatic relationships with other adults! Good luck. I'm sure things will work out over time. If not, Maybe we can come visit! :)

G in Berlin said...

I more than know how you feel. Even worse, last year someone I thought I was friends with, who had befriended my girls, decided I wasn't her cup of tea, after we did quite a bit to help her with integrating and registering. That's ok, I guess, although exploitative- but the karma is on her. What freaked me was how sad it made my kids. Now I totally distrust some expats and I don't have the built-in base that you have.

Mom24 said...

Jill, I am sorry you're hurting. Completely understandable though. I know I don't know you IRL, but from what I see it's not you, it's them. Who knows what's going on in their lives, but you are very friendly and approachable and I can not imagine it's you.

Keep trying, keep being friendly, but don't change who you are. Any friendship based on you having to change isn't really worth pursuing, but then, you knew that.

I'm at a very similar point in life. I have "friends", but no close friends. For me, I find it's the ages of my kids. It seems to freak people out. It's too much to relate to someone who has kids at every stage of life, let alone someone my age with grandkids. Or, maybe it's that I'm too short or my feet smell, who knows. It is lonely though. I hope a few more women step forward and get to know all of you. They'll be really happy they did.

Unknown said...

It is hard to meet new people or make a connection when you are in a place that seems to be in constant transition. At least for me it is anyway. I didn't make any friends honestly during our time in Germany after the first year. The couple of people I did connect with either moved on to somewhere else or were simply people I only saw in a group setting at a party. It's probably why I didn't enjoy being there very much. (The women's club I did join had activities in the next city over about an hour away and once number two came along I couldn't manage it anymore)

I hope that here will be better but so far with the heat and being on my own I've only met one neighbor (and the weird thing is that her husband is home everyday and so is she. I can't figure out if they are very independently wealthy or he's unemployed...or what)

I did try to join in the Moms club but neither WC club can have me because I live in WW township which means I have to go to a different club. I haven't bothered to figure it out yet.

Okay I just whined about me, sorry :) I hope you find the groove soon.

Christy said...

I am sure you are already doing this - but projects around the house really help me. Or crafts. Hopefully you'll make some new new friends soon -- it's hard enough for me here...I can only imagine how much more difficult it is there. I'm thinking of you!!

Jen said...

Making friends is hard and something that I still struggle with. I am sure that you will be the bell of the ball soon or at least I hope that you for. :)

Lisa said...

oh honey....you will find your niche - you're too sweet not to!

Anonymous said...

The summer cycle turnover :( That's sad but true.

Hoping you find your mojo ... or in the meantime, that you are content to just sip lemonade or mango-ade (or whatever fruit season it is down south) and watch those girls play in that yard.

(Still jealous of your grass)

Darlene said...

I totally understand what you are going through. I am starting on my third year here and I am having trouble making new friends, but on the upside I worked with this "Totally Cool" mom at the ASA fair and she was Awesome. I think we are going to become good friends.

Oh...and she has the sweetest little boy that I will babysit anytime.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Finding your groove is challenging. I am not sure that I have found mine yet. And I've been in practically the same space since I had my kiddos. I always got excited to meet moms with girls. And have an excuse for a playdate...but really, it's a playdate for me.

So many times though...I'd like the mom...but her kid(s) would make me nutty. Or the kids would all get along, but the moms...not so much.

Unknown said...

Oh chica... I HEAR you. I have been here for 4 years now.. &
F I N A L L Y feel like I have met the women who will become my closest friends here... I made a decision last spring to be proactive... Hang in there.. girl.. it will happen... get out there & be as sweet as you are... & if there are a couple of biotches.. so be it.. their LOSS... : ) Hugs

C.C. said...

I so appreciate this post! You've put into words what I've been feeling for the past 20 years! This is our fifth overseas post and I still don't feel like I know where or how I fit in. I hate constantly feeling like the new kid. I'm 47 freaking years old!! Too old to be standing alone on the playground! Thanks for this excellent post! Take care and enjoy your new house!

anymommy said...

I know. I do. I've moved a lot. Sometimes, it's just hard. It doesn't click. But, then, suddenly you'll meet this one wonderful woman and it all works again. Hang in there.

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