Tuesday, July 8, 2014
A Fish Out Of Water
I've had civilian friends tell me that by being a part of a military community I must be surrounded by people like myself. In a superficial sense this is true; we are all families who get uprooted every few years, understand than most the true costs of your country being at "war", and therefore can offer support to one another. This is most often the case. But just as our country is diverse, so is our military. Ethnically, spiritually, politically and yes, socio-economically we have variety. Add in the fact we are in an international military environment and the current level of diversity surrounding me so that much greater. Amidst all of this I'm finding myself feeling quite alone.
The American footprint here in Mons is much smaller than I expected and from what I've experienced, it is nothing like the close group of friends we've had at other duty stations. I feel as though the American community here is younger, more openly Christian and a lot more conservative than I am comfortable with. Now I'm not begrudging anyone their individual freedom to be open about these qualities but to be honest, they just aren't qualities I am comfortable with. I keep telling myself that there have to be fellow Americans here whose beliefs are more closely aligned to mine but I have yet to find them. I'm looking though.
And then there is the international community whom I do feel more comfortable around. Despite my inability to speak French in a meaningful way I find the greatest pleasure in interacting with them. Whether it be fellow parents at Sidney's school or Belgians in the community, this is where I am more comfortable. But I have yet to make a strong connection with anyone. But again, I'm looking.
And if I keep looking I'm eventually going to find what I'm looking for. Right? So, friend wanted. Must be socially and culturally open minded, enjoy good food and even better wine, have a spirit for adventure and love to explore. Parents of young children optional but a bonus. Any takers?