Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Fish Out Of Water

Recently I've been feeling a bit like a fish out of water. I feel like I'm in limbo and don't really have a community to call my own. Maybe its because we recently moved (if you can call five months ago recent) and I have yet to find my niche. But as I look around me I find myself wondering just what my new "community" will be. Atypical of most military postings, there isn't a spouse group associated with Glenn's command. Add in the fact that I'm not working and Sidney attends a school without a PTA or other parent's group where I could easily meet my peers, and I'm actually finding it quite difficult to meet like minded people. Because from where I'm sitting, I really don't see a whole lot of people like me. That's not to say that I need to be surrounded by people like myself; rather I want to find at least a few people with whom I share similar interests and values.

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?

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