Last summer, I moved away from what I was familiar with. I left behind friends and family, to a place where I knew no one. In fact, for the first week I was here I was completely alone while my husband was underway. Right now, I don’t work. I don’t go to school. For the past 20 years, that’s how I have made friends. How does a 20 year old stay-at-home-wife living in an unfamiliar city make friends?
I tried facebook. I am a member of the military wives page, a few San Diego navy wives pages, and even a couple more. For a while, I just read the pages, and then started commenting and interacting on the discussions. A few girls from San Diego asked to be my friend, and I started to feel a little more positive. I was really worried about being the first person to make an effort to be friends, or even talk. I was afraid I would be stalker-ish or something.. I mean, when I was growing up it was a big no-no to make friends over the internet, hah! Since then I have actually met only one of the four girls I have really talked to. We seemed to get along really well, but her life is going in a different direction than mine- she is getting ready to welcome a baby into her family, and I know it will be hard to keep in touch after he is born. I have also tried making friends with the wives from my husband’s ship. Although we also seemed to get a long, we were too different to be friends outside of our husbands.
I may have the military life in common with these other girls, but that’s not enough to build a friendship. It was easier in high school, even in my first year of college, and at my jobs, to make friends. I had something more specific in common with people then- whether it was a class, or a nagging boss, it was something. Plus, we had the opportunity to meet each other, without the awkward, “Hi, my name is Ashley. I’m also a navy wife- would you like to be my friend?” I keep thinking that when I start school or eventually find a job that it will be easier, but who knows?
I guess only time will tell. But until then, I’m going to stay open to making new friends in new ways, and enjoy my long distance friendships. In fact, my apartment is the spring break location for my two best friends this week, woohoo!