If you are anything like me, your relationships are important and you pour a lot of time and effort into those relationships. I create strong bonds with my friends and having to say goodbye to them has been very difficult. Here is how I deal with transitioning away from my friends:
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I also work on staying connected during the transition. I do this through Facebook, texting, or setting up times to chat. This was especially difficult as the hubs and I spent over 60 days on the road between leaving Oahu and arriving in Texas. However, I would do the best I could by texting my friends the minute I thought about them. They also knew they could count on me to post on Facebook where I was and what I was doing so they still felt connected to me.
I prayed for my future, new friends, in Texas and trusted God in this process. I have always had an easy time making friends and since I know God created me to be a connector and encourager I know that new friendships are always on the horizon. I don’t force this process as the friendships that develop naturally have been my favorites. I have made friends at church, of course, at women’s Bible studies, through my husband’s job when he was active duty, in my neighborhood, at scrap booking stores, at Curves, at salons while getting a pedicure, through my home-based businesses, by attending CAbi shows, Pampered Chef shows, and at 31 Parties. I have made friends with a sweet nurse while my husband was having a 4.5 lb. tumor removed a few years ago. I am friends with the owners of the rental house we use to live in. I have even made friends in prison though I have never been convicted of a crime – more on that one later. No place is off limits for meeting new people. I think one way that makes it easy for me to make friends is that I “show up” to places. You have all heard the saying that half the battle is “suiting up and showing up” and I really believe that is true. However, showing up can be scary when you are the “new kid on the block”. As an extrovert, my desire to meet people overrides these uncomfortable feeling of being new. Yes, extroverts are afraid as well, we just hide it and move forward because friendships are that important to us!!!
Lastly, I continue to be intentional in spending time with my far away friends. This helps during my transition as these friends are familiar, they know me, and I can be real with them. I do this with several of my friends by scheduling appointments with them. I have one friend who I Face Time with the first Monday of every month. She is an introvert and doesn't enjoy talking on the phone as much as I do but she desires to stay connected to me so she makes the effort as well. I have another friend who loves talking on the phone and we talk at least once a week and we text each other a lot on the other days. I use to call another friend on my way home from the prison ministry I was a part of when I lived on Oahu. She was up late and I had at least 20 minutes in the car – via my Bluetooth of course. Because we all communicate differently, we all have different life situations, and because my friends are important to me, I try to communicate with them the way that works best for them. My friends who go to bed early do not get 10 pm phone calls. The ones who stay up late to study while going to school are the ones that welcome late night chats. This is how we make different time zones work for us!
There are so many great people in this world, just waiting to be your friend, so suit up, show up, be the type of friend God created you to be and enjoy every minute that you have with your friends!