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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

March 1, 2013

I do not have many friends. And I am absolutely OK with that.

Part of moving to a new place halfway across the world is that you know you’ll have to start over and make all new friends. And, being a person who does not necessarily make friends easily, I was definitely concerned about that. But at the same time, I wasn’t, because I knew I was bringing my best friend, my husband, with me.

So flash forward almost 10 months. We still live halfway around the world, and we have cultivated a small circle of friends, mostly single guys. We see them on average about once per week, and take the occasional adventure, like our desert camping trip last weekend. At work, my husband has a good relationship with his coworkers (they build robots all day—how could they not?) but they don’t see each other much outside of work. And at my job, I have my trusty fellow English teachers. They’ve been a lifeline for me this year and I do consider them friends, but…it’s not on nearly the same level as my relationships with my friends back in college.

And, btw, this is a great movie

And, btw, this is a great movie

What about my old friends, you ask? Well yes, I still have those. Chief among them are the Naughty Princesses, and I’m glad skype, email, facebook, and blogs have kept me connected to these VIP’s in my life. But still, a long-distance friendship is not quite the same as the camaraderie and near-constant hanging out we used to enjoy, as Snow Whore and Sleeping Booty have both mentioned in previous posts.

When I first made this big move I think I was hoping to find the kind of community I used to have in abundance, but the truth is, I haven’t. But here’s the thing: right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I relish the 90 minutes I have each day between the time I get home and the time hubby does. Because that’s my time. My time to check my email, start a load of laundry, write a blog, make a lesson plan, finish an essay, or just enjoy a cup of coffee.

Some people try to take on too much, and they’re constantly sacrificing something. In my case, the sacrifice of being in daily contact with my friends and family back home has been made for me, freeing me up to really do my best in other areas. And frankly, without friends vying for my attention, my relationship with my husband has only gotten stronger and closer, just as it should in the first year of marriage.

I never thought I’d actually count a smaller circle of friends as a blessing. I’ve always been slightly insecure about my friendships and took comfort in having as many as possible. Six years ago I was terrified of saying goodbye to my high school friends—relationships that had taken years to cultivate. And during my freshman year of college I was always secretly jealous of people who seemed to have large groups of friends around them, or over 1000 facebook friends. Because surely that meant that those people were popular, cool, and happy. Luckily, I did make amazing friends in college, and I loved every second of being with them.

But this year has brought a huge shift in priorities for me. I went from having a relatively low-stress part-time job to working full-time as a teacher, with an online Master’s degree as the cherry on top. And I went from living with Snow Whore to being married. And frankly, a real job, a degree, and a marriage take a lot of time to maintain. So I am GLAD I don’t have better friends in close proximity to me right now. Because if the Naughty Princesses lived across the street, I’d barely have time to see them anyway.

One Comment leave one →
  1. thelittlemerskank permalink*
    March 2, 2013 1:34 am

    I totally understand, Michelle. I also have my own inclinations towards wall-flowerhood. I mean, I like to have friends, and I like to have things to do, but too many or too much makes me stressed. I like to have a lot of time to structure myself– so I can see the appeal in that 90 minutes you get with no one home. In all things though, of course, there needs to be balance, but it sounds to me like you’ve got it down. Besides, life comes in seasons and maybe after your masters there will be a new season of great friends!

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