It’s always good to learn new things about ourselves. It comes when we least expect it.
Bitter sweet was how I felt coming home. I was super excited about being at home in my house for a whole month, super excited to see everyone who we had missed but bitter in that there was no family here to see and I felt like a lot (not all) of our ‘close’ friends had made no effort, or little effort to stay in touch over the past 8 months or to see us now. I felt really disappointed in them and I had decided that I wasn’t contacting anybody who hadn’t contacted me until they make an effort. I just ended up becoming more disappointed and it started to get to the point where I was thinking the friendships were probably over and that my ‘friends’ didn’t care. It made me sad! They didn’t ever initiate a conversation and they didn’t get in contact with me unless I sent a message first. Again, not all my friends and those who did make an effort, I made an effort to see them and to see them regularly – I appreciate you all. We felt quite lonely to be honest!
One day, whilst I was driving some where, I was thinking, ‘ I hope this doesn’t mean that this is the end of a friendship with …’ When all of a sudden I had a few thoughts and I learnt a few things:
- I’m really good at keeping in contact but it doesn’t mean that everyone is or has to be and that it doesn’t mean they don’t care or don’t want to be friends. Um, yes! How stupid was I to think this and to take it so personally? I guess I expected that because I do something, other people just do it too – turns out they don’t!
- I learnt that I mustn’t let other people’s weaknesses affect my strengths. So, I made a point of sending messages to those friends who hadn’t got hold of me. Yes, as I write this, I still haven’t seen some of them but I choose not to let it bother me, I won’t take it personally and it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be friends anymore.
- I’ve realized my expectations of friends are possibly too high.
- I’ve learnt that I’m actually quite a good and loyal friend.
We chose to go away for such a long time and I guess I didn’t expect that everyone’s lives would just continue without us. I mean, I know their lives go on but I guess I assumed they would save a space for us when we got back. But, everyone had become so busy, their diaries were so booked up or they had been dealing with a few issues that they didn’t have the time to see us – is this just the London way?
Even though I’m not taking it personally, I think our time when we are home is going to be used to make new friends, reconnect with some old ones but then also realising that the season has passed with other friends.
We have had a great time catching up with friends, the friends who wanted to see us. The children have loved playing with others their own age and visiting other people’s houses. They’ve loved seeing friends regularly and making new friends, who are actually old friends but they don’t remember them. They’ve loved attending parties and just having a social life.
I guess it’s these things we miss whilst we’re on the road and I guess this has been one of the hardest things for me on our arrival home. After reconnecting, we have to leave again but we will be back and we will start the reconnecting all over again. People in London say your friends become your family here, this is true, but don’t dare leave because unlike your family, some of your friends will forget about you when you’re out of sight.