Friday, October 1, 2010

"Problems" of an Ex-Pat

So here's a new problem that I've never had before: too many friends!

Throughout my life I've generally had just one friend at a time. That works for me. I enjoy deep friendships in which the conversations are honest and heartfelt, not just surface or gossipy. And whereas some people like (need?) lots of people around them at all times, I need to be alone a lot. But now I am an ex-pat, and ex-pats network. You need a lot of friends to help you navigate a new culture. I have already leaned quite heavily on several of my new friends. Besides needing them, I am fascinated by many of the people I've met. They come from backgrounds completely different from mine and many of them are so accomplished that I often feel I am out of my league. I want to get to know these people, and getting to know them takes time.

Since returning from the States a few days ago I've already been to lunch with one friend and have loose invitations from three others. Beside that, there are at least three other people that I want and need to get together with. For a person who has usually just had one friend at a time, this is a perplexing problem! How do I schedule time with each person? It seems a difficult juggling act to me. A good problem, to be sure. But still, for me, a problem.


Elizabethd said...

As an expat here in France we have learned to be slow about making friends. There are many expats who come to Europe 'reinvented'as it were. There are many opportunities to join all sorts of groups and clubs, but I tend to stay away, not being anti social, but really because I dont want to make friends just because they speak the same language.

bristowmom said...

Sage advice, I think. Thank you Elizabeth!