Sunday saw us board a plane and begin our new life in Qatar, finding our feet and throwing ourselves in, despite the loneliness that can entail.
The acceptance of every, and any, invitation. Coffee mornings? Sure. Play dates? Great thank you. Swimming? Wonderful. Still the loneliness can be there.
It’s part and parcel of the process, putting yourself out there. Meeting new people, forging new friendships. Getting up and heading out every day even on the days you want to hide away and speak to no one. To not have the same conversation again, the small talk, the introduction. Except you can’t, because now it’s not just about you. Putting yourself out there isn’t just for your benefit, it’s for the little people in your life. You can’t just hide under the covers and promise that you’ll go tomorrow because chances are they are climbing the walls. You have to go today. You have to go now. You have to swallow all those feelings down and head out, brave enough for all of you. Confident enough, for both you and your children. Pushing away the loneliness. The fear.
Today was my first organised meet up. Swiftly followed by another on Wednesday. And I’m sure that I will be looking for another on Thursday. Then it’s the weekend with the husband, house hunting some more, before heading back to trying to get out and meet people again on Sunday.
And, at times, it’s lonely. You’re surrounded by people, making conversation, smiling, laughing even. You’re not alone but you’re lonely. Surrounded by people where you have to take a deep breath and throw yourself right in. Where if you’ve had a bad night they don’t know you well enough to just let you sit there passing you coffee until you feel like you can open your mouth. And when you finally do open your mouth it’s to garner sympathy from those who know you best. Instead you’re being positive Polly. Chirpy, upbeat, my kids don’t sleep haha.
The relationships are waiting but they aren’t there yet. They need building. Nurturing. Lovingly watering to grow.
It starts with the small talk, then progresses to the big talk. More often than not as a faster rate than you’d expect when you are an expat.
From acquaintances through to friends to mummy soulmates.
The awkwardness of number swapping, the worse than a first date will they or won’t they text. The should I or shouldn’t I. The over complicating of a very simple process “fancy meeting for coffee, for soft play, for a play date”
Knowing that you’ll be glad that you went, that you text, that you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone. But right now? Right now it’s lonely. It’s tough. It’s hard. It’s the start of a new adventure, a new chapter. It’s exciting. It’s thrilling. It’s game changing. It’s lonely.
But it won’t be forever. This is short term pain for long term gain. The friends I made in Dubai are still friends now and I know that the ones that we make in Doha will be the same. We will get there.
And until we do? Well I’ll just keep on going out to coffee mornings, to play dates, to swimming.
And when we get there? I’ll still keep on going, because if I can offer someone the hand of friendship that gets offered to me. If I can make someone feel that little less lonely. Then I will.
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