I didn’t really appreciate the fact that when I was 6 my mum and dad moved two hours away from where they were born. At a time, and a place, where you tended to stay within the same suburb I didn’t really appreciate what a big deal this was. Leaving behind cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents.
At the time, I didn’t understand why my mum went to flower arranging courses at our local secondary school (with my primary school teacher of all people!!!) coming home with bunches of flowers and photographing them.
Some 34 years later and now I understand just how huge it is.
Having done various expat moves, I thought that I understood what a big deal it was for my parents. And yes, moving country IS a big deal, but it’s nothing compared to moving within your own country.
You are trying to break into friendship circles that have existed since primary school, people who have family on tap to babysit and help out, and that is much harder than becoming an expat. When we moved out, first to Dubai and then over to Doha, we were surrounded with others who were very much in the same boat that we were. Lonely and looking for friends.
Finding Your Friends
Moving somewhere where established friendships have been in place for countless years. A place where while people are open to new friendships they’re not actively seeking new friendships. You have to carve a whole new life.
These days with social media, Facebook, a much larger emphasis on fitness, more availability of various classes, it can often be easier to find your tribe.
Looking back now I finally understand why my mum went to flower arranging courses it wasn’t always about the flower arranging – though to this day she does great things with the squeaky floral oasis foam – it was about the connections, the friendships, breaking into someones circle and establishing new friendships.
So if you’re moving somewhere new, trying to break into established circles of trust, and worrying at the school gates that you’re not fitting in – the best tip I ever learnt from my mum was to put yourself out there and try something new.
Even if it is flower arranging!