When SuperHub came back from a year-long deployment, met our son and reintegrated into our home, we extended for another three years in Hawaii. It was due to a great job for him, but it was really difficult for me. I never felt like I fit in on post, I had a hard time meeting new people, and as time passed it got harder and harder to have conversations with other adults.
I don't miss those days.
I remember one picnic we went to where I was asked what I did. I just looked at the person and said, "Nothing. I'm just a Mom."
After that day, I realized that my "just a Mom" status was in my own head. There had to be moms worth knowing and meeting. Sure, I'd never have that lifelong-Sex-in-the-city-meet-for-lunch-every-week kind of friendships, but I was funny and smart. I could make friends.
I met another Mom who I liked very much and she moved away.
Then I started to realize, I don't need friends. I started focusing on getting my Master's degree, on becoming a better cook, on being a present parent, and other things that made me feel whole.
I didn't need friends anymore.
I was happy in my role as Mom.
I moved to Cairo and suddenly both my kids were at school all day! By day two I missed them and wanted them home with me again. After a week, I realized this was my chance to find Regan again. To be me.
I made a friend.
She. Is. Awesome.
You know how you read about having people in your life that change you completely? That inspire you to be better? That make you a stronger person? That is Maja. She is the flip side of my coin. She opened up Cairo for me and taught me how to rock living in a third world country. She made me tough. Me! Crazy. Best year ever.
Maja moved. Dang it!
I settled back into my Hawaii self. I don't need friends. I can be perfectly content with just my own company.
I joined the community choir.
I joined the PTO.
I got involved.
And now I find myself with this fabulous group of smart, funny, inspiring women. I'm hosting Girl's Nights, I'm taking friends to the movies, I'm sharing all the awesome places that Maja made special for me. I'm planning parent trips for the International school. I'm busy and I surround myself with people I truly enjoy. I'm the new Maja.
Here, at 36 years old, after years of being alone and okay with it, I have learned the best lesson of all. I don't need friends. I'm not sure I ever thought I'd even find any.
But I did. And they are amazing.
We even have lunch every week.