I signed up for this life. Well really, I said “I do” to this life. After 9 years of this, saying goodbyes really never gets any easier. It’s really just been me having to separate and say goodbye, but finally my kids are old enough to understand that their friends are moving and they won’t see them anymore. It’s weird.
I’ve come to see after all this time that there is a cycle at each duty station. The first couple of months is the honeymoon. You’ve just moved to a new place. You get a new house, you’re adjusting to your surroundings, and everywhere you go, you’re seeing the faces of strangers. Some of those faces will turn out to be your neighbors, your kid’s teachers, your spouse’s co-workers, and even your best friends.
As those first few months turn into the first year and the start of the second, you become adjusted to where you live. The streets aren’t so foreign, you’ve found your new favorite places to eat, and the faces of the strangers have become familiar faces. But as you are adjusting, people are readying to close out their chapters. It’s always sad to see the packers pull up to a neighbor or friend’s house.
Lately, it’s just been never-ending. My oldest son’s good friend that lived across the street moved 3 weeks ago. Our neighbor and her young son (my youngest son’s best friend), left last week. And my older son’s other friend left this past Saturday. Each of them are moving to different parts of the world. Chicago, Florida, to the North of us in Yokosuka.
The hardest part is deciding whether people are worth getting to know. Do I spend the next 23 months emotionally detached from everyone, knowing full well that our relationships don’t last? I doubt it. This duty station has really changed me. I have made some great friends that are worth spending time with- even if it’s for 6 months, or 20 months.
But eventually, our second year will come to a close, and our final year will begin. It will be our turn to pack up and leave our friends behind. I know that I am a lucky girl to live all the way across the world, and I really try to love every day that I get to wake up in Japan.