Dating Someone in the Military: On Making New Friends

If you’re just joining me on my “Dating Someone in the Military” series, feel free to check out my posts on dating in the military here, here, and here!

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I have been living in the Washington, D.C. area for about three months now, and it has been quite the whirlwind. Since moving here in June, I have had to start over completely. Careers. Friendships. Adjusting to the weather (I’ve had three colds already). This isn’t to say my life in New Orleans is obsolete. It’s not. But it isn’t my daily life anymore, which means I need to craft one here in Virginia for myself.

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Destin, FL with friends I met through Felix! 

One thing I never seemed to have an issue doing was talking to people. Throw me in a room with anyone, and I’ll be able to have a conversation with them. I attribute this skill set to studying theatre in college and constantly having to talk to people. Let’s just say, I know how to indulge almost everyone. It’s a gift.

What I’m not particularly good at doing in person is opening up to people and letting them in. You know that distinct difference between friend and best friend? I have trouble letting people cross that line with me. Because of my new lifestyle, I could potentially be moving around quite a bit, which means I need to figure out how to make the people I do meet better friends even quicker.

Welcome to this crash course that is my life.

Fortunately, for me, I dove into the “let’s make friends” pool rather quickly. I didn’t even dip my toe in to test the temperature. I just dove. Like a g’damn Olympian.

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NYC October 2015 with my favorite couple

Having Felix’s coworker friends was a great way to begin to meet people in the area. Felix works with some amazing dudes and ladies, and meeting them and becoming friends with them has been so nice. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting their significant others which has also been a great introduction into the making-new-friends bit that comes along with dating someone in the military. A perk about military life is that you get to meet people from all over the world. There are so many people to meet and befriend. Military life taught me that. Because of that, my perception of making friends has gone from daunting to exciting.

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Washington, D.C.’s Jazz in the Garden

I’ve also met friends through my job, which is important to me for a couple of reasons.

  1. I enjoy working. I like staying busy, feeling needed, and making my own money.
  2. I enjoy having friends that are my own. Friends I made. Friends that know me first.
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Beer garden in D.C. with my friend Kim from New Orleans! 

Luckily, I got to spend my summer working alongside some wonderful women, both my age and a little older. Going into work everyday knowing that I’ll see them has made my job that much more fulfilling. It’s amazing what daily interaction with people your own age can do for your soul. Thankfully, my summer teaching job lead me to that, otherwise I might have gone insane.

Moving here only knowing Felix and a handful of his coworkers was unsettling. I was leaving my friendship circle and family behind and entering an entirely new world of military life and all that it entails (I can post specifically about this later). I was afraid I wouldn’t have people, you know?

I need people. 

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New Orleans Red Dress Run 2016 with two of my ZTA sisters!
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Throwback to 2014 with some of my best friends from college #UNOproud

Making friends and finding my place in this new town has been quite the whirlwind. Slowly, but surely, I’m settling in and finding my way, nestling into the comforts of a new life with new people and new careers. Though I miss the familiarity of home and seeing the same wonderful faces every weekend, I must say my life is quite the adventure right now.

And, so far? So far I’m liking it very much.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s low moments, because it does. Moments of despair. Discomfort. Fear. Lots and lots of fear. 

But at the end of the day, I feel myself growing into a better version of who I was in New Orleans, and that feeling… the feeling of opening up to myself and letting myself in, becoming my own friend… my own best friend… is a good feeling. And it’s one that I’d like to hold onto for as long as I can.

What appears to be scary can actually be something extraordinary in disguise, but you’ll never know until you cross that line.

So.

Stay awhile.

Cross that line with me.

There just might be something extraordinary on the other side.

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