I consider myself an extroverted introvert. I’ve taken that Meyers-Briggs test several times in my life and always get intuition, feeling, and judgement as results, but sometimes I score as an extrovert, and sometimes an introvert. You know me, never normal.
Being the extroverted introvert I am, I’ve found I function best with a smaller group of close friends. I do enjoy large gatherings, but when things get overwhelming, it’s nice to have a few people to turn to and hang around the perimeter of the action.
When I moved to Annapolis I was stripped of my friends. I kept in contact with them on a daily basis, but I didn’t have a shopping buddy or farmers market companion or someone to just sit and drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade with on a warm summer evening. I miss them terribly and it’s such a wonderful feeling when we are finally reunited and it’s as if nothing’s changed.
Meanwhile, over the two years I lived in Annapolis I adapted to depending on Sean for all kinds of companionship I hadn’t before. He became my shopping buddy, farmers market friend, and overall my best girlfriend substitute. I spent hours spouting off why this particular eye shadow is better than that one. I dragged him shopping with me so he could sit on the little fitting room stool while I tried on the entire store. I enrolled him as my workout buddy for videos like “Beach Yoga” because I was used to doing things like that with someone.
He loves me so he put up with it, and after two years we got used to only having each other as a consistent companion. It’s not good or bad in my mind, just the way it was.
Then we moved to Dushanbe.
Suddenly we had friendly people living in the same city who went out of their way to include us. It was a shock to the system to suddenly have a full social calendar, and since we were so used to being by ourselves it was rather intimidating. We know how to be friends with people who are far away, but we had to almost relearn how to be friends with people right in front of us.
Fast forward nearly nine months. One great thing about the Foreign Service is it forces you to become close with people very quickly. Suddenly I have shopping buddies – even if it’s all online. I have workout friends. I have friends who always have chocolate in their desk and are willing to share. I have friends who interpretive dance with me in the middle of a crowded bar.
There really is no substitute for good girlfriends, and I’m glad to have found some all the way out here.