Military friends, which is typically a harder scenario for you: leaving your friends behind at your duty station or being the one that’s left?
At both of our previous duty stations, we were nearly the first out of our friends to leave. Though the “goodbye tour” was brutal (especially at Fort Campbell – my heart hurts just thinking about it!), we were excited about soon living in a new part of the country. The big move and the chaos of a cross-country PCS was such a good distraction from the “funk” that would inevitably set it for a month or two once the boxes were all unpacked and my husband returned to work. The FOMO (fear of missing out) was so real. I remember seeing pictures of our friends all together back in TN and aching to turn back the clock. Leaving everyone behind was tough!
This summer we’ve been on the opposite end of the spectrum, and for the first time we’re experiencing what it’s like to be the family that’s left behind. A ton of our closest friends have left in the last three months, and while they were busy running around with long to-do lists of PCS-related tasks, I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to sit back and do nothing but anticipate some extremely difficult “see ya laters”. It’s taken some adjusting to figure out new routines without some of these people that we routinely spent our time with. Being left behind feels a lot like there’s someone always missing.
If you don’t think I sound dramatic, then surely you’re able to relate to the rollercoaster of emotions I described. 🙂
So, which is harder for you? Leaving or being left? I think they’re equally hard because when you’re the one leaving, you have to adjust to a whole new place while missing what you left behind. When you’re the one left, you have to go about your same routines but without a missing piece of the puzzle.