Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Expat Experience; When Friends Leave…

by Dhyan Summers

Almost all expats have had the experience of good friends leaving, unless of course, we leave first. Many times I see clients in my practice who have had one or several good friends leave and they express sentiments such as “what’s the point to even making friends?” They may feel like they don’t want to open up and make new friends if they’re just going to leave. This brings up many interesting issues and is near and dear to my heart, as it is something that I’ve also had to deal with during my years as an expat.
As I am now an expat ‘old-timer’ in New Delhi, (I’ve been here 3 ½ years) I have had to deal with the loss of several good friends in the last year. One friend in particular had become a kind of soul sister to me very quickly. I knew she was leaving shortly when we first became friends, but decided to allow our friendship to deepen because it was giving me so much, and to break off our friendship made no sense. So I went into it with my eyes wide open which didn’t help a bit when she left. I felt her loss profoundly and was deeply saddened by her departure.

Yet I knew then (and still know now) that I wouldn’t have traded the experience of our friendship in order not to feel the pain and loss. For one thing, I was a better person for the experience of knowing this friend. But more importantly, it would have gone against one of my basic beliefs which is to experience life as fully as possible.

If I were to turn away from every experience that involved an element of risk or loss, my life would be very shallow indeed. Athletes and adventure sports enthusiasts know that there is always a risk involved in what they do, but the joy of the experience weighs in heavier than the thought of losing, or the element of danger involved...

Read more

No comments: