Expat life is full of comings and goings, and right now I am feeling the goings much more than the comings. I am suffering the loss of some of my favourite people, and I find myself tempted to retreat to my magnificent new bedroom to while away the hours in comfortable solitude instead of mustering the energy to go out and intentionally cultivate new friendships.

Does anyone else out there understand how uncomfortable it is to watch others socialize freely and effortlessly, but to remain on the outside of their banter? Does anyone find the thought of trying to weasel your way into others’ already-established friendships borderline-terrifying? Does anyone find the thought of spending long, unstructured stretches of time with large groups of people absolutely excruciating?

If so, perhaps you can help me to remain accountable to my new Anti-Isolation, Starting-Over, I-Can-Do-This Social Policy – drawn up just this morning, with a mixture of dread and optimism: Continue reading