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These are excellent questions...and in particular, the one that first catches my eye is the issue of building support systems. Its huge, especially when one is in a new place...and I am aware of it often, as I left a very well developed and loving support system in California to come be with my new wife in Switzerland. My California support system is still there, of course, though support systems do have to be continually renewed to stay fresh...plus, they weren't thrilled I was leaving. Anyway, I have been here 2.5 years, and I am fortunate that my wife has a large, friendly and supportive group of friends here. But...that's not quite the same as developing and having your own friends. I think a person needs something like 3-5 people whom you feel really connected with and can do stuff with...outside of the important time spent with your partner. Developing connections takes time, with a certain amount of serandipity mixed in (timing, proximity and luck being key ingredients, I believe). I think until one has a good support system, one is vulnurable to isolation and all that goes with it.
Funny though, one of the involvements that helped me arrive in Europe was reading and interacting with people on ET. And in fact, I have gotten to meet a number of people since the beginning too...which, even though I felt shy and a bit awkward about at the time, was wonderful and has solidified my sense of community here. I look forward to future meetups, actually. Still...there needs to be some local support systems too!
Anyway, I will stop here...but will check back in to see where this conversation goes. Thank you for initiating this discussion! Yes...where is the edge between personal and public discussion?
"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
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