Then I had Rachel and Owen and really felt disconnected from everyone. There were a couple close friends who made an effort but overall I just felt disconnected from the world. I started avoiding most group activities. The few I did go to felt really awkward.
I thought it was that I just didn't fit in with this group. I knew we had some different opinions on things but that didn't seem like it should matter that much. I have lots of friends who have different opinions. Last December, I made a decision. I was going to make an effort with this group and attend as many things as I could for at least a year and then see how I felt about them.
This is what I learned about myself and them. I learned that I need to get to know people and not assume things based on a few experiences. I learned that I don't open up as much in large groups (which I already knew), especially when I don't know many of them closely. So I need to give myself time to get to know them before getting upset for not speaking up more or for not feeling heard. I have to put effort into relationships and not expect them to just happen.
I also learned some things about them. I already knew they were hilarious and loved to have fun. I found out that they were waiting for me to open up and they were hoping to get to know me better. I also found out that they knew me better than I thought they did. I thought they saw me in only one way but it turned out they knew a lot of other things about me that must have slipped out a few times.
I have found myself opening up more every time we get together. I realized that I no longer care where I sit and I'm not nervous about who is going to be there. Although I am sometimes concerned about where I park and if I'll be able to get out before it gets too late. :) There are still times I wonder if I'm brave enough to be honest but I think that the more time I spend with them, in groups and individually, the more honest I'll be and the deeper the friendships will be.
For now, I'm so glad I didn't give up on them and on myself. I would have missed out on so much. Thanks ladies.