Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Friends

I have a group of friends that I have been friends with for about 5 years now. There have been so many times that I didn't feel that I fit in and wondered if I should just drop out of things and spend my time with other friends. But every time I was invited to something, I found myself wanting to go. Even as I worried about who else would be there and who I would sit by and what I would say, I wanted to go. For one thing, it was a chance to get out of the house. And even if I didn't feel like I belonged, I liked observing them and laughing at what was said. That's how I felt most of the time - an observer.

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.

2 comments:

Michelle Swadling said...

I'm glad you didn't give up on the group either. I share a lot of the views you have... we need to stick together and support each other. I'm usually able to say what I think... and I need someone that agrees with me so I don't end up just having a dozen girls staring blankly back at me!

Judy Crawford said...

I wish I would have read this entry a little sooner. I had a friend for many years and just recently I discovered our views were more different than I thought. That should be ok right? Instead, our differences and views seperated our friendship. Now, it is awkward. I so wish I would have read this about a week ago.