I am an introvert.
Which, in and of itself, is an interesting fact. Because as I described in my first Girlfriend post, as a child, I was OUT there. My self-confidence displayed itself in boisterous behavior. I liked being with people.
Now, as an adult, I'm quite shy. Large group settings exhaust me. Home is my very favorite place to be, especially if I'm there alone and it's quiet.
Silence is my favorite sound. Even more than music (which I also love.)
So, as you can imagine, those are some issues that make friendship challenging for me.
I've found myself, over the years, trying to reach out to other women. Making lunch dates. And then, as soon as the date is set, dreading the actual date. The struggle between having time alone and giving it up to spend time with another person is a very real struggle for me. I have to consciously push through that, understanding the value of relationship to force myself to leave myself to be with another.
I've spent some time pondering if that means I'm just extremely selfish. Who likes themselves so much that they'd just rather be alone? Freak.
Another interesting fact in this whole struggle - is of course, that I am married to the world's most out-there extrovert. Asia LOVES people. He thrives on relationship. It brings an interesting dynamic into my life... one that is displayed every Sunday morning as I stand waiting for him after church... having gotten my fill of interaction in the time before service, I wait for him to touch base with the dozens of people he wants to see each week. Sometimes I get lucky and find a friend I can talk to, but mostly, I can be found leaning on the wall near the door, trying to catch his eye to give him the silent "I'm done".
And then there's this: I'm extremely comfortable being in front of large groups of people. In my work, I speak to about 500 people each week. Which again makes me feel like an awful person - uncomfortable in large groups unless I'm the center of attention. Oh dear...
But back to the girlfriend thing.
How does a person like me nurture relationships? 'Cause I haven't figured it out.
I look at friends of mine who have close girlfriends. And I'm so happy for them. I can tell it is something that is very satisfying. I observe women who have adult sisters - who know them inside and out and share secrets and laughter and years of togetherness - and I think it's a beautiful thing. I am not jealous of those relationships, but I see how well they seem to fill up a special place in those women's lives.
But (and here I go again with thinking this makes me sound like an awful person) it seems to me like more work than it's worth. Because for me, it is SO much work. And I am pretty stinkin' content with the way things have been.
Did I just say that out loud?
I know God is working. Stretching me. Recently showing me the value of friendship. I will describe some of those gentle proddings (He's always SO gentle...) in my next post.
Thanks for being patient with me as I process and ponder and pray through these posts. I value honesty so much and I want to be real in my struggle. It's a little hard for me to admit many of these things - so I'll just take it one truth at a time, if you don't mind. Smooches to you, my bloggy friends.