Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mile Marker 7: Understanding Where I Am

I was just exploring some new (to me) blogs.  I stumbled upon a guest blog post written by Diana Polk on Sweet Home Santa Barbara.

The post was was encouraging and convicting all at the same time. (I highly encourage you to go read it....buuut maybe after my post so that I don't have to follow what will probably be a life-altering read.)

What I found amazing was that someone else has felt the way that I do now.  I realize that every college graduate probably feels the same thing to a certain degree, but it is so to see in words exactly what is in my heart.

My last year of college, I made the decision to move off campus and into an apartment with my sister.  That was the best and worst best decision of that year.  While building such a strong relationship with my twin sister  best friend is priceless, I feel like I lost my community.

I have always been the kind of person that only needed a few (3 tops) close friends to be happy.  As I am now a college graduate, living 550 miles from my family, and 30 hrs from my best friend, I suddenly realize that the community I have banked on my entire life isn't where I am.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love my life.  I have a wonderful husband, 2 adorable dogs, we go to an amazing church, and I have a great job.

I am realizing now, however, that I haven't invested into the community aspect of my life.

Becoming A Social Couple

It is very important to me that Kody and I have couples in our lives that we can spend time with.  To me, I want people in our lives who encourage us to be better people, to grow in our marriage, and to be lovers of God.

My solution to this?  In the last month, we have had couples over at least once a week.  The whole "social married couple" thing is brand spankin' new to me seeing as I have been married only 10 months (on the 26th..WOW..flew by!).

Our church has a wonderful "community" tool called Life Groups.  I have wanted to be in a Life Group for who knows how long, but I have always been a little intimidated to get involved.  We have some friends that I knew went to one, but my head kept saying, "If they wanted you to come, they would have asked you!" and "Don't be so clingy!".  (A few little facts about me, I think WAY too much about what people think of me.  I'm over analytical and can tear myself to shreds in a matter of seconds.) After struggling for weeks about weather or not to ask, I finally did made my husband do it.

OMG! We didn't die!

In fact, we went and I loved it! Seriously, I didn't really know anyone except for the couple that we went with, but it just felt good it be in an atmosphere of couples in similar stages in life.  There were 6 couples, and we just hung out, ate some food, and played some games.  I left feeling hopeful for connection.  I can't wait to attend again.

If you want to become a part of something, I would definitely encourage you to get involved at your church! Where better to cultivate friendships than a place with people who are after the same things as you?  Being a part of a church of 2,000+ people, I wondered how I would feel connected.  Sometimes all it takes is stepping out of your comfort zone and asking.

Becoming A Girlfriend

This one is actually more intimidating to me than the first because I'm on my own as a girlfriend.  When you do things as a couple, you can sort of rely on the fact that one of you (you or your husband) will have something to say.

I can be shy when you first meet me.  It takes me a little while to figure out if you'll like me as I am or not (I am not proud of my insecurities and am constantly learning and growing...sometimes more than others)

I do think it is very important to have friends that you connect with one on one as well as in a group setting.  My sister is always telling me, "Just ask her out to coffee! That's how Ciara and I became best friends!".  Yeah, Pam, that is probably a leeeetle easier when you're as outgoing an amazing as you are. :)

I did take her advice though.  I wrote a face book message to a lady that I know, I've done pictures for, but that I would like to get to know more (I couldn't even muster the courage to text her).  I stared at the message for probably an hour before I finally clicked...and then tried to cancel cancel cancel...too late.

OMG! I didn't die!

She messaged me back within minutes expressing how much she would love to get together!

Slowly, I'm learning to find anything as an excuse to grow friendships.  Weather it's going to coffee, dinner, throwing a craft night, or whatever.

From one shy, insecure girl to another, just put yourself out there.  You might be happily surprised by the results!


I hope you find this post encouraging to you and helps you to move beyond some of the social limitations you have placed in your mind.

If you're looking to grow your community, lets do it! E-mail me, comment, facebook, twitter, or whatever!  I hope to hear from you!


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