But, before I can begin I need to introduce you to three characters.
This is a true story, but I have changed names to protect individuals. They may not care if I share their real names, but they might. So to play it on the safe side, they have new names.
I shall first introduce you to Ella. Ella has been in this neighborhood about the same amount of time as I have. I’ve known her since then, but I haven’t really known her. She was always really kind and nice and would say hi when she saw me. She started a playgroup thing a few years ago and invited me to join and we had a few discussions then. But then the weather changed and the playgroup fell apart. She then played a big part in getting a book club together and made sure to include me on the emails she sent about it. I eventually went to book club and was thankful for the invite.
Next, I’ll introduce you to Ava. Ava is new in the neighborhood. She moved in this past summer. She seemed really friendly and outgoing, but I didn’t really get to know her then as I shortly got pulled into Primary. Then I get an invite from her as a friend on Facebook and I accepted. I thought it was cool she’d invite me though we’d only talked once or twice. Looking at her profile I then discovered that we shared a birthday, even the same year. We are EXACTLY the same age (although, she is older. 😉 ) I then find out that I am her visiting teacher. I’ve gone to visit her one time, but we had a blast and she even volunteered to watch a couple kids while I ran an errand.
Finally I will introduce Grace. Grace has lived in this neighborhood probably since its inception. She is a quiet person (even more than me, if you can imagine) and I always wanted to meet her, but never had the guts to. Eric was the family’s home teacher for awhile and after every visit he would say, “You have a lot in common, you should talk to her.” Well I never really did – then we became Visiting Teaching companions. She is so good at getting the schedule set so that we go. Through this companionship I’ve learned A LOT about her and I realized she’s nothing like I had envisioned. (That’s a good thing)
Now back to the story…
In the middle of last week I got a message on Facebook from Ella and/or Ava inviting me to join them for frozen yogurt on Saturday. I also saw that they had invited Grace. I was THRILLED to have been invited somewhere with these wonderful ladies. I of course replied that I would love to go.
Saturday afternoon arrived and off we headed. Ava had to run an errand before our ‘date’ so she drove separately, but Ella, Grace and I had a nice conversation during our ride. We learned a bit more about each other and it was nice.
At the yogurt place we spent 2 1/2 hours visiting. It was awesome! To be able to do so without worrying about kids was so nice. During our visit I learned something about something that I’ve really struggled to overcome.
For a long time I’ve felt out of place in this neighborhood and it’s been a struggle to go to Relief Society things and even to church at times because of this. But in listening to Ella talk, she has felt EVERYTHING I’ve felt in that regard.
Ava, Grace and I had also all came to the same conclusion about ‘belonging’ and why it’s hard with certain people. However, Ava had put a much more positive spin on it and it changed my way of thinking.
As we were driving home and continuing on this topic, Ava pointed out that its always hard to go to places where you don’t feel wanted, but you should still try. So then it all just hit me. I am NOT the ONLY one who feels or has felt like I do. I DO have places where I feel I ‘belong’ and I need to quit concentrating on the fact that I’m not necessarily LOVED by others in the area. I need to just be me and people with either like me or not, and if not it’s their loss not mine.
I also got thinking that maybe I’ve appeared to be somewhat stand-offish and non-inclusive at times. If any of you reading this have EVER felt that from me, I apologize. I’m really not like that. I am just quiet and shy and I’ve been told by some people that before they really knew me, they thought I was stuck-up.
Anyway, Ella & Ava – thank you so much for thinking of me and inviting me out. I had a really nice time! And Grace, it was so nice to get to know you better. I hope we get to have more excursions in the future!