Monday, April 7, 2008

Is it Monday again?

I'm not sure what happens to my weeks but they seem to fly by or slip through my fingers or race past like I'm viewing them from a speeding train....some weeks anyway, this was one of them. We've had soccer tryouts and dance competitions and birthdays and field trips and.... the list continues on and on. I'm desperately looking forward to my day at home today.

I was reminded Saturday (or Friday...the days they do run together) of the importance of friends, the way they call us up and out (sometimes) even when we aren't expecting it. I called my good friend Kristen and she shared with me some of the incredible and painful things God is doing in her family. She called me up and then she called me out...on my homeschooling. What a blessing good friends are!

"Thank you Kris for reminding me that I'm called to do this right now and I need to lean in. In all your pain and frustration that I phoned to help you with...I left with something for me. I'm blessed to call you friend!"

On the subject of friends and community, I've been seriously missing mine, my old friends, my safety net, my resources BUT I know we are in the place we should be. I've been sad and angry but mostly lonely. It's strange because to the outside observer I would seem to have lots of friends but inside my life, I'm a bit lonely. It's hard for me to admit that actually. It makes me feel needy, which I hate (I know pride again). In examining this feeling I realize that I am mostly hating being the "new person" to have to make all the connections again in a new place. It's hard work and a strange feeling to always be the outsider.

I do have some really amazing friends (and family). You know who you are and I thank God for you so please don't take this personally. I couldn't make it without you!

Although as a child I was painfully shy, I was still motivated to have a friend or 3 and to be with people 24/7. I was, I think, somewhat afraid to be alone. As I grew older and became a teen, then an adult I was not very comfortable in my own skin. Not really sure who I was. I knew I wasn't that bubbly always happy, alway "up" girl everyone thought I was. But who was I?

As I'm sure most women find, having children does not erase this question. It only distracts us from it and adds to it. Who am I? What has God created me to do? Where do I fit? I am surprised to find these questions still rattling around in my brain. Sometimes they make me crazy and sometimes they just remind me that as we get older we're designed to continue to change and grow. We can't be completely defined by our roles. I am a mother but that alone does not characterize me. This is true of all the labels I wear mother, wife, friend.... all describe me somewhat...I seem to be again in a season of change which always brings these questions up for me.

I realize this lonely, reflective place although not comfortable for me who likes everything to be fun and easy (I know I'm a flake, what can I say?!) is exactly where I'm supposed to be. It seems to be the season for me to look more closely at who God has created me to be. Perhaps I'll even grow up a bit. What?! Weirder things have happened!

I should have warned you before you started that this post is somewhat all over the place and a tiny bit whiny. Thanks to those of you who stuck with me this far. This blog world, those of you who comment and share your lives have also become part of my new community.

18 comments:

Lori said...

I don't think this sounded whiney at all. You sound reflective.

I have gone through many different phases of my life in which I have either felt more or less social, and more or less comfortable with myself in relationship to others. I think that most of us struggle with the questions you raised, even if we don't look like it on the outside.

I have recently been making a conscious effort to rekindle and nurture my friendships with women because I have had an awakening as to how important they are (and how much you miss them when they are gone).

It is hard to be the new person and to have to pursue friendships with greater effort. I have been in that place before, and I understand its challenges and the loneliness that can come with it.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

What a wonderful, insightful post friend.
I so did not mean to call you out in any way, but to share how I have been called up and my struggle. And my desire to do better than I have. I am glad that it spoke to you as well.
I wonder sometimes if we are called to be a bit lonely sometimes. I have felt that way a lot in my life, often most when I am in the middle of a group. God asks us to be set apart, and we have been asked to do that in a very obvious way by home schooling.
Both of us were married and moms at young ages, so we didn't have much time for introspection and growing up first. You are so right, the busyness of life with children can get in the way of our discovering our authentic selves and what God is calling us to on top of mothering.
So maybe some loneliness affords us the opportunity for looking within and towards God for answers to who we are and what we are called to. It is much easier to hear His voice while alone and quiet.
I am so glad that God brought you into my life. You are a friend who uplifts and challenges, loves unconditionally and can share equally in joys and sorrows. It sounds like a lot of your struggles right now are similar to ones I am experiencing myself. Thank you for being so open and transparent here, you spoke to my heart.
Love you so, God bless.

Sniz said...

Oh Shay, I love it when people are "real" in their posts. So what do you think you need to do differently with homeschooling? Also, I didn't know you were in a new place. That is hard for anyone.

Marla said...

Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog. Homeschoolin gis very rewarding but a challenge at the same time. Friends are wonderful. I have been homeschooling a little over a year and I am still working to find a good homeschooling network of friends. It takes time.

Kellan said...

I have always needed my 2-3 constant friends too - wouldn't know how to live without them.

Take care Shay - see you soon - Kellan

Pregnantly Plump said...

What a great post! I understand what you mean about being the "new" person. I was actually thinking about that this afternoon! I always wanted to be the "new" kid in school, because you had the chance to start over, never realizing how difficult being new is. We move every 2-3 years, and now I see it a lot differently.

InTheFastLane said...

I think it is a human need to be connected with others in a meaningful way. And women need other women. I have a great group of friends, but there is something special about the one or two who really get me and those people are rare.

Monica said...

You are in a hard place, no doubt. I think that many of us who read this can relate. We've all been there at one point or another.

For me it's not so much about have a special friend as it is about being known by a group of people. It's hard to plug through life with all the responsibilities of family, work, homeschooling....and not have a place where I can just BE. Thankfully, I have some college friends with whom I share this kind of friendship, but we don't live near one another.

After changing churches about 8 years ago it's taken quite some time for more natural and comfortable relationships to develop. I'm thankful to say that within the last 3 years much of this loneliness has subsided.
It has taken some intentional effort and more than anything the passing of time.

I pray that God will begin to show you those with whom you can just be yourself. Hang in there.

the mama bird diaries said...

Not whiney at all. Just honest.

I think everyone feels this loneliness sometimes. We've all been there at different times in our lives.

Cathy said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my place.

I don't think you sounded whiny in the least.

We spent a year in San Antonio and I remember feeling much the same way. At the time, I had a toddler and a newborn and wondered how I would manage without the network of girlfriends I had here in Arkansas.

Thankfully, they made several trips to see me when I was at my lowest.

At the same time, I was forced to make and cultivate new friendships -- so difficult when I hadn't had to do that in years. Strange, really, since I moved so often during my 20s and considered myself a pro at fitting in. But I had time back then, something that seems in short supply these days!

You will carve out a place for yourself and find new and treasured friends. Just give yourself some time. And permission to feel lonely. You're in a new place. It's normal.

Lastly -- what a beautiful family!

I've got two stepteens and two small children. Believe me, I know what you mean about the family photos. And my husband is a photographer!

TheVasquez3 said...

growing pains...we all go through it. i don't think you sound whiney at all. i love when people share all aspects of their hearts, even when feeling a little blue.

it is hard being in a new place i have been here for 2 yrs and still feel like i am on a new planet, instead of 2 hrs from the place i call home. its mostly my own fault for not being more social...i just don't feel like it. maybe someday i will.

allow yourself to feel the way you do until you don't feel ike feeling that way anymore. then change it. God has given you the power to do that. take your time.

Klin said...

It's hard to be the new person. Even when you are surrounded by people you can be lonely. It's the connection with those 2 or 3 girlfriends that help us get through.

I don't usually move far so I can still do lunch with my girlfriends. I'd go crazy without my girl time.

I hope you find some comfort, soon. Until then {{{hugs}}} from Utah.

Shawn said...

I do think it's natural to redefine, reexamine ourselves every few years. It's a shame that with that usually means needing to build a new network of people. Finding new friends at this age ... wow!! It's just crazy hard. But, if I've learned anything, it's that YOU have to step out of your comfort zone and go for it!

Shawn said...

Oh, and thanks for visiting my blog ... it's great to meet you!!

painted maypole said...

i know the lonely thing. i always dreamed we would have famly friends who would come over and the kids would play and the adults would take and we'd all just hang out all the time, and it's never quite happened that way. we have friends, but not close friends, not "easy" friends.

and you left off a title in your list. "Child of God"

;)

Amy said...

You speak to the significance of friends. They come in many different kinds, but they make us who we are.

I share in your feelings. I am lucky to have my sisters nearby - the are my bestest friends, but I have certainly been the odd one out in many instances. Sometimes this is a gentle reminder to me to be more inclusive of others. No one wants to feel left out. I am sure you will make many new friends in the near future!

I wish you the best. Btw, if you lived near me, I would love to be your running partner! =)

Becky said...

*hugs*

Mary said...

What an honest, heartfelt post.

I have always been shy and introverted. I've always only had a few close friends and often never feel like I quite fit in. But the few that I have are good ones and are very special to me.

When I got married I moved 20 mins from where I grew up. I have no one where I am and it gets lonely. I wish that I had someone to call on a whim to say "hey, want to go for a walk with me?" I miss that. And know that I have a child, it's even harder. I work full time and only have my evenings.....it's hard to meet knew people with a schedule like that.

Sorry for such a long comment :)