I don't quite understand myself; I complain so often about not being invited to things, not having close friends, not fitting in, etc. yet I am not sure nothing I could do or participate would make me feel as if I belonged.
This weekend I was invited to 2 parties. I RSVP'ed to one evite immediately, and I'm glad I did. Out of 20 or so folks, only 4 families could make it to this birthday party. As much as I enjoy the hosts, I really did not know the other families present. I brought a book in case it got boring but I know it's not socially acceptable to read at a party. Instead I tried very hard to engage in conversation, to smile and talk and all that. And I did it, but about an hour into it I was tired and ready to go home. I managed to wait it out another hour. I'm grateful I have small kids and can blame it on them!
As I went home and reflected on the party, I realized that as much as I desire to be invited and look forward to going, parties are not easy for me. They drain me. I'd often rather be alone, but still happy I showed up. It was a good, fun party, if I'd learn how to relax a bit.
Today after church I had another party to attend. Just a causal BBQ. It was good. The food was amazing and I knew more people this time than I did at the party the night before. I was more at ease and yet..... it is still hard for me! I still wonder where I should be sitting, I still agonize over conversations. I still don't really know what to do or respond.
Yet, I'm beginning to realize that people are nice and kind.... and when someone engages me in a conversation I'm knowledgeable and passionate about, I actually have a lot of fun! I enjoy it. Near the end, I was having a very enjoyable time.
I wonder if it takes me about 3 or 4 hours to become familiar in places? Or maybe it was just the excellent company and being around folks that make me feel at ease? Not sure, but I really did enjoy this party, but had I left an hour prior, I'd probably be writing a very different blog post!
Oh, to be an introvert in a church! To want to be accepted and liked but scared of it at the same time!