Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On the Outside

I've lived in Kansas from 2006-2008, and 2011 until the present. But I've never really felt like I'm a part of the life here. My husband and I made definite attempts this year to form relationships in the city, even though we are from the country. My close friends are scattered all over the US and some are abroad. I still have yet to make one good friend here.

I've tried being friendly, but everyone's life seems filled to the max with activities and friends from high school or college. I'm a bit of an introvert, so I'm not the easiest to get to know since I prefer quiet activities and don't really like large parties. We meet with likeminded people on Sundays, attend a small group on Wednesdays, and serve others in our community when needed. Most of my friends are Joseph's friends--which means--I know people through Joseph because he has lived here most all his life.

This means events have gone unnoticed--even by the body which we are part of. I'm not sure if this means we need to go somewhere smaller, or the problem is with me. I don't pick up and have coffee with a friend, because I don't have a friend to have coffee with. I don't share heart to heart, because I don't have someone face to face I can do that with. I write long letters to friends in different places and stages in life. And I wish for eternity when the separation won't be so keenly felt and realized.

Being thrown into an expat community abroad was a good experience for both of us. We found friendship with a number of different people from diverse backgrounds. Joseph finally had a chance to meet some of my close friends. He learned about a part of me he didn't know existed because he hadn't seen me interact with anyone close to me besides my sister. (And yes, she counts as a friend.)

So I've learned a few things from this:
1. Some people will like you, some people will not. Spend time with the people who do.
2. It's okay to feel lonely and cry. It is a part of life.
3. Learn to do things by yourself. Joseph is a wonderful friend, but he also needs his space sometimes.
4. You can't force friendship. Be a friend, but don't expect anything in return.
5. During life events (weddings, births, losses) don't expect people to do anything for you. They have their own lives.
6. You be the change and love on people new to the community because most of the time people don't notice who they are or care where they are at.

2 comments:

  1. I understand this on so many levels. I've often been frustrated by how long it seems to form deep adult friendships. Thinking of you! When is your little one due?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Carrie. It's something I'm trying to be more intentional about. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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