“If not for our Fellowship Group, we’d hardly socialize at all.” I say to my husband.
He’s watching baseball. “Maybe if we lived closer to town…”
“That wouldn’t make a difference. It’s our schedule and the fact that we are introverts. We need to get out and socialize with friends; make that special effort, you know.” I’ve noticed these past years how I have retreated from people. Some people have caused me not to trust anymore and others are simply accidental missteps in my journey to make new friends and solidify the old ones. My words run into each other and I fear the silence more than anything.
That awkward silence where you run out of things to talk about, and you try to fill the silence with words. My husband listens to all these things as baseball runs in the background, and I’m not expecting answers. I don’t even know if there are solutions except to get up every time we fall. Just keep getting up until I can walk on my own and not fear the silence.
“Maybe we could get more involved with church social things, find people closer to our ages?” I say to him, but that’s only part of the problem. “We don’t have any kids. That’s why it’s so hard. People with kids gravitate towards people with kids. We’re kind of in an awkward spot.”
The solution isn’t in adopting kids just to reach out to people our age. I laugh at that picture. It’s pitiful. But it makes us work extra hard to make those connections that come so easily to other people. It’s the hazards of making friends—being vulnerable with others, sharing our lives with them, and making the effort to reach out even if it feels inconvenient. I’ll regret more the missed opportunities as I get older for making new friends.
Something needs to change. We both know it. But how?
How do you reach out to your friends? What special memories do you have with your friends?