The Not So Brave Me In the NOVA World

Sometimes I wonder about my friends, my life, my place. My husband has been pretty sick recently, going to bed before nine, skipping out on life because he is too out of it. I also have been sick, but as its carried on for a good four weeks now, I have been trying to do stuff while sick as otherwise I go stir crazy (unless I just sleep constantly, which I actually think I could pull off). I don’t really think I hide behind my husband when it comes to social stuff. I just prefer his presence as a safe person to return to when there is no one else to talk to at the big party, I always have a guaranteed seat next to him, and its just nice to have someone to enter the room with you (making you feel like your not alone). I guess those are some of the nice benefits of being married, of which I am thankful for. I am generally pretty outgoing but I still have those brief moments of “What if I feel alone? Panic!”, and therefore like to have a comfort zone of people I know I am safe with when I feel unsafe.

So though I am trying to be more brave and be okay by myself in the NOVA World with older, more experienced, more knowledgeable, and more educated people than me . . . I am still practicing.

Example: Sunday I went out to lunch with people after church. It was pretty much a bad experience. Maybe I’ll tell you a little more about it in my next blog entry, but for now I’ll just say this part. I was there long before anyone else, and was beginning to think that they changed the location without telling me. In reality, they just took a longer than normal time to clean up and get there. Since I was first, I chose a spot that wasn’t the best, but I thought it was a guarantee that I wouldn’t sit alone. Ya right. Somehow in large groups things like that just don’t always work out. They were freaked out there wouldn’t be enough space, so little clumps of people saved other tables, and my large one was sporadic with people, with no one near me. I generally know everyone loves me. Yep. They are my family. But they didn’t feel like my family. No one wanted to sit next to me (Or maybe I should more honestly say that no one bothered to). I had been rather depressed that weekend and no one asked me how I was. It was annoying, because I really try to do that for other people (or at least I think I do), so that they don’t sit alone and have someone they can talk with. But apparently my efforts don’t go both ways. Finally another lady sat near me, whom I was excited about because I think she is generally lonely and I was hoping to maybe make her feel accepted. In turn, before I could move next to her, a couple who is pretty much impossible for me to have a conversation with sat down across from me because there was no where else for them to sit. I felt bad, because then I couldn’t move next to the lady I wanted to without being rude to them. But I felt bad for them because I wasn’t exactly the best person suited to make them feel welcome themselves, and I am sure they didn’t. As I thought they would, though I tried multiple awkward conversations attempts, they all failed. Then, my good friend who I was aware was pretty depressed sat on the other side of my baby. She also tried awkward conversation with those across from us though I knew she really didn’t want to talk, she was just trying to be brave herself. She was trying to be brave with people she know are her “family” but don’t always feel like it. All to say, the people I did want to try to talk with, her, and the other lady, were too far away in that busy loud room so we couldn’t actually hear eachother. I mean, there was some good too. A friend of mine knew I wasn’t doing well and tried to make me feel better, but he couldn’t really hang around me as it probably wouldn’t be best. And my pastor took my daughter from me, which was pretty nice of him. And though I am glad I didn’t go home, and feel depressed there instead, It wasn’t a great experience.

Example Two: So, outside of this church experience, there is my neighborhood experience. I love my neighborhood. I love the community we have here which was probably the biggest reason we wanted to move here. But honestly, I feel like I have an amazingly hard time fitting in. I look at the other families who don’t fit into the “click” of neighbors I am with, and I kinda feel sorry for them. How would they get into this ‘wonderful’ click? Is there a hazing ceremony I was unaware of that they can do? I am in the click by default, because we are best friends with some of the people in it. If it wasn’t for that though, I wonder how many of those people would have ever said hi to me. So often I can’t get beyond any small talk, and the small talk really doesn’t last long. I pretty much seem to have nothing in common with any of them, which is why. I get a long best with the men, but all I can pretty much do is ask about their work, which runs dry. They don’t ever ask me anything, which doesn’t surprise me. I could be the most famous artist or write New York Times Bestsellers, and they wouldn’t know. The women I can talk with about kids. Yet their kids are all a lot older, and well, how long can you talk about kids? Or maybe I should say, how long do I have enough patience to talk about kids? Especially when I don’t think any of us really want to talk that much about them. Okay, its not only people with kids. I’d probably fare better if I could actually play a sport. But I can’t, and because of that I really don’t add much to the neighborhood except a cute baby who makes all the kids go “ahhhh.” Yes, I am sounding pretty pessimistic. Yes, we like hanging out with our neighbors, heck, we went on vacation with them! I just don’t know how to get past those walls, and just everything else that makes me feel like I have a huge sign on my forehead that says “I don’t belong here just in case it wasn’t obvious already.”

Tonight someone in the neighborhood is throwing a party, an adult-only party. I was hoping on going, but as the person who invited me never actually officially invited me, it was kinda awkward to plan on going. Last night that finally got cleared up (though I guess somewhat awkwardly through my friend who was like, “Hey, weren’t you going to ask them to come? You never actually did!”). But as I was never really invited, I was never told what time it was, or the more important detail that it is a costume party. All to say, by the time it finally has come about, with my husband and I being sick, he went to bed. I don’t feel well, but I kinda want to go. Technically I could walk two doors down and go right now. But then I couldn’t find a costume. And just thinking about going to that party by myself is one of those things that I can’t seem to overcome in my mind. I really wish Josh was awake and would go with me. But as Stacy said, it is pretty much ZERO probability that after he is asleep he will go anywhere with me : ) If I went alone It would be fine. I’d probably have a lot of awkward small talk. I’d eat a few things, drink some sugary soda or something else bad for me while I am sick (or a fuzzy navel, which is bad for me when pregnant). I might have fun. I’d try to hum some Rockband songs which I can’t sing now as my singing-voice is pretty much non-existent with this cold. I could always sit next to stacy and jill if all else fails and they would get stuck being my “social comfort zone” because I just don’t fit in. So, I could have gone and still could go and be fine. In fact, I am kinda mad and unhappy that I am not. I mean going shows that I care about people in this neighborhood, that I want to be a part and give my part. It might be meaningful, which I hate missing out on. But, honestly, I have no energy to be a fake me hiding all that is real and deep down inside because people just don’t get me because I am not like them.

And maybe thats the thing that gets me so yucky about living with these relationships in NOVA. Is that I feel forced to not be me. Not because people are making me not be me. Maybe its just because I am beyond what is normal and they don’t have a paradigm to fit me in. Which isn’t bad, its just the part outside the paradigm is ignored because its not understood. And hence, I feel like I am fake because only the tip of my iceberg is being spoken too, whereas the rest lies underneath dying to break free and be recognized as existing. Or you could even say though I would love to be real with those around me, they don’t want that because that is something they don’t know how to deal with. Its like the time I had a conversation with a person who had just taught on being real with people. The person asked me how I was, and I said I was terrible. They were totally shocked by my answer and changed the subject right away. Hence, a lesson is learned that even if people want you to feel like you can be real, they really don’t know how to handle it. I wonder if I do the same to others.

Anyways, in this week I have had one successful example where I kept going and trying even when it sucked, and another which I didn’t fail at because I didn’t even try it out. Maybe next week I’ll be braver. Or maybe not. I’m still practicing.


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