Getting older brings with it a mix of surprises. Some are downright horrid. But the good news…others are sheer delight.
One of the most delightful things I’ve noticed in the past 8 years is that, I’m gradually learning I don’t have to be like somebody else.
All those wonderful things that I see in other women but I don’t see in myself have slowly begun to fade into the white noise of my mind. I’ve even started seeing some of my “failures” as something a little different.
One of the biggest “failures” is my personality in regard to friendships and social situations. This failure in friendships has hung heavily over my head since my earliest memories.
It’s very “IN” for women to have a group of close friends these days. We’re told to plan “girls nights” and “girls weekends”. There are entire sections in bookstores devoted to womens relationships, how to have them, how to keep them, why you need them. Please hear me, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that … if that’s the way you’re wired. The problem comes in when those of us who aren’t made that way feel like we HAVE to change and fit into someones expectations.
This year with my “word” or theme being friendship (I wrote about that HERE) I think God is showing me the most surprising thing… stop apologizing (in this area) for who I am.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve confessed my inability to be a “good friend” or told people how horrible I am at friendships. I have walked through life feeling “less-than” in this area. But I’m coming to understand that although there’s always room to grow, I’m not made to be social. I’m not made to be a typical “girlfriend”.
But I’m a friend in my own way. I reach out in my own way. I love in my own way. And I’m learning to appreciate who God made when He made me. And to get better at being the friend I’m made to be…
Although I want always to have an attitude of growing, I’m also growing into an attitude of acceptance.
My strengths, which are different than so many women, are still strengths. And I’m learning to work with what I’ve been given.
When the year started out, I fully expected a beating. Now the year is young, so there’s still time, but what I’ve gotten so far has surprised me beyond words…
I have heard from women every single week since January, telling me they are just like me in the area of friendships and being social. I’m so relieved to feel that I’m not weird, (at least not in this particular thing) there are lots of women like me! Many of these women have shared their feelings about why don’t consider this a failure, but a strength…fascinating.
Everyone is unique. I love the uber social woman who is energized by working a room and by doing things with her girlfriends, my oldest daughter is much like that. But I’m also learning to love the not-so-social woman who is energized by quieter times and even finds renewal and joy in days all by herself.
How about you…what kind of a friend are you?
Love to each of you as we live our legacy one day at a time…