People are weird.
This is my conclusion after being an avid “people watcher/observer” since a young age. Lately I have been dwelling on the fact that us, as humans have this fear/anxiety over meeting other humans, Yet, we long for human interactions and relationships.
When my husband and I moved away to Ontario so he could attend Law school, I spent a lot of long hours crying because of my friends and family I was leaving behind. Moving to a new area where we knew no one and had no ties was quite hard. I prayed for many nights that I would find a friend. One friend. Any body. I think at one point I considered getting a cat. I just wanted someone to share a laugh with and a coffee with and just be normal. No fakeness.
I spent the beginning of my time in Ontario just exploring the city of Windsor, where we called our home, and trying to figure out the new names for grocery stores and which tim hortons was the best. (the answer is A&P and all tim hortons are equal in windsor but they only accept cash or credit. Do not even try to bring a debit card).
I met people from my husbands Law class and a few of them were married so I also met their wives/husbands. I found a job and was immediately flung into a room with like minded people. But what did I have in common with these people? was work and the fact that our spouses were in law school the only things we were connected by?
This is the scary part of making new friends. Opening up. Letting people in. Being vulnerable. How much do you expose in order to gain their trust but not freak them out. Are my friends at home actually just my pitty friends and I am a complete weirdo? I have often heard it said that ‘Every group has a Weird friend, If you don’t know who that friend is, then it must be you.’
Fact: I am weird.
When I think about my time in Windsor, it is not the town or landscape or restaurants or grocery stores that first come to mind. It is not how hot the air was in the summer or how dry the air was in the winter. It is not how lonely I was. Its the people. I made 3 amazing super close friends who I love with my whole heart. I would move mountains for them. They will forever be in my prayers and always have a place in our home if they ever smarten up decide to come to the best province in Canada/best place in the world.
If people are so important to our existence and happiness. Then why are we so intimidated to meet someone new?
It always makes me smile when I see a dog walk past another dog and a toddler within 50 feet of another toddler. It is like in both situations they are long lost friends and havent seen eachother in years. I love using my toddler as an ice breaker to meet other moms. My two year old is better at it than my 3 year old. You instantly have something to talk about and as your mommy eyes meet you know. You know that you have found a kindred spirit. That woman just doesn’t have one thing in common with you. She has 500 things. And they all revolve around that child grasping at her skirt poking your child who is pulling your arm off just to be closer to their long lost friend.
I have had a few friends move over seas in the past. When they come home for a visit or permanently they have so many stories to tell. They share about funny cultural mishaps or amazing views or adventures, but they also spend the majority of their time talking about the people they met, the friends they made.
People are a huge factor in how we experience things. If you had dinner at a restaurant and the food was good but the service was horrible. Dinner was horrible. If you had dinner at a restaurant and the food was horrible but the service was amazing and you came out with a new friend to add to your christmas card list, then of course dinner was amazing.
See? People are Weird.
We love having friends but hate making them. Why do we have to be so awkward? What am I going to do when my toddlers are gone and I want to make a new friend? Borrow someone else’s toddler? oh maybe then I can get a dog! aaaaahhhhh so that is why people get dogs! It is all making sense to me.
So where am I going with this, you may wonder?
I have been challenged lately with extending my “Village”. Its a word I use often as I describe the group of family and friends I have to call upon when I need help or visa versa. They do not have to live close or be related or have a long relationship with me. They are “My people”, as Meredith and Cristina would say on Greys Anatomy. We support each other and love each other and fill in for each other in the areas we are weak in.
The way that I have been challenged is in opening up my heart and home to new friends. Sometimes I believe that people can hide behind the term “Village” when they really should be calling it an “exclusive group”. Some people can only handle a few people in their Village. I know I can handle a lot. So who are these People who I would be looking for? The answer is “I do not know”.
All I know is that I will be making more eye contact with people and saying more than just “Good morning” as I pass someone by. Making human contact with someone and being mindful that everyone has a story. Knowing that not everyone has a village they are apart of. Some people are new to the area. Some people are refugees. Some people need a friend. Maybe It is not me who needs that person in my village, but it is that person who needs me in theirs.
How can you be used by God to touch lives and comfort those who need it if you are not willing to leave your own driveway? or make eye contact with someone walking past you in the grocery store or on the side walk?
This is what I have been challenged with lately. Stepping out and being aware of the humans around me. Living the opposite of how most of us did in High School. I am turning 30 next month, its about time I acted like it.
I am praying that by setting a good example in this area it will set my children up for success at a younger age than I started. I hope it doesn’t take my daughter 28 years to figure this out.
Anyways, These are my thoughts late on a saturday night. The Canucks lost and I sent my sulking husband to bed so I could write this all down. So if you see some strange lady making eye contact with you and then probing into your personal life story instead of just polity walking by and settling for the mundane “Good morning.” Its probably me. or maybe its that crazy lady who lives down the street. Or maybe that IS me!