Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Out There

I'm dipping a toe into really being social. Now that's I've turned 40. I'm pushing myself out of my comfort zone.What? Tara, whatever do you mean? You have tons of friends and always seem to be out and about! No, no. B calls me a "sociable loner". I know tons of people. However, I do not have a ton of friends. I know people. I flit in and out. But I don't have a crew or a clique and I don't really go out much, like for leisure, unless you count my weekly dinner out with B and E. I'm always on the go...just not socializing with others outside of the internet.

I think this would be surprising to people. It used to be surprising to me. I'm a Leo. It's supposed to be all one big friend party. But ever since Don (my friend and amazing hairdresser) told me about my Capricorn moon, I get me. I'm like one big oxymoron. Now I understand the why but I'd like to change it.

I have a friend who is just so, so good about nurturing her friendships. She has a group. A crew. It seems so fun and nice. I don't think I'll ever get to that point, but I would like to learn how to be more open in a different way than I am. I will talk about things other people would consider too personal with no problem, but when it comes to really getting close, I'm just not good at it. I always thought it was very cool of me that I don't hold grudges. That I'm fine with people coming in and out of my life whenever time manages to be on our side. While that's lovely, it doesn't really foster strong bonds. With old friends it's fine to have that thing where you can pick up the phone after six months and just pick up where you left off. I have a friend who shall not be named. She's so private that we like to joke she is part of a foreign spy network. She and I catch up when we can and whether it's six weeks or six months, the love is there. With her and other old friends like my city girl, we just have totally different lives going on. Kids vs no kids, single & dating vs married, etc. It makes sense that it's hard to find time to be social together. But if you try to have that drop in and out with newer friends, it ends up being way more out than in.

I moved to a town where the whole idea is to make connections. As I researched towns, I looked for ones that had some kind of newcomers or welcome club. I pretty much joined it before we even closed on our house. I think I really WANT to make stronger connections. B and I love this town. A big part of it is the close-knit feel. Yet, we've lived here for eight years and while I've made some friends, people I really like, I still feel like a peripheral player. I also realize this is mostly of my own doing. I don't always put myself out there. I'd say it's because I've gotten burned before, which I have. Hardcore. Though, I don't think that's it. It's part of it, of course. I just think I've just taken the path of least resistance. It's a lot of things. It's probably a combination of fear of rejection, disappointment, and my own laziness. Honestly, probably the biggest reason I end up keeping to myself is that I have a nervous talking problem. I often don't know what is going to come out of my own mouth. Sometimes, it's just better for me not to be around groups of people. Trust me, I've said some crazy shit that I couldn't even explain why if I tried.

I also don't like drama. There is a lot of drama that surrounds small town suburban mommyhood. It's just seems easier to be a loner. Show up when I want, leave when I want, not get bogged down in minutiae. But the downside of that is doing it all on my own. I think it would be nice to have more partners in crime. The internet- my message boards, Facebook groups, are easier. It's more of a come as you please. I can just shut down the computer if I need a break. But easy isn't always better. It's just different. And my internet friends are not in close proximity to me, so we can't just grab a drink or a cup of coffee.

So my new thing is to accept invitations. Without really thinking about it. To nail down plans. Cohen got me using a calendar on a regular basis, which I am super thankful for. I've been making a conscious effort to actually make plans, say yes to invitations, and to just put myself out there. I rejoined the newcomers & neighbors group just to go to the Progressive Dinner last week and I had fun. I'm talking to this one and that one and I'm thinking as I talk to people- "I really like her", "They seem like they're a really fun couple", "I would totally hang out with her/him/them". So that's my plan. To actually do it. Somehow I'm going to be a joiner. Although it may take baby steps. Starting tonight. As I go to a "Moms Night Out" with the moms from E's Kindergarten class instead of staying home and eating bell cakes from Zadies. Wish me luck.

Update: I jinxed myself by writing this in the morning. I think for the first time...ever...I'm bailing on my plans. See, once I make the plan, I HOLD the plan. I always tell people that I don't need to confirm because I'd have to be missing an appendage or something to cancel. Well, I'm not missing an appendage but as the day wore on, I got sicker and sicker. I'm now on my couch simultaneously freezing and hot with snot pouring out of my nose. No phlegm cups though, Tuck. I swear. (clearly an inside joke with one other person that really does know me). Even if I could get off my couch, I don't want to get any other mom sick. No one needs that. So, better luck next time. Stay tuned...

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