Today I sat in Relief Society, the women’s gathering hour at my church, and listened to how we could become closer as a sisterhood. The answer was clear, repeated over and over again: Be a friend.
Hearing about all of the ways these women have reached out to each other was mostly inspiring, but had me pretty discouraged when I realized I hadn’t felt that same care and love that others had experienced. No one has purposefully made me feel unwelcome but at the same time no one has made that extra effort to help me feel like my presence matters. Friends aren’t the only reason to attend religious services, but they are still an important one for me. I’m still searching for that sense of community in my congregation. This gets complicated because of my inconsistent attendance due to my sporadic work schedule, not having children (because people with kids can’t be friends with people that don’t have kids???), having a small apartment (not much to entertain), and having some pretty decent social anxiety that interrupts normal conversations and interactions.
Work is another place that I could potentially make friends however I know that most see me as an incompetent new nurse and there’s 120 + nurses that I interact with. No one has the same schedules. I am still meeting new people after 5 months of working there and will probably continue to do so for at least the next year. Not impossible to forge friendships here, but still difficult.
I had some deep introspection tonight about my friendships from the past. I haven’t always been the greatest friend. I regret letting go of some friendships. I regret keeping some for too long as they were mentally and emotionally draining relationships. And I think at times I can also be the overbearing person to the point that people don’t want to spend time with me.
It’s pretty insane to think the world will just fall at my feet in this area, which is why I feel it’s important to mention that I do make an effort to make friends. I try to start a conversation with others I feel I could get along with. I invite potential friends over for dinner. I’m almost always the initiator and don’t feel like I get much in return.
I’m going to try and be more kind. I’m going to try and serve those in my ward and my community to foster any kind of connection. I’m not going to worry about how my effort appears to other people. I’m going to try and exemplify the type of friend I’m looking for.