I am not sure when I forgot how to join in on social engagements, clubs and how to make friends but I know it must have been about 20 years ago. It may be an excuse but after getting married I slowly withdrew from extending myself to social interactions and making new friends, not consciously but when you become married your spouse becomes your best friend and pretty much your entire world.
I have never been the life of the party but growing up I played sports, joined clubs and made friends, it is just part of human nature to put ourselves out there. I think over the 22 or so years I was married I got lazy about finding new friends or joining in on pretty much everything. Fast forward to the present day I live in Olney and pretty much try to either join in on all events or at least sneak in for a few photos.
Getting a job at the paper really cracked my shell and forced me into becoming social again, although it was nerve-racking as I am not the biggest fan of gatherings or meeting new people. Slowly over time, at first being forced to be social and include myself in events or meeting new people I re-learned how to be social again and I have to say it is so rewarding, I have met so many new people, been to countless events and find myself enjoying it very much. I still get very nervous meeting new people, heck even people I know, and going to events, small talk has never been my thing.
Part of the problem stems from when I was very young, I have always strived to look deep into myself to always know who I am and why I am like I am, not that it always helps overcoming everything but at least I know the why of it. The main problem for me making new friends has always been that I meet someone and after the encounter I always think why would anyone want to be my friend, who am I, I am nothing special and have nothing to offer. I always think to myself that people are just being polite and that is the reason they chat with me or include me. I am not one for self-pity, this is just the way my mind works because of the things I went through growing up, which I really couldn’t go into. Writing about my truth is hard enough without writing about dark areas of my past that have happened, but I know the truth of why I am like I am. This sometimes helps because I can say to myself, ‘Push forward and get involved,’ it’s just my past holding me back. I imagine I will always be the way I am but I make a conscious effort now to meet new people, go to events and join in the community because living in a cave like a hermit is not how God intended us humans to be. We need one another and need that interaction to be mentally and emotionally healthy. I don’t write about these personal things for pity but because I hope someone will read one of my stories and know they are not alone and maybe, just maybe, put themselves out there too. This is Will B saying, put yourself out there and see what you will find.