Monday, January 14, 2013

Create a Village

When I moved to Ohio, I left a village behind in Iowa.  A community.  A small town where I ran into people I knew everywhere I went.  I left behind a church, school and people that I loved.  I had a deep connection with them and many of those friendships, {from what seems like a lifetime ago} continue to fight on despite time and distance.

But life was different here.  I had a terrible time connecting.  It seemed as if everyone here, grew up here, knows everyone, or is related to someone else. 

What I discovered recently though, is that everything is not as it seems.  While I was holing myself up like a mama bear in a cave with my 4 little cubs, looking out, feeling alone, is that others were feeling the same way.

I'm an introvert.  And when I say introvert, what I mean is I'm clinically terrified of new people.  Hi, I'm Mari.  I'm an introvert.  However, I need people just like extroverts need people.  Everyone needs someone.  We were made to be in relationship with other people.  There are things my husband just doesn't get.  Or want to get.  He loves me, and he is my best friend.  But let me tell you, he does not enjoy many topics that I do {like Downton Abby}.

In addition to being a big scaredy cat, I've been through crap.  When I was a kid I was bullied by a group of girls for several years, which did a number on my self worth and ability to trust.  And when I became an adult, I found out that not all friendships are created equal.

I can honestly say that this crazy ride of my life, has taken me to a place that I never expected.  It turns out that in year 30  God has decided to pick me up and strap me down into a new roller coaster.  Its a twisty one, and I'm on my way up that first gigantic hill and I cannot see the other side. I'm certain it will stay on the track and not fly off, and I'm terrified.  BUT, I don't want to be on that ride by myself.  I need some girlfriends, my village, who will get on the ride with me.  Who will cheer me on, who will throw their hands up in the air and fly with me.  A village who will hold on with me when things get scary, who will let me lean on them when we careen around the next curve. 

And I believe you need it to.  You need a village on your side.  Maybe you and your husband aren't quite as happy as you once were.  Maybe you are fostering or adopting and need someone to understand and care that its a struggle some days.  Maybe you need some advice on nail polish or if you can get away with yellow ballet flats.  Maybe you are struggling, feeling alone.  Maybe you need someone to be the girlfriend you can call who will understand that Bonjovi is on your bucket list and will come over and have a living room dance/karaoke party with you.  Maybe you need to know someone is praying for you.  Maybe your husband is a hard core wackadoodle, and you need someone to roll their eyes with you.  I'm not saying that's me.... but it might be me.

In our village there might be more than one home fire.  I might have a "love of 90's music" home fire and someone else might think its a smidge too out there and build their own "worship music only thank you" home fire.  And that's okay.  We will be a village, and we will gravitate towards certain fires, because your fire might not burn for the same things mine do.  There are many fires in a village.  The important thing is that we keep our village open and we are all secure in the fact that there is a place for everyone. You belong.

That's what makes it so cool!  We can still be a village, even if we aren't the same or think the same.  But lets build our village anyway!  Lets come together, and support each other.  Because women need women.  And when someone has something to celebrate, we all rally and celebrate the the stuffins' out of it!  And when someone is on their knees hurting over something, we will all get down on that floor and lay next to them. Please brings cupcakes.  In both cases.

I put a lot of years into giving my family 1,634 % of me.  I fully still plan to do that, but this year I'm committing to making my friendships a priority.  Priority.  Its okay to take time away from them every once in a while to nourish our relationships outside of our cave.  What I'm about to say is ground breaking, seriously, if you don't make your friends a priority, they will not make you one.  Brand new info right?  No? Just new to me then? 

Lets do this.  Build a village where ever you are at.  Make a home fire.  What does your fire look like? Mine has cupcakes and vegetables, I'm difficult that way.

1 comment:

  1. ooh, mari! i love it. so true!! it truly does take a village. thank you so much for the link! =)