Not really meant to be funny because lately I have felt the most incapable of meeting and keeping female friends in Seattle. It’s entirely frustrating and for some reason the most noticeable to me this time of year. Maybe it is because people, like ourselves, are more tempted to begin to hibernate and seeing anyone becomes less natural and more of a challenge. Then you compound that basic nature of humans with the fact that it is football season and for whatever reason, my girlfriends in Seattle don’t give two hoots about football, which puts me one step into the male bracket. Then there is the obviousness of the fact that I work with a good majority of men. Fortunately, my surrounding office-mates are female which helps a smidge but when you tend to be more in a formal, businesslike mindset during the work day, you still FEEL like you are working with only men. So then, when your lovely husband plans a hot tub boat party for you on your birthday, the only people to agree to boat are all guys. Nothing wrong with that unless you want to come across as some floozy celebrating her birthday in a hot tub with a bunch of guys. Thankfully we do have one lady coming so I fell one million times better about the guest list.
But, it’s true that I have felt very alone in this city without girls to hang out with and talk to. Some have had serious injuries that have prohibited them from hanging out, some have had mental/emotional slips that are nearly friendship-ruining instances, some have had babies, and some are just always too busy or too flustered for me to either schedule something with them or I feel like doing so would not actually allow me the outlet and release that I need. It’s something I’ve talked to Bryan about at times but to anyone else.
…And then the clouds parted and I could see the light. I joined a women-only life group through church with the greatest of apprehension and nerves because of how life groups like these with women have gone for me in the past. I had low expectations and was floored that it could actually be a big step in moving forward to finding women of similar interests and faith as well as not have to deal with the scheduling nightmare of making time to spend with one another, AND they were genuine, interesting, and also women who have struggled making friendships themselves in this introverted city. I was overjoyed!
I should have not worried at all, but alas, that is not my strongest suit. The pastor’s wife, Sue, is leading the group and she is one of the easiest, welcoming, sassy women that I have met (not at all unlike my own mom, Sue). She’s relaxed, she’s fun, and she owns a yoga studio. So for our 90 minutes we girl-chatted (this should be a dictionary word), ate popcorn and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, drank pumpkin spiced tea, and then did about 40 minutes of yoga stretching that left me feeling totally at ease and grateful. I used to admit that yoga was my church; the one way that I could actually feel myself surrender to something outside of myself and let my mind and my spirit rest and recover. There were seven of us girls on this particular night and I’d say half were younger than me and half older. Three are parents, five married, all active and intelligent, and most all of us transplants. And not only transplants; we had one from Minneapolis, one from Columbus, and one from Idaho but whose mom graduated from East Lansing High School. I felt so in common with these other girls. I honestly can’t wait for next week and can’t wait to begin reading Present Over Perfect, authored by a woman from Michigan even.
And my shared message this week from Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” I did that.