The other day when I picked Middle Child up from a social event, she was weepy. "I try to be friendly," she told me, "but it's like everyone is friends with each other, and I'm just someone who is also there."
I was sympathetic, and I tried to make her feel better. But truly, I was sad for her because I have no answer to that situation- I feel like it's where I live.
I have a large circle of acquaintance, and I have a few really good girlfriends, and a large family. When I have a situation in which I need assistance, such as a broken bone or a new baby, these people really come through, and I'm touched by the outpouring of support and care. But every day life? Well, that's sort of a different story.
When I say this mystifies me, I'm really being honest. I hear about lunch dates, dinners, movies, even vacations. Vacations? How do people end up going on vacation together? Sometimes I'm pushy and I say "Let me know next time, I'd love to come too!" and sometimes that works. As I'm typing this, I'm feeling like I'm whining, and I keep thinking that there is one friend with whom I actually do catch the occasional movie, but then as I think further... yeah, the last movie we saw together was over a year ago. I seem to just not have the "knack" for having a social life, despite the fact that I truly want one.
I puzzle over all of this, and I come up with different reasons... maybe it's because our family is a little bit quirky. I mean, our children span 16 years, which makes us busy in ways "regular" families aren't, because of everyone's differing activities and interests. My husband works an unusual job with irregular hours, our extended family is spread across the country, which means we have a tendency to be off one place or another and not be too consistent with things like church attendance. Also, we're not financially well off, so maybe that's a factor? And I work from home and am on the phone a good deal, particularly with extended family...I sometimes am embarrassed to be walking into preschool trying to wrap up a conversation, and maybe I put people off. Or maybe it's that my friends are too scattered across my life- I have church friends, atheist friends, parent friends, single friends, homeschool friends, public school friends, weight watcher's friends, foodie friends...maybe I just span too many groups?
In any event, I often feel like a bit of an island. People seem to find me entertaining, but for some reason I always feel like I'm just a little bit out of the loop. So it comes as no surprise to me that, as a blogger, I'm finding that art imitates life. I read other people's blogs, and it seems like there's this whole "blogging community" out there, and I honestly have no idea how to tap into it!
Now, I do follow some blogs, and I have some followers, but these are people I actually know from other places. And to be fair, I'm already addicted to facebook and entrenched in BabyCenter, so maybe it's a good thing that I haven't found the key to the blogging executive washroom, because at some point I do have to step away from the computer and raise my family. But there are giveaways, and memes, and awards, and all sorts of connections, and even people who seem to be friends because they blog and I truly have no idea how any of that works.
This month, I've signed up for nablopomo, the site that encourages members to blog daily. I did it for two reasons, and the primary reason is that I really want to become a more prolific writer. I want to have an incentive to sit down, every day, and pound out something readable, because if I had my druthers, I'd write for a living. And maybe someday I'll figure out a way to make that happen, but I know in my heart I won't if I don't get into the habit of writing on a more regular basis.
But the other reason is that I'm wondering if maybe by joining some sort of blogging "thing", I'll be able to crack the code. Maybe I'll find out how everyone else seems to be so communal in their blogging, while for me it's a very solitary pursuit.
So, wish me luck on being able to blog for 30 days straight, and wish me luck on finding my place in the blogging world. But in the meantime, seriously, does anyone want to go out for drinks or something?