I went to a launch party for a print magazine. I have been so busy, so involved in so many projects, this attendance didn’t even register as something out of my comfort zone. My friend was supposed to come with me. I was excited. There was a dress code and fancy famous people, influencers and inspiring people in their field were to attend.
I never craved to be on the inside. But often enough God granted me open door to important gatherings, just to show me a normal sight.
As an introvert, being unnoticed is my comfort zone. Fancy people make me uneasy. I don’t know what to say to them, and what they say is usually of no interest to me. Sorry to be so blunt. Fancy is often superficial.
I know deep down we are all human, longing to be seen, appreciated, admired, but bottom line we all want to be loved. Loved for who we are not who we appear to be.
As I walked to the party from the car, I arrived on time. I had parked nearby and by the time the party was startling Conrad was putting the girls to bed. I was under the impression that it was a party for women, but men and some kids were in attendance. And I was alone. You know what felt worse? My foolish attempt to fit in (in which I have zero practice), and my misguided hope that I can make a difference. But I had no footing.
Tomorrow I host an event for adoptive families, and I have a structure, a plan, a feast of encouragement and real talk.
Oh, I don’t like mingling with food and drinks for an hour. Alone. Everyone was catching up with friends, and making new friends or getting to know new people was not on anyone’s menu.
How do you make yourself approachable yet not intrude in people’s conversations.
I sat down and browsed the magazine, I texted Conrad, I drank a glass of wine. The finger food looked great but I had no desire to try it. I left as soon as the short message and acknowledgements were shared. I was so relieved to leave! It was the first warm night this year. Warm enough that I could walk without a jacket.
Oh, the foolish attempt to try to fit in makes it worse. It gives me shivers when I remember how awkward I felt. I thought I belonged because I had contributed with an article as well, about my most precious topic. My daughters and adoption and God.
I have learned so much during this uncomfortable evening. Empathy. And why many people don’t go to events without a friend. And it reminded me how not to do things. We are oblivious to another’s discomfort when we are jolly engaged and connected.
It occurred to me that expectations are burdensome. The more people know you, the higher the expectations, the more painful the disappointment. But I love the Jesus way of humility. How do these go together?