Hi there! Sorry I’ve been a bit absent for a few days. Lots of familyness happening in my neck of the woods.
Due to all of the family time, I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase “It takes a village.”
Let’s take a moment to rewind about 12 years to Mama’s pre-Mama, collegiate days. Imagine a young (thinner) girl with a closet full of Samford University t-shirts, a dorm room shared with a gal she just met, and a stack of intimidating English textbooks. That girl had moved recently to a new state (Alabama) out of her childhood home and nine hours from her family.
It was an exciting–and slightly nerve-wracking–time to be sure.
Thankfully, the good Lord blessed me with a fantastic group of friends. We called ourselves “The Quad Squad,” because we seemed to always end up on a quilt on the…you guessed it!…quad. Looking back, college was such a simple and complex time.
Now, Samford is a fairly small, Baptist university. There are about 5,000 students, so you tend to run into the same people periodically. It was fantastic, especially for this Florida girl who chose her Alabama education.
As freshman year progressed, I began meeting people–girls especially–who were very unhappy. They weren’t “adjusting well” to the college life and considering transferring or heading back home. They hadn’t made any friends. And, frankly, they rarely left their dorm rooms except to attend class.
This was when I developed a new mantra in life. It’s a bit arrogant, perhaps, but I still believe it’s true and still valuable today.
People can’t be your friend unless they know you exist.
Yes. I agree. It is quite profound. And to think! I was only 18 when I came up with it.
I say it’s arrogant because I’m assuming that once people meet me, they’ll want to be my friend. Obviously, that’s not true in every situation, but I’ve never had major issues with a lack of self-esteem.
Here’s my point, and it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re feeling lonely, overlooked, or forgotten, you have to make an effort. Everyone is generally self-centered. We’re all concerned about our lives, our issues, and our little worlds. Sometimes, it takes a little effort for others to notice we exist.
So, instead of holing up, step out. Take those kids to the park and chat with the other mom winging it by herself. (Start with diaper talk. It’s a sure-fire hit.) Join that women’s Bible study. Find a book club. Invite that single mom and her kiddo over for dinner (make some kind of casserole, which will feed an army anyhow. Or just order a pizza.). Find a community event and invite that friend you never see. Take your kids to visit an elderly neighbor. Find a way to serve someone else.
I just hate the idea that there are people out there who need other people, but we’ll never know they exist. You are worth other people’s time. You are not a burden.
In this day and age of social media, “likes” and “shares” are not enough to form true friendships. I think we all know this, but it can be easier to rest on our laurels and simply click through photos instead of making that phone call (or text…who makes phone calls in 2018?).
We all need a village. Get out there and find yours.