Making Friends…A Lost Art?

After attending BlissDom I am reevaluating who I am.

“Huh?” You might be thinking.

It’s interesting.  I’ve always thought of myself as an extrovert.  In job interviews I would confess I’m a people person.  It’s true.  I love people.

When I look back on my life, I recall a turning point.  Speech class in 8th grade opened up a new side of me.  I don’t remember if I chose to take the class or if it was required.  All I know is I was much more reserved before taking speech.  I learned I enjoyed speaking in front of a group of people.  I think this new found knowledge contributed to me gaining more confidence in who I am.  In a way, I think I was more of an introvert before taking Speech.  I didn’t have lots of friends but would have a handful of really close friends.  I was fine with this.  I can’t say after 8th grade I became the most popular girl in school.  That is definitely not what I’m saying.  I was just more open to talking to people and making friends.

Let me fast forward to present day.  On the first leg of my flight home from Nashville {where BlissDom is held} on Sunday I sat next to Melanie Nelson.  She was the speaker for the session I attended titled “3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Grow Your Facebook Fan Page.”  I was so excited to find out she lives in the same state as me {about 2 hours away.}  Melanie is very genuine and kind.  She has a book about Facebook coming soon.  We talked about so many different subjects.  One subject in particular has prompted this post.  Funny thing is it has nothing to do with Facebook, my blog, or anything relating to social media {even though we did discuss these topics.}  I was sharing with her how mentally drained I was from the conference.  She asked, “Are you an extrovert or an introvert?”  I was kind of surprised she asked me this question and paused before answering.  “I’ve always looked at myself as an extrovert,” I replied.  She explained to me the difference between extroverts and introverts.  I will summarize what she said: extroverts are people who become energized after being around lots of people.  When introverts are around a lot of people they are not energized.  Instead, introverts feel as though energy is taken away from them.

This made me think.  Am I an extrovert?  I do have instances when I feel energized after being around a lot of people.  Usually this happens when I’m around people I trust or I feel comfortable being with.

There were about 700 bloggers at BlissDom.  The friends I made last year at BlissDom did not attend this year.  So in a way, it was like I was new again.  There were a few girls I friended on Instagram I knew were attending and hoped to meet them.  There were a few other friends I made on Twitter I was hoping to meet as well, but again, I had not met them in real life.  Otherwise, I was going into a conference without truly knowing anyone. “That’s okay, I’m a people person.  I’ll make new friends, ” I thought.

I now need to add another aspect to this scenario of thoughts.  I have written about this before, but it is a very sensitive matter.  I don’t have a handful of close friends anymore.  I’ve lived in the same place now for 5 years and don’t have any real close friends.  There are 3 girls I really connected {consider good friends} with who have moved away.  However, living here has made me less confident in my friendship making skills.  Don’t get me wrong, I have friends/acquaintances who are kind and talk to me when I’m out and about.  It’s just not the same.  The upside of this has given me an opportunity to be closer to my kids and immediate family.

Back to the conference…I left feeling drained.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it tremendously.  There were many instances in which I felt uncomfortable, though.  It was usually in the evening and I would end up sitting by myself.  Fortunately, I would eventually find someone I had met and try to mingle.  I just don’t like social situations like this.  I never have.  So maybe I’m not an extrovert?  Or is it possible to be an extrovert and turn introvert?  Or in my case, introvert turned extrovert turned introvert…???  I don’t know, maybe I don’t have to label myself.  It’s just a little weird.  You know me, analytical Shan.  Hey, I come by it honestly being my parents are both Social Workers. {Love you Mom & Dad!}

I also began to think about how social media has impacted having real life friends versus virtual ones.  How often are you getting together with real friends and talking to them face to face?  Has Facebook and other sites like it cut down on our real life interactions with people?  Honestly, for me, because of my predicament and where I live, I don’t think I would be a very happy person without social media.  This blog, it’s Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter help me to feel connected with people.  I could get really lonely living in this little town without hearing from you.  It is what it is.  My 3 kids are at school during the day.  At some point during that time period I would like to have interaction with another person who is not the checker at Wal-Mart.  But stop and think a minute…if you do have at least one good friend to confide in about whatever.  Please be grateful.  Friendship is so precious.  Get together with your friends, go to lunch, hang out, play a game.

Julie & Me

Speaking of friends, I did run into an elementary school friend who was there working at a vendor/sponsor booth.  It was fun to catch up with and see her again.  We had lost touch completely.  Good to see you again, Julie! 🙂

Me & Jenna

Bernice & Me

I am grateful for each and every one of the friends I made at BlissDom.  I finally met my Twitter friends Bernice of Living the Balanced Life & The Stressed Mom, Alicia of Confessions of a Snowflake {Wish we got a photo together, Alicia} and Jenna from Made More Beautiful.  All are beautiful women inside and out.

Me & Melissa

Melissa from Overwhelmed by His Blessings is my lovely fellow photographer/Instagram friend.  I wish she & I were able to spend more time together.  She was on the photo booth staff and had to work the whole conference.  I am very happy we met at the Photo Walk which was held first thing on Thursday.  {I’m really not taller than her.  I was on the step above her ;)}

Rachelle, Jean & Me

Friday Night I met two adorably creative girls at The Lorax Party: Jean from The Artful Parent and Rachelle from Tinkerlab.  They were kind enough to let me crash their photo after just meeting me since I was alone.  I am super excited to get to know them more on their blogs.  I am sure I can learn a lot of fun crafty stuff from them.  Love that!!

Saturday I met and had a wonderful conversation with Amy from Amy Volk.  She is darling and has a good listening ear.  We ended up talking about all kinds of stuff and have much in common.  She said she writes about simplifying our lives and organization…sounds pretty good to me!

I also met a girl who is living the life I once dreamed of in New York City.  Heather not only is an editor for Parents magazine, but has her own blog at High Chair Times where she writes about her adventures of feeding her Son.  I learned a lot talking to her and highly enjoyed her company at Girls Night In on Saturday night.  Heather & I also met Sara, talented technology guru of Technology for Moms.  Sara is a fun-loving character of a girl.  She and I laughed the night away {completely sober, btw ;)} while watching Paula Deen jump up and down on her trampoline on Oprah’s new show Oprah’s Next Chapter.

Last but not least, I met the awesome Megan Tietz from Sorta Crunchy.  I began ‘following’ her on Instagram not long before BlissDom.  We didn’t meet until after the conference was over on Sunday at the airport.  I was a little embarrassed because I was without makeup.  {had about 4 hours of sleep}  My flight left at 6:55 AM, so I was NOT putting on makeup.  Anyway, not the best first impression.  Fortunately, she seemed to like me alright despite the pale face. {Thank you, Megan ;)}  Megan & I sat next to each other on the 2nd leg of my flight.  Talking to both Melanie and Megan helped the flights buzz by.  Even better, they are from the state I live in!  I love that!  I look forward to possibly seeing both of them in the near future.

Even though I may not see all of these women in real life every day; I have the opportunity to visit them online.  Our BlissDom experience will be a special memory for me.

Hopefully the above mentioned women would say I haven’t lost my friend making skills. 😉  ???

Friends Bring JOY,

Birthday Wishes {& Roomspiration Master Bedrooms}

Happy Birthday to my Son who is 13 today!

Significance for 13…Facebook!  Last night we emphasized to our Son how grateful we were for his patience.  The age minimum for Facebook is 13.  We expressed our gratitude for his integrity.  He could have easily gone onto Facebook and made an account sooner than now.  I hope Facebook will be a good experience for him.  I know there are instances of cyber bullying.  My husband and I will have to monitor things carefully.  Extended family members: look for J’s Facebook invite today.  Feel free to wish him a Happy Birthday 😉

I hopped online last night to look up a good teen boy birthday card I could ‘whip up’ for him to go with his gift.  Ha ha ha…none to be found!  So I came up with this idea:

The photo of my Son & I on the inside of the card is from several years ago.  I wanted one of both of us together.  Unfortunately, he won’t let me take photos of him anymore.  They are few and far between.  Is that a boy thing?  All you Moms of teen boys out there, help a Mom out…have you experienced this detest of being photographed with your Sons?

I thought I could find a good photo of our Master Bedroom quickly this morning to add for today’s Roompsiration Blog Hop & Link Party.  HA!  Unfortunately, it is hiding from me in my files.  Oh how I wish someone would come and organize my millions of photos on my computer for me.  Any takers???  Instead of delaying the post further, I’m giving up.  Hopefully I will come across it and can add it later. 😉

You will be incredibly impressed with Nashville’s own Just a Touch of Gray’s Master Bedroom.  It has been a delight to become acquainted with the beautiful Rachel.  You can tell she and her husband have already created a beautiful family together.  The presence of children do not make a family.  The marriage union of man and woman begins a family.  I love to see how she & her husband work together on their projects.  Their Master Bedroom is another example of their brilliance in restoration of their home and decorating.  My favorite is the last photo with her adorable dog.  You will have to go there to see it! 😉
Touch of Gray
Again, if you have a Master Bedroom you want to share, please join us for the party!  You are invited!  Head on over to Just a Touch of Gray.  Link yours up or sit back and enjoy the eye candy.

Thank you for visiting,

Terrible Poverty

My husband’s profession has brought about many moves for our family. Our last move (1/2007) took us to a charming little city of about 20,000. We have lived in a small place before and enjoyed the feeling of community & camaraderie. I usually don’t have a difficult time making friends wherever we have moved. However, this time it has been extraordinarily difficult.

Two of the good friends I’ve made here have moved away. I do have one good friend who has younger children than mine and we can’t get together as often as we would like. Plus I know she has other friends she likes to spend time with besides me. 🙂

Maybe people just don’t get together and do things here? I have tried to invite some girls to do things with me and something always comes up and they cancel. I try not to take it personally. But how can I not?

Staying at home without having other women to talk to or do things with every once in a while…well, it gets lonely. I recently posted a quote on facebook from Mother Teresa. “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”

My husband came home and asked me if I was lonely. I asked him why and he said I don’t usually quote Mother Teresa. He just knows how I feel.

If it were not for facebook, I would feel incredibly lonely. I think about all my friends I have made through the years and still keep in touch with. They are friends whom I cherish and would be doing things with if we lived close by. I miss them.