Welcomed. Friended. Part of something.

Happy. Fun. Included.

Last week I worked on hosting a Leadership Seminar/Training for our Area Directors, Regional Directors and Charter Directors for my company. It took a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of patience to be able to pull it off. I spent hours working on it both during work and during my free time. I waited on the group. Catered to the group. Put up large Post-Its on the windows to block the sun. By Thursday I was tired, exhausted and ready for a break. And a break I got.

I was invited to travel north to Lynden, WA and spend the weekend with the “cool kids.” Normally it wouldn’t have been my thing but this year has been a year of firsts and since it was a friend’s birthday bash I didn’t bother thinking about it. I said yes. I will be honest though, I was nervous. We celebrated with four other women. All sisters. With my friend and the four sisters I was afraid to be left out, the third (or in this case the sixth) wheel, or not be liked.

I don’t make friends easily. I can tell you that 90% of the time it’s because of my doing. Excessive stimuli wears me out. Being in large groups, going out on the town, small conversations make me want to hide and take some “me” time. But, this weekend it was different. This weekend the stimuli didn’t make me tired. Hanging out with the group was amazing. We went to town (and I ate Mexican which I’m not totally a fan of) and laughed all night. We had small conversations that ended up creating memories to laugh about for a long time.

It was during this weekend that I realized this is what I have wanted. A sense of belonging. A sense of camaraderie that I haven’t been a part of for a long time. These women were not only incredibly welcoming, but they treated me like I was just one of them. I was able to laugh, apparently cry, and make a complete fool of myself with no judgement. I was able to be me and not feel the need to pretend that I was someone else. There were no rules of engagement in regards to addressing life. There were no fake feelings, empty words, or egg shelled floors. There have been so many times where I needed to explain myself because I didn’t match the status quo of the requirements of life. But, it was in this safe place in Lynden, I didn’t need to be. It was here that I got to be me.

I can’t explain what I’m writing. I honestly hope the women that got to enjoy the weekend with me don’t read this because it’s kind of embarrassing. But, I am grateful for them because they are women who love God but aren’t afraid to be themselves. They aren’t afraid to have an opinion and to live their lives. They aren’t busy passing judgement and understand that I’m human and it’s okay that I make mistakes. They probably got to know me faster than anyone else has ever had but didn’t bother hating on me for it.

This weekend I got to be a part of the cool kids. And, it is with these cool kids that I’ve realized every step my husband and I have made since moving from Hawaii wasn’t to disgrace ourselves or to push God away. Rather it was to find who we are in God, as individuals and as a team, with the uniqueness of our own voice. Thank you ladies who were a part of this birthday bash, it has been an incredible honor.

Always, Po. xoxo