My dad got another ride in an ambulance today. Apparently he was so nauseous and dizzy this morning that he nearly passed out several times and he and mom saw 911 as the best option. Understandably, the concern for a heart attack or a stroke is pretty foremost in everyone's minds. As it turns out, his blood pressure was fine, his heart is fine - they think he has some sort of vertigo-causing virus. Just what the poor guy needs. That wasn't the point of this post, but I thought I'd give you the latest. He's back home again, he wasn't admitted - but, was told he should stay close to home for the next few days as the likelihood for another episode is high. I told Dad that he needs to come up with a new strategy for getting attention as this hospital thing is getting old....
Tomorrow John, myself, and the kiddos are all heading to Camp Tadmor for the First Baptist College group's fall retreat. (This college group is known as CCF (Collegiate Christian Fellowship), so from here on out, that is probably how I will refer to it). John and I owe our relationship to our involvement with CCF as well as the pastor, Corey - who led us through the pathways of leadership among that group, and ended up marrying us. Corey has certainly dropped his share of hints over the years of us "coming back", but it is just now that we are both feeling the leading. My experience "mentoring" (if you can call it that) with Lindsay last year was phenomenal - and the guy that John mentored last year (Aaron) is still attending the UofO, so John and him still get together. Most recently, that occurred on the boat with 4 other college guys (and Travis) as they headed out to Dexter Lake last Saturday. When they arrived at the lake, the car thermometer read 39 degrees - those guys are nuts! But, they all had a blast, especially John.
With all that said, however, I still find myself dreading the experience to a small degree. John's so good at first impressions, so much more comfortable in a crowd, eager to stay up late and engage in a game of cards - where I.... well, I'm not. I think I can pull off the "first impressions" thing when I need to, "rise to the occasion", so to say, but that effort drains me, where it ends up invigorating John. I have yet to connect with any of these women - in fact I only know two names - from the night that John and I attended their evening Sunday service two weeks ago. There were over 150 students in attendance - all crowded in to the Trinity House (a former sorority house purchased by the church that now houses women who attend FBC). We brought the kids and sat in the back and I realized that this whole adventure will stretch me. I'm realizing it again tonight.
I laid in bed last night "penning in my head" a whole post - or perhaps series of consecutive posts - about popularity and friendships and my experiences. And, perhaps, my apprehension stems from some of these past happenings. Will these gals who all look so cute and young and skinny see any reason to want to spend time with me? Granted, I have a couple of pretty cute kids in tow (they are my ace in the hole), but still, I am feeling pretty vulnerable.
On Monday, I will be hosting another ladies' "Work Day" gathering. I have a menu already planned and the "Rug Doctor" rented to go, so obviously there's some preparation needed physically, but in terms of emotionally - I'm pumped for the experience. I tried to stretch over the different friendship intercepts in my life to invite quite an assortment of people, and hopefully most will come for at least part of the day. They'll be coming into my (less than perfect) house, eating food I prepare, and I'll play hostess - but there's not a bit of apprehension I have with anyone I'm considering inviting. Even the two new gals I just met from Bible Study. (I hope they show up!). Why the difference? Well, I think it comes down to the pre-established relationships - the connections I've already made. That, and it's in my house so I'm feeling that element of control and consistency.
It's the element of unknown I'm having a problem with. My experiences in high school and college screamed to me over and over that I do not have the appearance or personality to "attract people", at least not initially. I don't make people look twice when they come into my presence, I'm not funny or witty enough to be the life of the party. But, I AM the person people want to go to when they want to recover from partying too much! I'm that "constant, reliable, loyal" person. In fact, it wasn't just one previous boy that told me after finally deciding to date me, "Gosh, Stephanie, you're the kind of girl a guy would want to marry..." I always thought, "Gee, how nice, but what you're really saying is, I didn't really care to notice you to think about dating, but when it comes time to settle down, you might be the ticket." Now, I consider it a compliment, but it's been a bit of an insecurity for me, particularly when "not being social enough/introverted" was the reasoning my ex-fiance gave for not seeing us as compatible. Amazing how hard I tried to disprove him - and coming back to the faking it thing, am capable of doing. But, at my heart, I'd take the one on one times, or comfort of days spent with friends whose relationships run deep, than I would walking into the big group of strangers.
So, there you go. A much longer post than I planned on writing. This is good for me, and hopefully, by the time this weekend is over, from here on out, I'll have a group of women I can hang with and feel comfortable - and hopefully everyone will benefit from. In the meantime, though, I hope I don't lost too much sleep wondering, "What if they don't like me?"....