Friday, February 15, 2013

Looking for my person

This is an awkward thing to share, but this Lenten discipline of introspection and reflection that I’ve taken up has led me to it, so here goes. I’m putting myself out there this week. This may sound like nothing out of the ordinary, since I’m a giant extrovert, but this is mindfully different this week. I’m looking for my person. If you’re familiar with Grey’s Anatomy, you already know what I mean. It’s the relationship between Meredith and Cristina. Here’s what this sounds like:

Cristina: I think you and Derek will make it. You will make it work.
Meredith: Are you just telling me what I wanna hear?
Cristina: I'm your person. I am on your side.

Cristina: Mer, why do you care what I think?
Meredith: Because you're my person!

Cristina: The clinic has a policy. They wouldn't let me confirm my appointment unless I designated an emergency contact person. Someone to be there in case help me home after. Anyway I put your name down, that's why I told you I'm pregnant. You're my person.
Meredith: I am?
Cristina: Yeah, you are. Whatever.
Meredith: Whatever.
Cristina: He dumped me. [Meredith hugs Cristina] You realize this constitutes hugging?
Meredith: Shut up, I'm your person.

I’ve always been a person who had lots of great acquaintances, but very few close friends. From what I’ve heard, the best way to find a friend is to be a friend. And I’ve started to wonder if I stink at this because this friend has not appeared. Ok, so I don’t remember birthdays and I don’t call to talk very often, but I’ll keep up on Facebook and I’m incredibly loyal and I’ll pick you up at the airport. I’ll go to lunch and throw you a baby shower and be delighted when you call.

Part of what is prompting this is remembering my pregnancy with James. My super seminary friends had moved back to where they had come from and there was no one within a 100 mile radius who wanted to throw me a baby shower except the sweet folks of my church. Which was great, but different. So, whenever it’s time for round 2, I’d like to have a person that loves me enough to want to care for me before and after I have another baby. And we can walk with each other through all the other stuff that life will throw our way.

So I’m looking for a person I can go deep with. When I was in a spiritual growth group in seminary, the professor who led the group expressed her appreciation for my willingness to be vulnerable. That’s who I am, really. I’m willing to be vulnerable, to be honest, with others in hopes of having a true connection, a real relationship built on truth-telling and love. I want a soul sister, a best friend, a bestie, and BFFL – I'm a Meredith looking for a Cristina.

So, earlier this week, I went to coffee with a wonderful acquaintance. I’m always extra nervous when I do the 1-on-1 thing because it feels like dating. And I haven’t dated in almost 15 years. I get the same sort of inner monologue going on: “I’m making eye contact because I’m interested in what you’re saying…Oh goodness, am I staring?…We really seem to have a lot in common. Awesome!...Oh, she just mentioned something about a friend who lives closer than I do who also has a kid and they already hang out. Does she have room for another really good friend?” I’m really trying hard not to over-analyze because it just feels weird. 

To try to continue to put myself out there, today I took James, my adorable little icebreaker, and went to a play date with a group of moms I found on Meetup. It was a Valentine’s date at the park and I had made a batch of my super toddler veggie/fruit muffins to share. I felt good about not coming empty handed. They had changed the date from yesterday to today to better accommodate schedules, but the weather did not cooperate. And I wasn’t entirely sure about taking James out in it just so I can keep trying to find my person. But he woke up from nap in time and seemed game, so we bundled up and head out (and arrived 15 minutes late…).
The woman who organized it is also in my Zumba class, but it was still awkward as we stood there, trying to make small talk. We obviously haven’t gravitated toward one another before, so it was good when the other moms arrived and the kids got down to playing. I got compliments on the muffins. I gave compliments on other muffins. I made small talk with the other moms. James enjoyed the park and looking at the babies. We made Valentine’s cards; James liked the stickers. Then, after braving the cold and wind for about an hour, we made our good-byes. As we neared the car, James ran away, and I got to have my inner monologue wonder what the other moms thought as I chased him, corrected him, and put him in the car crying. Yikes…

Tomorrow we’ll try again. There’s another Meetup group that looks promising – a little more hip, a little more honest – and we’ll have a play date at a different park. It’s a little during James’s lunch time, so we’ll already have an out if it gets awkward. Here’s hoping…

Because I need a person. I’m not whining because I have a amazing husband. And in a lot of ways, he’s my person. But I have a lot of love and room for a really great friend in my life. I do have some really great friends…that live in other states. And seeing them 2-3 times a year doesn’t satisfy my need to have a person that shares my everyday life. Someone who can handle that I’m a mom/wife/pastor/woman who makes mistakes, has doubts, makes awesome muffins, tries hard, cries sometimes, laughs often, and is just a person, too.

Where have you found your best friend? How are you a good friend to others?


  1. I love this post so much! I loved our coffee and felt the same way! I can't wait to hang out again. I had a similar resolution and always feel like everyone else already has a full friends load - is there room for me? I am excited and can't think of anything else except super awkward things to say! Glad you gave me a shot! :)

    1. Thank you! I was feeling so awkward about this that I didn't even post it to my FB, Twitter, etc. like I normally do. It's definitely going to be interesting to go through 40 days of greater introspection if this is where I go on day 3. :)


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