This week I am really throwing caution to the wind and going to not only talk to strangers; I am going to meet some strangers. Realistically speaking, I know it happens everyday in just about every interaction I have. And logically I know that blogging and interacting with people here and on other social media forums is akin to ‘talking to strangers’. But this week I signed up with a few groups that have similar interests and I am heading out. I am going to intentionally meet some strangers. First stop- a book club, then a writers group, and then a hike with a group that meets at the state park. I declined a trip to ‘photograph abandoned churches’ that was an hour away; my inner chicken shit was waving the warning flags on that one. I am sure it was exactly what it said it was-a group of photographers on a field trip, but to me it screamed ‘please join me in luring you so far out of town you can’t get back, into an abandoned church where no one can hear you scream so I can do horrific things to you and leave you for dead.’ Maybe next time.
Since we have been here I have not just allowed my children to talk to strangers, I have encouraged them to do so. Who does this? Moving to a new area seems to make you lose all common sense. I raised them with a healthy fear of ‘the strangers’ and now it seems no one is a stranger? The first day we were here C, the youngest, asked if he could go knock on doors and see if there were any kids on our street. And I said yes! What came over me? Before he was out the door I took it back-what if someone grabbed him inside and kept him living in the basement for years? What if I just sent him to knock on the door of a sex offender? What the hell happened to my parenting skills? I think it was the heat.
It’s a whole new ball game, this starting over, and I will confess the gawky eighth grade girl in me is feeling a bit nervous. Walking into a coffee shop to meet a new group of ladies feels like the first day of school all over again. I know I am no longer that girl with the braces and Coke bottle bottom glasses, whose hair would never feather like Farrah Fawcett’s. Heck! I am not even the same person I was a last year, but still…I probably should not eat before I go.
I feel like I have spent so much time the last few months preparing my kids for the move and making them feel confident and secure about it, that I have forgotten to do the same for myself. I have been so busy preparing the house and selling the house and unpacking the house, that now that all of that is behind me, I am sitting her alone and while I know my friends are all a phone call, a text, or an email away-it would be nice to have someone knock on my door looking for a cup of coffee. Or wine. Wine would be good.
So off I go to yoga, to the gym, to book club…and whatever else strikes me, until I find my people. I am going to find a bunch of strangers, and with apologies to my mother and mothers everywhere, I am going to talk to them.