Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Lesson

I think this year I have learned a really great lesson, or at least something has become pretty clear to me through my experiences.

We, as people (and especially women) don't give each other enough of a chance.

Let me explain. Sometimes it takes work to get to know someone. There are those special people who you just connect with right away and I have plenty of those in my life. Then there are the people who you meet and instantly don't connect. So many times this has happened in my life. I even think there are people who I have looked at and felt we'd never be friends.

But in this past year, I have discovered how important and beneficial it is to have to work at a friendship. As the kids get older, I have been meeting more and more people through their school and activities. In several cases, people have rubbed me the wrong way or my attempts at a friendship have been shot down. But one of my personal things I have been working on is not to give up and not to prematurely judge the possibility of connecting with someone.

A couple of examples. I met this one mom at an outside of school activity. It was the first day of the activity and she was really outgoing. We talked for a little bit and she barely let me get a word in edgewise. She seemed like the know-it-all type and seemed to want to share that all with me. I listened. And I listened. And then I went home and though "I think I'll just avoid getting in a conversation in the future"! But there she was again the next week. But I decided to open my mind and try to participate in the conversation, ask her about herself. As it turns out, we had a lot in common.

Time went by and the earthquake in Japan happened. The next time she saw me, she reached out and hugged me. She told me how much we had been in her thoughts. She offered to help in any way she could. In that moment, I realized I was stick with it and work on a friendship.

I have another new-ish friend who took some work :) It has been over a year of work and part of that is she doesn't really speak English (heh heh). I am sure you are saying "no wonder"! I once wrote her a note and had is translated into Spanish to have her daughter to play. She said no because they didn't really speak English. I decided to take my time with her. We e-mail back and forth in Spanish (I use Google translate) and we have established a really nice friendship. I appreciate her desire to work with my bad Spanish! And our girls love each other. It was and is so worth it.

In the past year, I have also been given up on and it taught me how I never want to be that person. The person who, when someone makes a mistake, comes across wrong, says the wrong up on a friendship.

If you are reading this, try living it. You will see it pay off. You'll see new friendships form with people you least expect them to. And you'll see a change in yourself that you will love.


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