Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Coming out of my shell a bit

I've recently started leaving comments on blogs that I read regularly -- not a lot, but a few, sprinkled here and there... I feel like I'm testing the waters... It's just so weird and vaguely play-groundesque -- what if someone thinks my comment is stupid? And the irrational thoughts spiral from there, none that are blogworthy, but they're there.

I was at a training today and one of the aspects of leadership that we talked about was the people who surround you. Who are the people you turn to, professionally and personally? As a pastor this is a difficult and oh-so important facet of my life that I've largely ignored. I was pleased to be able to write down a number of people who I feel I can turn to for a variety of things, and if push came to shove many of them could serve as MY pastor in addition to being a friend or a mentor or an accountability partner. However, when it came to the "friends outside the ministry" category, my list was woefully small. Ok, I was hard-pressed to come up with a single person who isn't either: another pastor/ministry professional or a member of either my congregation or my husband's congregation.

I know that leaving comments on people's blogs won't really garner me a whole lot of friends who live around the block with whom I can go shopping! But this virtual community has certainly sustained me in a way that I never thought possible when I took my first call.

Other thoughts that I had today? Sign up somehow, somewhere (community education? parks and recreation?) for a photography class. Find a book group that meets over lunch so that I don't have to be away from home another night during the week.


Katherine said...

I have a suggestion. Go to Meetup.com and see if there are any local groups meeting in your area. I joined a knitting group (which I can hardly ever go to because of choir night) through meetup. It harnesses the easy connections we make on the internet and funnels them into real life.

I promise this isn't comment spam! I just think it's a neat site.

Too bad we can't have coffee... :-(

RuthRE said...

Oh, just comment at will!
I do. I've no doubt half of mine are incoherent since I love to surf past my bedtime.

Pink Shoes said...

Oooo... Thanks for the tip, Katherine; I'll let you know if I find something! And Ruthre -- I'm going to take that to heart! Thanks!

Teri said...

I've been having the same issue of support networks...amplified by living in a different country, but still the same problem. I have trouble, too, thinking that people will think I'm not quite engaging/smart/funny/serious enough...so I hang back on making plans, inviting people, finding new groups to be in, commenting on blogs, etc.
so i guess what i'm trying to say, with all that, is that you are not alone AND thank you for being honest here...it's helpful to me! :-)

peace...and good luck with the book club!

Emily said...

You're always welcome at my virtual place, as well!

This recent move forced me to make friends quickly outside the church, as we moved for husband's job. I joined some local knitting circles, and have even been sucked into spinning and other fibers. It's good to have friends who have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH.

Jean said...

comments mean a lot. I personally always am really EXCITED when someone else leaves a comment of even one word in length on my blog. Somehow it affirms that I have connected.

Kathryn said...

Y...have to agree with both the huge appreciation of comments (kind of feel neurotic and by passed when a post fails to draw even one)and the issue of disconnection from non church friends. I'm watching one retired clergywoman who moved here at the same time as I did wrestle with her identity now that she is no longer engaged in her calling 24/7 and it frightens me to see how much she longs to reclaim it. (It also makes life very difficult for WonderfulVicar from time to time, as she drops gnomic comments about the way she would do things, but rarely expands on them)...We need our friends in ministry so badly (wherever they may be) but I am very sure we need other identities too...it's just where we find the time to preserve them that alarms me.

SingingOwl said...

Seems we all have the same problem. Thanks for the link, K. I'm gonna go there, but I will be surprised if anyone is anywhere me in the backwater town I inhabit. We shall see.

And please, comment away. Any comment is welcome, IMO. Well, not spam, but any real comment.

SingingOwl said...

Hey Pink Shoes, you are in the midwest. Okay, big space...but...Anywher near Wisconsin? Let me know if so. We could hook up and go see cheesehead too.