Everyone loves what a circle represents. Wholeness, unity, infinity. Something with no beginning and no end.
But the older I get, the deeper appreciation I have for what’s broken.
And I especially love broken circles.
Circles of friends have the power to encourage and uplift. They help us find purpose, and make us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. The problem with friend circles is they often become closed without us even realizing it. It’s second nature to spend our time and energy with people who are just like us. People whose lives mirror ours.
As the years go by, the number of women whose lives mirror mine has become smaller and smaller. As I approach 36, the number is almost non-existent.
It’s difficult for me to connect on the obvious levels – you will not see me at mom’s group or kids’ night. I can’t compare marriage notes and how you juggle it all.
This is a foreign world I have not been invited into yet.
But the truth is what people assume I envy is wrong – I would love to have a family of my own, but it’s not the babies I’m jealous of, it’s the belonging. It’s that without even trying many of you have built in communities simply because you come as part of a package and everyone around you wherever you go can relate to that.
That’s something that fits.
I’m grateful for women who keep their circles broken, whether they realize they’re doing it or not. One friend has five children. Five. That’s a whole handful. And somehow she always finds time to meet for coffee and talk about life. I can be honest about my life the way it is, even though it’s nothing like hers. Another friend always includes me when her party invites go out. I can’t bond with her on so many levels – but I certainly love a good gathering with women to shop, drink tea, or talk about essential oils. One young lady is about a decade younger than me. We couldn’t be more different, but she meets me in the middle of conversations about work and cooking – two things I do know about. Finally, another young married woman at church has a keen ability to sense when I just need a hug. “What can I pray about for you?” is something I hear regularly from her as she greets me with a smile.
Ladies, I know how easy it is to do what’s comfortable. I find myself there, too. And while I’m grateful for inclusiveness on the part of other women, I need to remind myself that I, too, have a lot to offer. I don’t need to be like someone to share a kind word, or a dinner, or a phone call. I can bring something to the table that maybe some of their other friends cannot, like uninterrupted time. Being more proactive in this area is something this introvert is working on.
Until then, I’m grateful for the women I know who keep their circles broken, and I promise to keep mine broken, too.