Being a joiner isn't easy. Part of being a stay-at-home-Mom for me is being more than just that. I promised myself that this year would also be an opportunity for me to make friends, learn new things and have some fun. So, I have been joining things. I joined a few Mom's groups and do yoga in the park on Thursday's. I joined a sports league and had my first beach volleyball game last night. As I stood there, not knowing anyone, waiting to be introduced to my team mates I felt like I was in Junior High all over again. What if I'm at the wrong place and I have to walk out in front of everyone? What if they're really good and I am really bad? What if they don't like me? They weren't necessarily conscious questions but I'm sure they were at the root of that uncomfortable, queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Nobody likes to be the new kid and it doesn't get better when you are thirty. I can see why many people don't join things, why it's easier to keep the friends you have than to put yourself out there all over again. I have a renewed sense of sympathy for people who find themselves dating again after being "on the shelf" for awhile. It is not pleasant; it is humbling.
As it turned out (as it almost always turns out), my team was very nice and I had a great time. And next week I'll be the girl at the swimming pool asking everyone who walks in, "Are you with the hip mama group?" and I will feel stupid each and every time. It's hard but every time I think about not going, not registering, not bothering I tell myself that there are some things that are even more difficult than this. Namely, staying at home all day with a baby, with no life, few friends and nothing to show for your time.