I feel like it’s been forever since I shared an outfit with you all, but really it was just last week! I’ve been pretty busy in my free time and in my mind…always coming up with new ideas and dreams, like redecorating! I thought this outfit would be perfect to kick of May because it would be a fun Memorial Day outfit–especially if you’re planning on being out at the park with family for the holiday.
With the summer comes tons of social events–weddings, holiday parties, graduations and even just get togethers with friends in the city. There’s plenty of opportunities to socialize and meet new people, which to some of you may sound like heaven. To others, it may sound like the opposite.
I will admit, I’m not the biggest social butterfly of all time. Being in big groups where I don’t know many people makes me anxious. I’m sure this is the case with a lot of people. At least I hope so! Small talk isn’t my favorite thing to do either, so that’s not the best combination. Over the last few years I’ve figured out that this feeling of anxiety about social events is called social anxiety. For once, I felt like I was understood for getting nervous when I have to go out and make new friends.
I’m naturally pretty shy. I’ve grown out of it a lot, but I am still easily intimidated like I was as a child. Every time I’m in a social setting that’s unfamiliar and I feel alone, this shyness comes out. I’d rather blend into the wall in this case. I’ve always thought that my shyness is the reason writing things down is much easier than speaking them. Hence, this blog’s conception!
If you know me, you might have a hard time believing that I’m shy. I tend to open up the longer I know someone, which is common with many of us. I just have a hard time initiating a change in my life where I have to go out and make new friends. I would say this social anxiety is one of the reasons I’ve always had a couple really close friends instead of tons of friends of all friendship levels. Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to get outside of the shadow of this fear.
I need fellowship with believers in my life, and I feel starved of it right now. Sometimes going to church feels more for show than for Christ. And sometimes at church you just want to sort things out with God rather than be social. I’m trying to find times outside of Sunday mornings to find friends that I can talk about Jesus and life with.
I look a personality quiz not too long ago and it told me that I’m a person that wants to go deep and know everything about someone–which is true. If I really like you and am immediately drawn to you, I want to know everything. I think part of that comes from wanting to be known myself. I always thought I was just nosy, but turns out I’m a friend that just really wants to know my friends and be known.
Lately, I’ve felt unknown. I’m surrounded by tons of new people, but finding those deep connections with a fellow believer is hard. Adding social anxiety on top of that makes for a lot of time wishing for these deep relationships rather than going out and creating them. I don’t know if that’s Satan’s scheme against me, but if it is, it’s working. More than anything I want to have a close group of friends in Oklahoma City. Friends I can be honest with like I am with my closest friends right now. Friends that I can laugh about dumb stuff with and then confess the work the Lord is doing in our lives.
I am so thirsty for fellowship and freedom of anxiety. Both require getting out of my comfort zone and risk being rejected, not liked and misunderstood. And both show the potential for being loved, welcomed, known and befriended.
I think it’s so interesting how we can be so sure of ourselves, confident and driven in certain areas of life, and then scared, insecure and unsure in others. After all, you might think I’m crazy for these outfit photos I share, but would love to be in a room full of strangers to find a new friend to talk to. We’re all different with different fears, strengths and weaknesses. But, I would hate for our weaknesses to overtake us and prevent us from finding joy in the different aspects of our lives.
Pray for me as I try to go out on a limb. I want to join a group at Life Church or Frontline Church in Oklahoma City, but I’m having trouble making something connect. If you like me and wouldn’t mind me tagging along to your group, I’d love to join. I’m looking for friends my age who like to have a drink on a patio and a bite on the Word.
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Holly Hoehner has her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.