Last night I had Relief Society and it made me anxious.
Two years ago, when we were new around here, I went to a similar Relief Society meeting and it was horrible. No one talked to me and I felt super awkward and out of place and I left quickly.
Last year, I just skipped it altogether.
This year, I decided I was going. (Adam asked why--because it seemed uncharacteristic. I didn't really have a good answer. I think it's because I want to be the kind of person that does stuff like that. I was in Everett.) I signed up for a class. I paid my money. I talked to the teacher so she knew to expect me. I did all of these things so I wouldn't chicken out.
I also had some invitations to deliver to some young women. That made me uneasy so I decided to do that on my way, while I was already feeling apprehensive anyway. I stopped by the first girl's house. It's a girl who sometimes gives me a very tepid response. Other times she hugs me. Still other times she completely ignores my existence. She's one of those people that keeps me guessing. I rang her doorbell, not at all sure she would answer. She did. We chatted a few minutes. It was even a pretty good conversation.
I felt a bit lighter going back to my car.
The next stop was a new girl. Her family just moved in. Her teenage brother was kicking a ball in the front yard with a friend. They eyed me very suspiciously. I asked if his sister was home. He said yes, so I rang the doorbell.
No one answered.
I rang it again.
The two boys continued to kick the ball but they kept their eyes narrowed on me as well. Finally, the brother said he'd go get her.
She emerged from the house and was quite friendly. I introduced myself and she smiled. I asked her a little about herself. I asked if she knew Emma. It was not scary at all.
I went to the church. Maybe it will be better than I feared, I thought. I was, after all, on something of a roll.
It was just fine. I didn't feel terribly out of place. I know more people now; I had someone to sit by. I did have one awkward conversation. A woman said, "Your husband seems very intelligent. Is he a genius or something?"
I didn't know how to answer that, so I didn't say anything.
She said, "He's really smart. Are you really smart? Are you both just these really smart people?"
Ummm. I could elaborate at quite length all the dumb things I had done in just the last 24 hours.
Finally I said, "Adam's a lot smarter than I am. He doesn't know all his cousins' names though...."
(So yes, Adam's smart, but so are people who know all their cousins' names.)
It was a pretty nice evening, even though I stumble my way through small talk. I went home exhausted from the effort. I also felt a little triumphant. Any day you do the sort of scary thing you didn't want to do and live to tell the tale, it's a good day.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson