I was a brave person last night. I had dinner with a group of six women, only one of whom I had ever met before. For most other people this would not be a brave move, but for me it was.
I met the woman who hosted and set up the meeting a year ago, through business contacts. We did a little business together, but more importantly we hit it off on a personal level. Most of our meetings lasted longer because it always took a while for us to get around to actually talking business. We found that we had some mutual acquaintances. We got to know each other a little better. So we've met for coffee every few months or so, and I enjoy her company.
Last week, we met again and the conversation took a detour (completely unintentionally) to spiritual matters. To make a long story shorter, she asked me to come have dinner with a group of women. She had met each of these ladies over time and she uncovered that each was deeply spiritual, each in unique ways. There was no agenda, no plan, no leader. We just talked and shared a meal and listened to each other's stories. Though diverse in every way, in ages, backgrounds and circumstances still we marveled at the variety of ways our lives intersected. One woman works where The Husband does, one lives a few blocks from my parents, one lives just down the road from me.
On the whole, I'm not usually comfortable with women. I am quick to make your acquaintence, but slow to become friends. And I've spent most of my professional life surrounded by men, often the ONLY woman, so this is my comfort zone. I can talk sports or politics or business, which has made feel safe in the company of men. Women.............not so much.
Fortunately, when The Husband and I moved into this neighborhood almost six years ago, we met and made friends with other couples. So I count more women as friends then ever. I have made progress. I've even been in two book clubs.............one disbanded, one still going strong. But this was a big step for me last night. I still get butterflies in my stomach before book club meetings.............and last night was really a stretch. But I'm proud of myself, and the places this road may take me.............but more about that later.