Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where do all the lonely people go?

My new ward isn't getting any easier. I thought I was making progress because the ward clerk called me in for an interview with the bishop. I thought good maybe I can get to know the bishop a little and I will get a calling. Not so good. They called me as a family history consultant-the fourth or fifth time I've had that job. Don't get me wrong, I love genealogy, but this calling is not going to get me involved in the ward much. It's not a calling I can only do in a family ward. Also, it is a frustrating job because no one wants to do their family history and ward members will probably try to avoid me more than they already do!

We'll see how it goes, but I now can totally understand comments I've heard from spinsters who have become or have contemplated becoming inactive in church at this time in their lives. It's so hard to be a part of a family ward, when you aren't welcomed in, when you are seen as an outsider merely because of your marital status. Part of the reason for going to church is to become part of a community of saints, but if the community rejects you or doesn't understand you or even try to understand you, where do you go?

My roommate has recently started going to a mid-singles adult ward in Salt Lake. She told me today that some of the women she talked to there have said that if it wasn't for this ward they would have gone inactive. A sad but understandable fact. I attended this ward with my roommate once. It's a unique ward, as far as I know there are only about five of their kind in Utah. Personally I didn't like what I saw. The ward was huge-it almost felt like stake conference. I thought there is no way I can get to know even a third of these people. And as I turned around from my pew and looked at the sea of faces, all it seems I could see were women. And as it turns out there are three Relief Societies! It just didn't feel like the place of me, but now I am wondering if it is my best option if I don't want to cry every week after church. Hmm...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Only the Lonely

So I've finally made the switch to a family ward and I had no idea that the transition would be so hard. The worst part is sitting alone and not knowing anyone. I would have thought more people would introduce themselves or be outgoing. I should have been, but I really just don't feel like I fit in. I am pretty much the only person in the ward my age and in my situation.

Actually the other week in sacrament (the 3rd hour in this ward), I was sitting all alone, practically on my own pew, and I just couldn't take it. Tears started welling up in my eyes and I just had to get out of there. So I slowly walked out and feigned that I was headed to the restroom or to get a drink or something, but then I made for the parking lot and to my car where I just balled. I know it sounds silly and I'm usually not that emotional, but the weight of spinster loneliness just hit me. Isn't that the thing that spinsters abhor most about the idea of singleness-being alone, really truly alone? Or as Bridget Jones fears "and I'd finally die fat and alone and be found three weeks later, half-eaten by wild dogs."

Why I am so afraid of being alone? I'm rarely alone unless I want to be. I rarely feel lonely, it's really just the idea that I may in the future be very lonely that scares me. But that hasn't happen yet. Why do I spend my time worrying about something that may or may not happen? And it's not just single people that get lonely. I'm sure from time to time everyone has those feelings. I think it was just at the moment all my fears felt realized. I know that as I get to know people and get a calling things will be better. But when do I get to that point?