I went through a phase for a couple of weeks where I just really hated my job. It’s somewhat boring, and I just feel that I’m not using my brain to it’s fullest potential here, but things like money and health care and 4 weeks of paid vacation keep me from walking away. One day I decided to really think about what it was that I was so unsatisfied with and here is the thought process that led me to figuring out what I really wanted:

  • For one thing, I really wish I had some female coworkers or even just some coworkers that I had something in common with – there really isn’t anyone here I can talk to. I don’t have much in common with my coworkers and with every other job I’ve had, I’ve always made a close female friendship from it.
  • Then I thought, okay why does it bother me so much that I don’t have any female coworkers? It’s because I don’t have anyone outside of work either that I have a friendly connection with to fill that void. If I had a social life outside of family and work, I might not feel so…
  • LONELY! I’m lonely! I have my mom & sister both within 40 minutes of me, and I have one friend who lives here in my town but they aren’t always available. I have  plenty of acquaintances, but I think it bothers me that most people I know wouldn’t think to invite me if a party were being held. I feel sort of invisible, which admittedly I’ve done to myself. When I don’t feel good about myself, I tend to withdraw (and I haven’t felt good about myself for a reeeeaaallly long time), but  I long for 3 or 4 close friends nearby. I want to feel like I’m a necessary part of a group.
  • I need to make some friends. But how? How do you make new friends when you’re in your 40s? How do you meet people who have the same interests as you?
  • Well, what interests do I have? Books! I love to read…so maybe…hmmm I wonder if there’s a book club in my town? I don’t know why I never thought of it before – a book club would be perfect for me! But if there is, how do I get invited?
  • The bookstore!! I’ll bet the local mom & pop bookstore knows of a book club!
  • Get your courage up Jill,  message the bookstore and see if they know of one. Put yourself out there – you’ll never know if you don’t ask.
  • Yay! They have a book club at the book store! AND THEY SAID THEY’D LOVE TO HAVE ME JOIN THEM!

And that is how I got invited to join a book club where hopefully I’ll at the least make some new acquaintances and at the most find some new BFFs. My first meeting is this Thursday and I’m nervous about it. I wish I already knew someone there, and maybe I will, who knows?  But I feel like I need to be brave and do this thing – this thing that scares me and moves me out of my comfort zone. Walking into a room full of strangers is intimidating, but I hope that I will get a feeling of belonging from it eventually. And even if I don’t make any super close friends, at least I’ll get to read and discuss books which is a win in itself. Of course, I could hate it and it could all go down in flames, but at least I’m making the effort. 🙂

So really, my angst about my job had nothing to do with my job. It was really about making connections and getting involved in my community. It feels scary to put myself out there, but I know I’m doing myself a huge favor by doing it. If this goes well, I might get even more involved with something else later, like working with the library or the local literacy group. I’ll have to see how this goes first.

Do you have any experience with a book club? Anything I should know or be aware of so I don’t make a total idiot of myself???