I was asked to speak to a group of 20-something women. My audience is normally kids, but I was recommended by a sweet woman that I know. She actually thought I would be a good fit as a speaker for this particular event. I’m not a very good speaker, but I said sure because this would push me and get me out of my comfort zone.
How hard could it be? Share with these young women some of what I have learned as a woman 25-30 years older.
I inquired as to what she wanted me to speak on. She told me that this group was working through a book about finding people in your life, those that can add to your life and help you on this journey with the emphasis being “Find your people.”
I immediately was filled with anguish and regret for saying yes.
Months before this invitation, I had met with a friend We had not talked much lately and I wanted to see how she was and catch up with her. While at dinner, catching up and sharing what had been going on in her life, I was saddened to hear that she had suffered a great loss. I told her that I wish she would have shared it with me earlier and I would have helped her in any way possible. I asked her why she hadn’t shared it with me and her response broke me.
She said, “I have my people and you are NOT one of them.”
I had never felt the way I did after that statement if I am being completely transparent. It still hurts me to even type it, and now I had agreed to talk to a group of young woman and share how they needed to find their people when I clearly didn’t know what I was talking about because I wasn’t someone’s “people.”
I dove into the book this group had been studying in hopes to find the answer to why I was not someone’s people. I was on the search for where had I gone wrong, what was wrong with me and why was I NOT one of them for a friend that I held so very dear.
I had thoughts of calling the lady leading the event and telling her that I am not the woman to speak to these young women but instead, I read on and took a deep, hard long look at myself.
Call it what you want – self-reflection, self-examination, soul-searching, self-scrutiny – it’s painful and so hard to do.
After I did all of the above, and prayed a bunch, I came to the conclusion that I can’t be everyone’s people. I know, not rocket science.
I want to be your people and your people and your people, but it is impossible. I can only do the best I can. I feel like I let my friend down and was not there for her when her people were. I hate that I couldn’t love on her during her loss and offer sympathy and a shoulder to cry on, but I can’t be that for everyone.
I ended up sharing with the group of women, and I had to come clean with them that I was not the best person to speak on this topic, and it turns out that is was just what they needed to hear. We shared together that people come in and out of our lives for different reasons and seasons and we need to continue to seek out our people, and cultivate those relationships for however long they last.
I’m still broken and saddened that this friend does not view me as her people, but I am thankful that she has her own people that are there for her and support her, even if it is not me.
Wouldn’t you know it, I’m still learning and growing and trying to be the best for me and my people, whoever they may be.