Last year for (in)RL I hid.
I fled up the coast to the safe (and most beautiful) friendship of one of my oldest and best of friends. The weekend that all of you met in homes and in churches and you met new people, I met Lisa on the beach.
It was the most amazing couple of days: we ate breakfast, we went shopping, we walked on the sand. But to be very honest, I asked her to meet me on purpose during that weekend last April: I wanted an excuse not to have to either go to an inRL event or to host one myself.
And to be honest once more, it’s okay that I hid. I feel no guilt or shame about it.
Sometimes we need that one-on-one with our oldest person to feel normal again. Sometimes we crave that friend who knows us so well that she can finish our sentences. The one we can Facetime at 9pm after we’ve taken off our makeup and are sitting in bed. Sometimes being alone, being safe and cocooned is a good thing. It’s hard to live four hours away from our best friends.
There is a time to hide.
And if you, the ones who are reading this on your phones or in the early morning dark, or while your toddlers tear up the living room or while dinner burns in the kitchen, if you feel like you need to hide this year, you have our full permission to stay home. If that is what will feed your heart and mend your soul, then be released with grace. Go to coffee with a good friend or take a bike ride with your sister; find community in that way
It’s okay to hide once in awhile. Please know that it is okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. You have our blessing.
There is a time to hide, but there is also a time to invite others into community. This year I’ve decided not to hide. In fact I’ve decided to host.
If you know me at all you know that’s big-time-crazy-talk for a private introvert like me. But I’m in a place this year where in order to feed my soul and to mend my heart, I need that community around me. I need my friends. I need you.
So I’m creaking open my private heart and my private life for those of you who’ll join me. And if you are attending one or hosting one, you are doing the same thing.
We don’t take this lightly. We know it is hard and uncomfortable and even a little scary. We know this.
But it’s all important. The one-on-one moments, the bigger group of community: each has a perfect place and time.
And I’ll find my time for one-on-one conversations with Lisa later in the year, I’m sure. We’ll have a coffee or a morning or something to fill that place in our hearts with special friendship. There will be time for that.
But this April? I won’t hide. I’ll be here with you.
You can still sign up to host or attend an (in)RL event near you. If you are in Orange County, California you are personally invited to my house! Click here for my (in)RL event. If you are somewhere else, click here to be taken to a list of meetups and click here to register.
Are you going? Are you hosting? Why did you decide to do it this year?
Or why did you decide to not?
Today we’re giving away 100 (in)RL t-shirts to 100 people randomly selected from anyone registered (or who registers by) midnight EST on Tuesday. Whoot! If you haven’t registered yet – it’s FREE and you could win a t-shirt.
Click here to register!
ABOUT SARAH MARKLEY
I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play...