I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve struggled with making friends as an adult. I know I’m not alone. As an introvert, putting myself out there feels very vulnerable. How am I even supposed to meet people? What if this person already has enough friends? What if they just don’t like me? Friendships seemed to come so much more naturally when we were little and our bonds formed nearly instantaneously.
Many of my friends are the wives of my husbands’ friends. While we always have a wonderful time doing things as couples, I’ve always wanted a group of girlfriends to share drinks or brunch with, something that was all my own. I felt a pull to bring the women in my lives together in some way, and so I did the bravest thing I’ve ever done and sent some text messages to some of my fellow wives and girlfriends: Do you want to start a book club?
The replies came immediately, all enthusiastic yes’s, even from the women who had admitted to not reading a book in years. It seemed we all needed something for ourselves but not everyone felt comfortable admitting it. Each month we meet on a Saturday afternoon, leaving our partners and children at home. We talk about the selected book for a while, sharing our opinions and thoughts that often differ from one another, making it all the more interesting. Our conversation always shifts and we begin talking about our lives — what we’re up to as well as some of the things we may need advice on.
It’s not much — just a few hours— but it’s all mine. I know no matter how busy life gets, I have one afternoon a month when I can relax and chat with a group of women who have become some of my closest friends. When I first started the club, books gave us something to talk about when we weren’t always sure what to say. They’ve since become the stepping-stones to deeper conversations and friendships, and now I have something more than a book club.
Are you a part of a book club? Tell us about your literary group in the comments below!
Christen Hammons is editor-in-chief of Bella Grace. She lives in Orange County with her husband, two sassy cats, and one scruffy dog.