At a certain age I stopped having birthday parties. Not because I didn’t want them, but because I was afraid that no one would come.
I don’t know where this fear came from because I never had that experience. Maybe I saw it on TV? But I was completely terrified of having a party where people didn’t show up. I would rather not have a party than face that fear, the potential embarrassment, the imagined shame. And share that fear with anyone? Forget about it. I thought it would make me look uncool if people knew that I worried about having a party with no attendees. Uncool because only an uncool person have to worry about that. You know what else? That fear still exists. Party, event, gathering, casual plans? I still carry this fear that people won’t show up to something I put together.
I’m here to tell you that my fears came true. I am officially uncool. And it did break my heart a little bit. But the world didn’t stop. And neither have I.
Recently I stepped out in faith and decided to start an Infertility and Loss Support Group here in Los Angeles. I was looking for one myself, but I couldn’t find one. I felt called to help meet this unmet need. So, with the help of my church (the amazing South Hills Burbank) and Sarah’s Laughter (also amazing), I was on my way. Our first meeting was set for last Sunday. I had cute plates and cookies and four boxes of tissues. And then I had cancellations and missed connections and bad timing. No one came. My worst fears were realized. I planned this “party” and no one showed up.
This was a tough one for me to swallow. I felt like I had failed. And the worst part was that it wasn’t even a party for me. It was about them. (I mean, yes, me too…) It was about connecting with people on a similar journey. Which is also the best part. Because it means that I’m not done. It’s not about me. It’s about an open door and open arms and an open heart for these women, this community. When they are ready. I’m not giving up and I’m not letting fear stop me from throwing this party again next month, and the next, and the next, and the… you get the point.
Sometimes you have to face your fears for something really wonderful to happen.
I’ll just be over here staring down my fears, being openly uncool, and expecting wonderful things.