finding friendship


This week has been so hard and weird.  It started with a drunk driving accident that ended up claiming the life of two students (one whom I had in class) from the school where I teach.

Then yesterday (which is today since I am writing this Tuesday night) Eddie had to have four stitches.  I’ll tell that story tomorrow.  I’m too tired now to get into it.

So I am beyond thankful that it’s time for a new Sluiter Nation Recruit.

I could not have a more perfect person here in Sluiter Nation today to watch the place while I hug my boys extra tight and just breathe for a day.

Michelle is lovely and her blog, Things I Can’t Say is a perfect showcase of her loveliness.

When I first stumbled upon her blog last year (about two seconds before BlogHer), I was immediately in love…and jealous…just after reading the title.

You see…I have always wanted a blog where I could say the things I can’t say.

I mean, I say a LOT here…but I hold back even more.

And then I started reading her words.  They weren’t big rants, but lovely, thoughtful, REAL musings about her life.

I can’t imagine her not fitting right in wherever she roams…


I’ve always been an introvert. Not shy, but an introvert.

I never minded having a book for company and I was happier observing situations rather than jumping in and being the first to join in with a group.

Liking to think things through first, I sometimes can come off as a little standoffish- that’s the nice way to put it– but I don’t mean to be.

And once I get to know people, they tend to forget that I was ever quiet to begin with- because I then won’t shut up.

Over the course of many moves, I learned to become much more outgoing, even though it still isn’t completely natural to me.

But now, I live in a town where I feel like I just don’t fit in. I don’t feel like I belong. And even for someone who has changed a lot over the years, my introverted tendencies haven’t completely gone away and it’s not easy to find a way to belong.

I have to remind myself that I won’t fall through a hole in the ground if I extend friendship to someone and they don’t like my offer.

I have to remember that just because there is a group of friends all standing together, having a good time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want anyone else to join in with them.

Sometimes, I’m not the only one who feels like she doesn’t belong and maybe they are just waiting for someone to help them feel a part of something, too.  And that maybe, sometimes I need to be that person, instead of waiting for them to reach out.

That maybe, the way I’ll finally feel like I belong will be to help others feel like they do, too.


About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I went to your friends blog but was unable to read it. The layout was messed up and things were overlaid over other things. Will try again another day.

    • Some people have been having problems if they are still using IE as their browser.

  2. Bella it may be the browser you are using, IE is one of the worst for blogs on WP. Try Mozilla or Chrome. I already know and love Shell. She was one of the first blogs I discovered when I joined SITS. I love her. I also know how that feels and I have lived in this town most of my life. I hope you find friends who love you for who you are …

    • IE always gives me problems. I never use it any more.

      Thank you so much, Angel! xo

  3. Shell, I love that you turned it around and think of someone who might feel like THEY are the ones who need someone to reach out to, to belong. I hope you find your footing, soon.

    • I think it’s easy to get stuck on how we are feeling and not realize that there are others who could be feeling the same way.

  4. Hi Michelle. Nice post.
    We’ll be moving in a couple of weeks and for the first time in my life, I would have neighbors right up beside me and in all my business. Which means, I won’t know their business either! I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle being on my own(in a house full of people, ha!). I guess I’ll blog more!
    Nice meeting you!
    Katie’s Friend, m.

  5. Love Shell, we could be sistah’s, I swear.

    Except for this introvert stuff, girl. I’m the complete opposite, I can push myself right into just about any situation. But the lasting friendship, relationship, that takes more than the initial “hey – lookit me – I’m new!” I never shut up from the start. Heh.

  6. This is a good post. It made me think about how when we first moved to our current city (and school, as we are also teachers), we felt the same way. Like we didn’t fit in. After a horrible year where we almost moved, we (being my husband and I) did some soul searching. And we realized we were projecting a negative attitude so no one wanted to spend time to get to know us. We worked on that and now we absolutely LOVE it here. Don’t get me wrong–I am still an introvert, too, and I have few friends and I’m ok with that. But I have learned to love a place that I once detested and was convinced I would hate forever. It was a hard lesson to learn, but just like your realization, I am so glad it happened. WE needed to reach out, as well.

    • It’s hard to realize that we have to put in more effort for things to work out! I’m still reminding myself, all the time!

  7. That sounds SO like me. We moved into a new nighborhood this year and I haven;’t been able to to really conect with anyone. It took forever to make friends with other moms for my son to have playdates but they’re all at least across town, if not farther.
    I bet we’d be friends! I was always deemed snobby growing up because I was shy- I even had problems looking in people’s eyes! Still do. But if you get to know me I am crazy 😉

    • That sounds like me on our last move- I finally found moms who I connected with… and it couldn’t be the ones who lived close- it was the ones an hour away!

      We sound a lot alike. 🙂

  8. Ho. Ly. Cow. Did you somehow tap into my mind?

    I have been hating myself lately because I prefer to be at home, reading a book, relaxing with my husband and son, etc. I don’t LIKE going out (execpt occasionally), and yes, while I like people, I really am happy at home or alone. I have been stressing myself out for years, pretending to be a social butterfly.

    Your post had a lightbulb go off. It’s okay to be me, introverted or not. Thank you!


  9. Oh how this post speaks to me. Yes, on the introvertedness (is that a word?), yes on the seeming standoffish, yes to having to remember I won’t die of embarrassment if I try and someone doesn’t want to be my friend. You are so not alone. In fact, if feels like you took feelings out of my heart and put them to paper (so to speak). Also, I am sorry that you are having a hard time. I hope you find your set of friends very very soon.

    • Let’s make that a word. 😉

      I don’t know how many times I have been told by people how they thought I was such a snob when they first met me. Gee, thanks. LOL

  10. Oh Shell,
    Your post puts a lump in my throat. Craig and i have been talking about moving and we think he’s about to get a job offer in Florida. And as sure as I am that moving is right for us, the “to where?” part has me so very nervous. I know that my reasons for wanting to move are for more opportunities for us and the kids (we live in small town, PA) and wanting to find “our people” not family but people who we can connect with. But how do you possibly know where that is before you get there and dive in. I’m a wee bit scared. (a lot scared).

    • It is scary. If it makes you feel any better, I have done a few moves like this and always found my place before. For some reason, it’s just not clicking this time around.

  11. I love Shell! And I can’t imagine you not fitting in….
    that being said, some mommies are absolute B’s and it really only takes one rebuff to decide not to try anymore….

  12. I know exactly how you feel. In person I can come across as shy … or bitchy. Not on purpose that is just how I am. I get anxious in big groups and start to freak and stutter. It’s weird. How I was able to MC a family expo recently, I still have no idea. I have become much more outgoing over the pat 10 years but I still have a long way to go and wonder where I really do fit in.

  13. Loved this post Shell 🙂 I admit, I was shocked when I first met you – you are so open and talkative on your blog and in real life you were kinda quiet (at first). I’m so glad I took the time to get to know you though cause you really are fun!

    I totally know what you mean. I’m NOT shy, but I am totally insecure. I’ll go up to people and talk to them, but following up and trying to make them my friends? That’s hard. I’m always wondering, “what did they think of me? What if they think I’m a total Loser/annoying/whatever….” and then I wait for them to come back to me. When they don’t I get hurt and think I’m a loser. (Hello, high school much? LOL!)

    Making new friends is SO hard!

  14. I know I’ve told you before, but you and Ashley make a very nervous girl (me, duh!) feel so comfortable and welcome at Blissdom. Your heart is so wonderful, and I just know that you will find a circle of people in your town who will grow to cherish you.