So, after the interns left I finally got up the courage to go to church all by myself (I only skipped a few Sundays ... maybe 4). So by the end of September I went to church and I even convinced myself to go to family home evening (which is a where the people in my Ward get together and do activities and other things to get to know each other better - people who are married would have this with their spouses and children, but since we are all Young Single Adults we just hang out together). So I was sitting there alone at FHE, wishing I knew someone and trying to get up the courage to talk to someone, when what do I know, this girl I was sitting next to started talking to me. Her name was Sandy and she was super nice (I know, you are confused, because the title of this post is not Sandy - I am getting there, I promise). Part way into my conversation with Sandy another girl who knew Sandy came over and started talking to us, and her name was (you guessed it) Julie. We all talked for a bit and Julie and I found out that we had both gone to BYU and graduated not too long previous, so we had that in common. She then said to Sandy "We are going camping on the long weekend, do you want to come?" and Sandy said "I can't, I have to work, but my sister might want to go." Julie said, "Okay," then she turned to me and said "do you like camping?" I was shocked. She had known me for about 5 minutes and she was inviting me camping? But, I had told myself I was going to get more involved and actually do something so I said "sure!"
Well, I hummed and hawed over going on that trip. I didn't know anyone going except for Julie - I didn't even know if it was going to be co-ed or not. Also, I had to work on the Saturday so I was going up a day later than everyone else except for Sandy's sister, who I was going to ride up with. So I met with Jill (Sandy's sister) and she was a little more reserved than I was expecting, so I was nervous that everyone else who was going to be there was going to be as well. But I decided that I was going to make the best of it, anyone can do anything for 2 days, right? So we get to the campsite and I just walked up to where Julie was with the other people and said "hi guys!" Luckily, everyone was super nice. I met some of my best friends (who I will talk about later) on that camping trip.
I was so grateful to Julie for inviting me on that trip. She didn't have to, she barely knew me and really all she knew about me was that I went to BYU. She and I became pretty good friends because of that. A few months later I ended up deciding that I was paying too much in rent and Julie happened to own a house that she was renting out extra rooms in and she let me move in - that was in November of that same year. I lived in Julie's house for about 3 years. That was the longest time that I had lived anywhere since high school, and it was good. I have only recently moved out of there (about 4 months ago) because she got married.
In the meantime we spent a lot of time together. We went on a lot of camping trips, 2 vacations to Disney World, we had birthday parties, a couple trips to Vancouver, several canoeing trips and all sorts of other fun stuff. We had a lot of the same friends, so hanging out was always easy. Julie always impressed me because she was never afraid to do what she wanted to or thought she needed. Or at least, she never acted scared, even if she told me later that she was actually scared. She would invite people for cheesecake night, or game night, she was super brave and asked guys on dates all the time.
She taught me to not be afraid of what other people think, but to go for what I want, even if it seems hard or scary. She taught me that asking guys out on dates isn't the end of the world - but rather, it can be quite invigorating. She taught me that it is good to be yourself and that you don't have to be the same as everyone else. She taught me that sharing a different opinion isn't always a bad thing, but among friends, it's actually good.