Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to a friend’s wedding in the tiny town of Stevensville, Montana. The six hour ride from my home town tot he bride’s home town of Victor, which sits right next to Stevensville, wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. As someone who dislikes long car rides and being cramped into small places, I was anticipating the worst, but pleasant conversation and beautiful scenery made it tolerable.
I was staying in an Air BnB home with 10 other people (including an adorable baby!) and am happy to say that my first Air BnB experience wasn’t bad at all. The house had its own eccentricities (dolls that kind of frightened me and mushroom decor), but it was comfortable and clean. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, we decided that half of the guests would camp out in two tents outside and the others would stay inside. While the wedding party went to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, I went out to dinner with a couple of the others. I thoroughly enjoyed walking around the small town. If I had blinked, I would have missed downtown, but thankfully I didn’t as it was absolutely charming with its brick buildings and restaurants. We ended up stopping at the Hamilton Public House for dinner, which I suspect was one of 5 restaurants in the whole town. I split fish and chips and a Caesar salad with a friend over casual conversation. The service was friendly and laid back, and our server was happy to make recommendations and suggestions about how to enjoy our weekend in Victor. (During which, I’m sure we could have met all of the locals…twice) There wasn’t anything special about the food. It was your typical pub menu, but it’s always mom and pop vibe that makes places like this special. I’d rather visit a small town hole in the wall over a chain any day.
The wedding day was lovely, exactly what I would have expected from the bride with a few sweet, and unexpected personal touches. I had the opportunity to get ready with the bride in the basement of the church that her parents attend. St. Mary’s is a small, intimate place to pray, and it was the perfect venue for a couple who has pledged to live out their lives according to God’s will for them. Lavender bouquets and lacy doilies provided a comforting and delicate atmosphere as they exchanged their vows. The majestic mountains and fluffy clouds provided the perfect backdrop for a memorable photo session with Alex Lasota Photography.
But maybe what I enjoyed the most was what I learned about myself that weekend. I got a brand new interpretation of what “wide open spaces” means to me. As an introvert, there were times when I definitely felt the need to just draw away from the rest of the group and recharge, which isn’t always easy when you’re sharing a house with ten other people. Nor is such an action always viewed favorably. I’ve been viewed as frosty and anti-social, but in the midst of all that natural beauty and wide open space, I couldn’t help but wonder who wouldn’t want to withdraw into a place like this and just breathe?”
I later talked to a friend of mine about the intricacies of being an introvert, and his one remark to me was “That’s fine, but you have to know, too, that people care about being around you.” His words were well-intentioned, and i appreciated them. They got me thinking that there are times when I need to appreciate those wide open spaces by myself, but there are also times when it’s okay to unlock the door and let other people in.
That said, I don’t necessarily see myself throwing the door open every time I see people. That’s just not my nature. But maybe, just maybe, the time has come to tell people the secret that introverts hold dear to their hearts: The key to the locked door is trust.