When I was in high school I defined a friend as someone I could say hi to in the hallway about half of the time. I didn’t have a ton of friends, but I was content. Sure, I had fantasies of being a popular kid, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. This girl who hated being the center of attention was certainly not going to join speech and debate or the school play. I was perfectly happy 99% of the time to go home and be alone in my room until the next scheduled activity, and sure, I did declam in middle school, but that was different. Depending on who was running the event that day you were either reading for like three minutes to one adult or to one adult and maybe four other students…and at the end you got a ribbon or certificate or something for showing up…and snacks were usually involved. That did not mean I was at all interested in joining speech and debate or the school play. I was perfectly happy not being popular, especially because the popular kids were super stuck up and clique-y, so joining a group where I’d have to interact with them wouldn’t have been enjoyable before even considering what the activity might have been. So yeah, I wasn’t popular, and by a traditional definition of friends I am not sure I had any, but I was totally fine with it.
More recently I have realized now that I have opened up more I have a LOT of really incredible friends. It is great! Except now that I know what real community feels like, I feel lonely. Living alone is incredible, and most days I wouldn’t have it any other way, but sometimes I want more. I go on the internet to fill the void. Sometimes I feel connection. Sometimes I see connections that they have that I wish I were a part of. I guess it is a lot like offline life. Sometimes the party comes to me and I am thrilled. Other times, I can see and hear the party but it is just beyond my reach. Being physically separated from my friends the majority of the time is painful.
Totally changing topic, but it is not a proud moment when I shove a sucker in my mouth at 6am so that I can stop crying so I can go to school…but sometimes I just have to do what it takes to get through life. Crying wasn’t going to change anything. Perhaps calming down enough that I can write a polite email explaining my situation and my suggested alternative might change things, but I know that crying isn’t the answer. I have to believe God didn’t have me fight through so much to get 46 days away from the end of my (hopefully) last semester of classroom work just to have me be unable to go on rotations. I have done a lot of hard things and climbed over a lot of barriers and navigated around a lot of obstacles. Some way, some how I will get through this one too…God is pretty awesome…I might have place to stay next year that is actually way better than the one that fell through a few days ago…too bad I didn’t look that direction a long time ago—it might have been even better than my apartment! Right now the negativity that still is screaming inside my brain because I am still really upset says great, so you have a place to stay for the rotations you can’t go on, but the logic is starting to break through enough that I can say that I don’t know how I’ll make it happen, but I will somehow make this happen so I can go on rotations.