Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Show me a clock for countin' my days down...

…cuz everything’s easier when you’re beside me.” Throw Me A Rope, KT Tunstall.

Perhaps there really isn’t anyone for me here after all. I mean, I didn’t exactly expect to get married in college. I suppose I thought I’d have a steady boyfriend for most of the time—but the pressure is too high here for a healthy relationship that Doesn’t end in marriage. But this brings me to the deep and penetrating question that is actually the crux of this whole meltdown—Why?

I thought that the world had lost it’s sway

(It’s so hard sometimes)

Then came you

(Then came you)

And you took that away.

(It’s not so difficult, the world is not so difficult.)

You take away the old

Show me the new

And I feel like I can fly when I stand next to you

So while I’m on this phone

A hundred miles from home

I’ll take the words you gave and send them back to you.

—Calling You, Blue October.

Some friends asked me if I was moving back to VA to go to school because *a certain boy* was here. No, that’s Not why I moved back. There are a million tiny reasons I thought I had, and a million more that I didn’t, but the bigger reason was because I didn’t know what else to do. And I still don’t. Nothing else appeals to me, but this seems fairly pointless too—in fact, it all does. But it’s almost harder to try to salvage whatever social, emotional, and spiritual life I can have here than it would’ve been to create a completely new life somewhere else. I knew I would be forgotten, and I knew my friends here had moved on with their lives, busying themselves up with all the new people and things that came along, but I didn’t realize how poorly I would respond to that.

I am so very, very lonely—but then, I was very lonely at home too, so it doesn’t really make much difference.

I refuse to fall into the trap that the Israelites fell into by idolizing “the good old days” which never were.

The honest truth is, I’ve never had a time when I wasn’t quite lonely, when I had friends I could always count on, who remembered to call me and invited me to everything and who all planned everything with the unquestioning assumption that I would be a part of it. I have had good friends—and I love them dearly, especially TiFi and Big Bear, and Fred—but we didn’t form that clique that other people seem to form almost instinctively. Perhaps it was because Fred and TiFi were on the verge of new and deeper relationships with people outside our foursome, so their hearts weren’t really in it. Perhaps because we were all working and busy and in that horrid in-between state, when we aren’t quite adults, but we’re not children anymore either. Whatever it was, I’m sure that there was no fault in it, and I find absolutely no flaw with that set. They were and are one of the finest and best blessings that God has ever seen fit to grant me. I miss them to the point of tears as I type this.

That is, I suppose, the heart of the matter. I am not content with what God has given me. Probably I never have been. I may be imagining something which does not exist outside of movies and books—or something that is merely an illusion in other people’s lives, like any other “perfect” thing other people seem to have—but I don’t think so. I think that for some reason, I have never been on the inside of a clique.

In That Hideous Strength, by CS Lewis, he describes something about this “inner circle” that everyone simply aches to be part of. Once in it, you only come to realize that there is a higher and “better” circle to join, and the one you’re in isn’t really all that marvelous after all. And so it goes, eternally seeking this “perfect” group, or circle of clever people.

But I don’t expect that—do I? I would so much just like a group of congenial persons, like minded individuals, who are kindred spirits, and whose gifts and personalities are as varied and complimentary as a rainbow, or a vista, or an ocean view.

Those last descriptive phrases remind me of something I had forgotten.

I have been a part of a clique—a deliciously complete and inclusive group, which I could count on, and who did include me in their plans, assume I would join them, and whose diversity could not be disputed by anyone. It was in Morocco. We called ourselves, “Real World: Morocco” because of how deliciously ALIVE we all were.

Do you know how some people seem to be so dry, so simple, so flat and uninteresting? I don’t mean that they aren’t worthwhile people, just, there are some people who, in any group, will always be the life of the party, and others who are simply attending. Most of the world is made up of those attendees, and only one of ten or even fewer are the life of the party. But it was so incredible, in our group in Fez, the entire villa was composed of people who were definitely the life of the party. The crazy thing was, it worked. Probably because we each had our own, different take on what the party was.

There were quiet people and loud people, and liberal people and conservative people and shy people and funny people and serious people, but each of us was so bursting with personality that when we were all in that villa together, or, (more likely) out on the town somewhere, there were so many adventures and such laughter that you realize how brilliant life really is, and how Good God is to have granted us time on this earth to enjoy His remarkable creation in the form of people and places and things.

And yes, there were circles within the circle, there were the “leaders” and the “followers” and the “annoying” and the “soothing,” but there wasn’t a single person in the group that I would think, “oh, please don’t make me be paired with them today.” Nor were there times when I would say, “Dude, I really need to make some new friends. This is so ______(fill in the blank).” No, every day we all would have such fun, and we would talk about how crazy it was that this totally random group was so perfectly complimentary.


I know it can happen, because it has happened. Why doesn’t it happen here, or at home? At home, the timing was off, it seemed. The people certainly weren’t lacking in the darling qualities that were so explosive in the Morocco group. But here—there is really no excuse. There is a broad swath of people to choose from, and any amount of opportunities for us to get together and enjoy life.

It’s like being a Freshman all over again.

Back to my initial comment. Perhaps there really isn’t anyone here for me after all.

Perhaps I’m wasting my time.

Cried all night till there was nothing more.

What use am I as a heap on the floor?

Healing devotion but it’s just no good;

Taking it hard just like you knew I would;

Old habits die hard when you got—

When you got a sentimental heart.

Piece of the puzzle and you’re my missing part

Oh what can you do with a sentimental heart?

Sentimental Heart, She and Him.

Or perhaps tomorrow I will wake up, and it will be a new day, and I will realize that it really is a good day, and I really do have friends (why, you silly, of course you do.) and that life really is worth living. I shall tell myself sternly to lay off the emo music, and I shall virtuously avoid sausage, which seems to have an adverse effect on my mood (Why, I have no idea). Also chick flicks are detrimental. I will go to class and thoroughly enjoy Geometry (much to my surprise), and then I will go to chapel and be encouraged (as I am every morning), then off work with the people who tease me and who I tease right back wearing comfortable jeans.

Lunch will perk me up immeasurably, even with the slightly tasteless, mass-produced food that is provided (at which I will turn up my round little nose and flounce over to the salad bar and create some monstrosity in order to lose that 20 pounds before Fred’s wedding), and then I will go to my last class of the week, then walk out of the class into the bright sunshine (it darned well better be sunny tomorrow, that’s all I say) and I will toss my book bag into a chair somewhere and run off into the bright, beautiful weekend that is stretching before me like a new life.

Isn’t life so deliciously ironic?

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