I am a decisive person. I like to make my decision and stick with it. I’m not much for looking back with regret or wondering about how things might have been different (at least not in an emotional way – sometimes for a thought experiment I think about how my life might be different if I had made a different choice, how I might be different, but with no regrets or wishes, just curiousity).
At the end of summer 2017 I chose Jarabacoa over YouthWorks with no looking back. Until I looked back and went back and did YouthWorks again this summer. And now I want both. I want it all.
I want a life in the States and a life in the DR. I want the convience of drive thrus and fast food and I want the slow pace of mountain roads on my moped. I want my friends here and I want my friends there.
This is a decision, to choose both, and it’s a decision I didn’t make on my own, praise God. It’s a decision that I know is the very best one for my life right now. But. There’s a reason I’ve lived my life as a decisive person, making one choice, sticking to it, and forgetting the rest. It’s because this is harder, living in between, choosing and wanting both, living in tension. There’s more doubt here.
Should I be here? Should I be there? Where am I most effective? What parts of my life go with me? What parts am I giving up? What parts need to wait?
Today I was watching Glee (I’ve been rewatching it since the summer) and I found myself longing for that kind of friendship. To have a group of friends – male, female, gay, straight, black, white, Latinx – that know each other and love each other and have fun together and grow together… I really miss having that. For me, that kind of friendship exists within a YouthWorks summer.
I’ve been fortunate to have amazing staff experiences with YouthWorks. To have that kind of friendship within a summer. Would that kind of friendship exist if I lived in the States in the fall? In the winter? Could that kind of friendship exist here? Am I doing something wrong?
Every once in a while it seems like I have it – a group of friends to laugh with and play games with and grow with, but it doesn’t last long, and then it’s me, in my house with my dogs and my roommate (my consistent, caring, faithful, committed friend). Is this just growing up? Being 30? Being 30 and an introvert? Being 30 and not a partier? Is this just it? A handful of friends it takes a lot of intentionality to meet for coffee once a month?
My job is interacting with people all day every day and sometimes I just feel so lonely. So unknown. The most powerful thing someone can do for another person is committ to knowing them and loving them anyway.
I have a friend like that but she’s far away and so busy and we always talk about how fun it will be one day to take our husbands and our dogs on trips and she’s living that life and I feel like I’m just stuck waiting. And I know I’m not waiting. I’m moving forward in lots of other ways, but it feels like my friendship with her, my very best friend, is on pause because we’re waiting for the day when I’m not their third wheel anymore.
There isn’t really anybody in my life that I want to date, yet the tiny nibbling thought that maybe there’s something wrong with me and that’s why I’m STILL SINGLE (not single again, not single for a while, but STILL single for all 30 years of my life except for that one technical month in college) creeps up every once in a while. And I have to remind myself of all the ways I am awesome.
Maybe I have too much time on my hands. Maybe if I’d have spent the day with my imaginary and longed-for group of friends I wouldn’t have time to think all of these thoughts. But maybe then I wouldn’t know myself so well, be able to feel when I need to take time to think thoughts. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Today’s Jesus Calling said, “Accept each day as it comes to you. By that, I mean not only the circumstances of your day but also the condition of your body.” And I laughed. Timing, right?
I accept this day as it comes to me, emotional and introverted and wistful. I accept that my body wanted to rest today even if I don’t think I “earned” that rest. I accept these feelings, accept that I can feel these feelings and still be confident that I’m right where I should be. I can be tired of waiting and know I’m not really waiting. I can be hopeful and grateful.
The condition of my body today is lonely, and that’s okay. Faces now of women who care for me right here in this city pop up and I know that sometimes they’re lonely, too, and we’re working on being better at reaching out a hand, at not assuming, at making concrete plans and inviting each other in. It’s easy to think, “This shouldn’t be this hard.” But why not? Why shouldn’t it? What about me means any aspect of my life should be easy?
I wonder if Lizzo will ever reallly know how much she is saving us all.
This week I asked my high schoolers what song describes their life right now. One of them said that his is the truck that buys garbage, which is only funny if you live in a place where trucks drive around with loud speakers repeating the same message all day. There is one that repeats, “We buy garbage!” I’m still laughing at that student’s response.
I told them all that the song that describes my life right now is Lizzo’s Like A Girl. Feeling bossy in my city ’cause I run it like a girl. Introverted, questioning, lonely, waiting, reassuring feelings included. If you feel like a girl, then you real like a girl. Do your thing. Run the whole damn world.
Bet on me? Bet I will.