It’s late, or early, and I can’t sleep. I want to and my body is exhausted, however my mind is reeling and I can’t quite keep it all in.
Today my little sister and I were talking about friends. We’ve talked about a variety of surprising topics recently, like politics, but today seemed mundane. I’m afraid I turned in to “That Older More Experienced College Graduate.” You know the one. That person that always says things like, “You’ll understand when you’re older” and “Well, things will be different when you get married/graduate/get a real job/understand life better.”
We were talking about how life sucks when you’re separated from really good friends. I was trying not to be That Person, but I failed miserably because I ended up saying something along the lines of, “I know you were good friends with those people, but they weren’t like family. And my friends are.” Which was stupid, because she feels really close to that friend group and they’re important to her. I think I was trying to convey how friendship deepens when you get older. And it’s hard for me to understand how high school friendships can continue when you get out of college because mine haven’t. Mine barely survived freshman year…oh, wait, they didn’t.
My college friends were my family because I couldn’t see my real family all the time. They were my pillars in college. Three weeks ago I visited Chicago and saw many of them. And it was grand. Coming back wasn’t difficult at first, but eventually I disappeared into my shell.
I’m like a turtle. I bravely inch out to conquer new worlds, but the minute something frightens me I retreat into my emotional shell. It’s a place where no one can hurt me and I can grow numb to everything. After Chicago I couldn’t handle all of my emotions, so I retreated. In the light of day, I’m fine. I go to work. I come home. I talk to my sisters and parents. And at night I cry myself to sleep because nothing will ever be the same and I can’t figure out what I’m going to do. I’ve had three friends contact me since I left. And that’s hard too. Because I kept my other family together and I feel like if I don’t make an effort no one else will. That means that if I’m hurting, instead of having someone call me to see how I’m doing, I have to be proactive and call someone else when I’m hurting. And that sucks.
I guess that the hardest part about my conversation with my sister and the hardest part of tonight is realizing that I really am going to have to start over. Those people will always be my friends, but in some cases we aren’t close anymore. It’s going to get harder to keep in touch, and over the years we’ll grow apart. I’m going to have to make room for more people. I told a friend semi-recently that the only way we have the abundance of love we need for others is through Christ. We cannot stop bringing people into our lives because we feel like we don’t have room. I’m now eating my own words. I don’t want to make the effort to get to know people. It’s hard. I can safely say that no one understands me. My other family understands me perfectly.
I miss them. It hurts so much; I think I might break from the weight of it. I just need someone to understand that, to know the pain that I feel in this moment. “Miss” seems like such a weak word too. There’s a hole in my heart that used to be full and now it’s not. It’s completely empty. It’s like there’s suddenly a drought. I don’t know how to fix it.
And no, I don’t want or need the trite “Jesus” answer. God is here and he’s the only reason I find hope for tomorrow. He doesn’t always make the pain go away. Pain is a motivator. It’s just not currently motivating me. I’m still in a small town, working at a coffee shop for minimum wage and tricking myself into thinking that I’ll be fine. I can tell the truth at night. In the dark of my room, with the tears falling down my face, I can admit that I’m stuck. Sometimes I say it out loud, in daylight…but not often.
It brings to mind a song that I’m completely obsessed with by Amber Hunter, called The Truth.
You might think my heart is brave revealing all my shame, but more than brave I’m weary and desperate for a change. The truth is I don’t want to hide my weakness anymore and I don’t want you to feel like you have to hide yours.
Maybe I should just admit the truths in the daylight and stop hiding them in the shadows of night. I don’t have real friends here, and I need to live with that. I have a dead end job and I need to change that. I need to start making daily steps to change my somewhat depressing life.
I realize that this post is sad and depressing. I don’t want you to be alarmed. I’m often too much like Mr Bennet of Pride and Prejudice:
Don’t worry. I’ll get over it. More likely sooner than I should.