Monday, April 22, 2013

Fade and Then Return

Do you ever feel like sometimes an emotion can be so deep inside of you that words can’t fully describe how you feel? That sounds terribly dramatic, but it’s just a thought.
I’m about to be 21, and while I’m really excited for it, I’m also reminded of how much things change with time. How some friends turn into acquaintances, while others fall off the map completely. And others still remain your best friends, but from a long distance. And I can’t decide which is harder to deal with honestly.

You know that saying, “He who ceases to be a friend never was one”? I don’t like, or agree with that statement. I think when you cease to be friends with someone, it’s because one of you is different than you were at first. It doesn’t matter if you or they changed for better or worse, all that matters is that someone is different. Maybe you’re both different people now than you were then. The thing that’s hard about this one is that it seems to hurt for a long time, but usually comes to a head and then the worst is over and you can move on. Sure, the pain can fluctuate until the time when you deal with it once and for all, but ultimately, this one has more of an expiration date. The friend who becomes an acquaintance? Well, that’s a different story. And I’m not sure if it can be summed up as easily, or if the acquaintance and the “fall off the map” friend aren’t actually one in the same.

I personally however, feel that the people who continue to try to be in your life, but ultimately can only be involved in the once a week phone calls, are the more painful of the three. Because in this situation you’re continually fighting to stay as close as possible, but the harder you try the more you realize just how limited your role in their life is, and how limited their role is in yours. And with every phone call you forget all the things that you would normally tell them, because you don’t know if you have 5 minutes, or 15, and you need to get the important things out of the way while you have time to do so. When every missed phone call feels like a missed opportunity and every inside joke is forgotten over time, while you each go on with your lives making new memories and inside jokes with other people. It’s a constant reminder of how much life changes, and how unprepared you are to deal with it.

I guess I’m just being stupid because tomorrow is arguably the biggest birthday I’ll ever have, and all I want is for my best friend to be here for it, and I know that that’s not possible. And while I have so many other amazing people in my life to spend my time with, your best friends aren't replaceable, no matter how much I sometimes wish they were.

“I think the reason people hold onto memories so tight is because memories are the only things that don't change when everything and everyone else does.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So this is 2013

So much has changed since I last posted anything on here. I was going through some of my old posts last night and then some of the things I've written but never posted. I'm blown away by how much different my life is now than it ever has been before. Time has a funny way of doing that. As a result of these things, this post is probably going to be ridiculously long (yes, that's what she said), just btdubs.

This time last year I was miserable. I hated my life. I was getting up for work at 2:45 in the morning, working till noon and then trying to get what little sleep I could before going back to work at midnight. Never before had I felt so used and undervalued. Being run into the ground for minimum wage and then working another job on top of it because I still didn't have enough money to pay rent. Getting sick all the time and feeling more alone than I ever had before. Towards the end of 2011 I had said goodbye to 3 of my closest friends. Two of them moving across the country, and one leaving it entirely for a 3 month trip to New Zealand. It was during that time that I wrote this:

This week I said goodbye to two of my closest friends. Tuesday I went to PDX with my friend LeeAnne, her boyfriend Trevor, and her parents. We went to the airport and said, see you in three months; hugged, said more see you later's and hugged some more, and then I stood by her parents as they watched their only daughter board a plane to New Zealand....Well, LAX, but then New Zealand...whatever, same thing.

Yesterday I drove to Redmond to say goodbye to my friend Anna, who left today for South Carolina because her husband got a job at a university there. I kind of had a feeling that they would be moving, but I didn't know it would be so soon. They found out last week that they were going and began the crazy busy process of packing and selling everything they own and so I only got about an hour to see her yesterday before we had to say goodbye.

And just a few months ago I said goodbye to my best friend who moved to New York...

Call me whatever you want, disagree with me even, but I've always prided myself on the fact that I'm not an overly emotional person. That more often than not, I try not to let too many things get to me, and when they do, I tend to get over them quickly and not be a weepy emotional pile.
But in all honesty, all I've really been doing is priding myself on the fact that I don't cry or get depressed very often. That I don't tend to get very sad over too many things, and when I do, I deal with it and move on. And some of that's true, I don't cry or become depressed very often...
I just get angry. Sometimes I don't even know who I'm angry with, or why. I just am. Some days I wake up that way. The thing though, is that if I have a choice between being angry or being sad, I'll always choose anger. Anger and I aren't new to each other. Anger doesn't scare me the way sadness does, because I know how to deal with anger better than most other things. Anger goes away quicker than most other emotions. In fact, I think the only emotion that flees quicker than anger, is happiness.

But lately....I seem to go back and forth between both almost everyday.

I miss my friends. It's not true that over time missing people gets easier. It's just that over time you get more used to it than you were at first, and the times where you miss them so much it hurts, grow further and farther between. But in those moments when all you want is to sit and talk with them and you can't, it still hurts just as much as it did at first.

For a while after they left I didn't want to do anything, or really be anyone. I didn't know what I wanted, I just knew it wasn't this. I realize that sounds very dramatic and Good Charlotte-esque, but so be it, it's how I felt. Don't judge me.
One minute I'd be all sad and lonely, and the next I'd be happy and content with where I was, and then back to being depressed and lonely 15 minutes later.
For some reason whenever I go to work I'm reminded of just how alone I am most of the time. It's not that I don't spend time with the few friends that are here, it's that even when I do, I don't feel like talking about anything, and I don't know if it's because I feel like they don't want to hear anything I have to say, or if it's because I don't."

Now it's three months into 2013, and 2011 seems like it was so long ago. Even most of 2012 seems like forever ago. I feel so differently about so many things now than I did then. Do I still miss my friends? Absolutely. Desperately at times even. But I've found some of the most amazing people to cheer me up and become some of my new best friends. I've gotten a new job that doesn't run me into the ground and make me feel like I'm nothing to them. I work wonderful hours with amazing people and feel so blessed and humbled by God's grace on my life. I spend most of my time with my new friends who encourage me and make me feel confident in myself. We spend hours and hours playing halo, taking our dogs for walks, playing music and sitting at O'Kanes smoking cigars and eating good food. Late dinners and movies, and early morning breakfasts. And we have great conversations no matter what we end up doing. I do most of the talking, but that seems to suite them just fine.

As I look back over the last few years, I'm amazed with what I see. I went from being Ben's little sister and the salsa girl, to my own person. In some ways I feel like I haven't changed a bit, but in most respects I can feel how different I am now than I used to be. Some of these changes have been amazing and beneficial, while others have been costly and arguably not for the best, but I think that's just a part of growing up.

See, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really started to question not only the things I’d been raised to believe, but the God I’d grown up believing was real. My questions, much like many others, grew out of a dark and deepening bitterness towards the church. Sure, I’d had my heart broken by the church before, but it wasn’t until I did an internship with the church that had for so many years been my home, that I grew to really resent Christians and the God they claimed to serve. I grew tired of everyone pretending that everything was okay even though it clearly wasn’t. Of people pretending to be happy and acting as if nothing was wrong when you could see right through the forced smile and fake words. Mostly though, I grew weary of being used and uncared about by those around me who I thought would be there to encourage and help me through the rough time I was about to go through. It’s funny looking back actually. I've never felt more confused or abandoned by God and the church than while I was serving in one. I began wondering if God was even real. Actually, it would be closer to the truth to say I still believed there was a God, I just started wondering how much he really cared anymore…Or if He ever had.

I won't go into anymore than that on here, at least not today. But I will say that I think it was one of the most amazing, painful, and most necessary times in my life so far.
I’m realizing now how much God’s been working in my life even while I’ve been wondering where He’s been and what on earth He’s been doing

It’s easy to look back on different, seemingly separate events in our lives and feel like they weren’t connected. But now that I’m starting to reflect on things, I’m realizing how interconnected and woven together these events have been, in only a way that an all knowing God could possibly be big enough to do. It seems to me that only someone who is big enough to see the whole picture from beginning to end would be able to weave such an intricate pattern. After all, isn’t it only the writer who knows how the story ends, while the characters who can’t see the whole picture, wonder what their role is in the story and when and how it will end? I don’t know. Perhaps that’s not the case and I’m mistaken. It makes sense in my head though.

All of this to say, life is very different than I ever thought it would be. I'm not who I thought I was, but I think I'm exactly who I need to be for right now. And while some of the changes in my life make me sad, the rest give me hope for the future that God has in store for my life, and an expectant joy for what lies ahead.