I have always been a little bit fragile, a little bit more emotion than person. But in this season, I’m certain that I’m made entirely of emotion. Even writing, the greatest joy of my life, has become terrifyingly heavy. The task of moving my fingers across a keyboard to type seems dangerous. Mostly because I’m afraid to watch my own words unfold, my own wobbly emotions take on the form of sentences. They'll become too real then. Being held accountable to my feelings sounds like a death sentence.
Yet, here I am, sitting in my apartment on a Sunday night heavier than heavy could be, and my emotions need a safe place to rest their head for awhile.
It all started the first day I was alive, which is apparently when God decided to make me a bag full of emotions and poetry. A great combo if you want to be the next Emily Dickinson, not the best if you're trying to be a functioning human being in the 21st century.
Anyways, these days, I’m 23, odd and getting odder. Way odder. I’m different and I’m good. I’m observing and I’m feeling. I’m certain and I’m sad. I’m left out and I’m brave. I’m new and I’m aching. These days, I am engaged to the best person I have ever known. These days I am eating granola bars for every meal and reading a lot more than I write. These days I want to write more than I read.
These days I don’t know who to call friend. -- And this is the part I am the most afraid to sit back and watch as my fingers play hop scotch across the keys and tell you exactly what my heart has been shouting about --
But I keep thinking, this could be for you even more than it could be for me. So, please, sit down with me for a little bit, even if it’s from behind a computer screen, and breathe for awhile.
Have you ever felt like you don't have a clue who your friends are? Like you could pick up and move out of the country and no one would notice? Depressing thought, I’m aware. But same.
You see, these days, ‘friend’ is a really far away word, one that I’m not certain I would get right if asked for the definition. I’m in a rude in-between. It feels as though the people of my past have outgrown me, and the people in my right now have put me on hold. I don't quite feel like I fit into any situation except for alone at my apartment watching the 10 o’clock news.
But do you know what I'm learning? What I feel is often entirely different from what is reality. I feel alone, but I never am. I feel left out, but I’m welcome. I feel odd, but we all are. I’m aching, but so are you. Are our aches different? Hell yes. But are they both valid and honest and brave? Absolutely.
Do you know the other thing I’m learning? Unfortunately, we are all human. And historically, humans suck at relationships. Bummer. But also not, because we get to be in it together. We get to tell each other that we suck, but we also get to tell each other that we are irreplaceable and good and special and loved. We get to say, "hey, I don't get why you're so sad, but here's why I am, and we're both worthy of being heard."
You really are, friend.
Can I call you that? I think I’m starting to remember what it means.