For the Love of Friends, Family and Strangers

I have spent a lot of time lately reflecting on what I ask from friends, family, and strangers. It is all the same to me depending on the context, this is the bare minimum for me. I won’t address what I need from romance because I don’t care to share that and I’ve already written that list, this is the simplified bare bones list. The idea is that each relationship with each person in my life matters, is different, and should be held to slightly different expectations. However, these standards don’t really change, and even if they change later, these are them for now.

  1. Be Imperfect. Otherwise, I can’t.
  2. Don’t hold me back unless you can slow me down without judgment.
  3. Give your best; don’t judge me or yourself for anything more or less.
  4. If you don’t know how, ask me, I will tell you. This can be as simple as a smile, this can be as bold as shared silence; it hardly makes a difference.
  5. Respect my humor even if you think it is god awful.
  6. Don’t limit my honesty unless you are prepared to deal with any applicable consequences. I am not honest for just myself, but I am honest for you, regardless of however poorly. Don’t blame me when I’ve given honesty and you haven’t listened. I don’t always say things directly, but none of it is meant to lie.
  7. Recognize things I don’t (social boundaries, popular perspectives, simple truths, silent joy, and happinesses I am unaware of) and if applicable and you can, SHARE THEM.
  8. Celebrate our differences.
  9. Never insult my values.
  10. If you ask for the truth, be ready for all of it.

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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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