Thinking about my friend Karen and aging love in my friend circle
Today was pretty great. (:
There were so many highlights that I can’t fully remember, but suffice it to say it was awesome. New friends and potential research option are awesome. Having improvisation be a major part of my classes in terms of style right now is awesome. Being able to take the classes I care about is awesome, and so is the feeling of “Oh wait. That’s a thing??” It’s awesome to be able to get along with my family. It’s awesome to forget some things and have other people help me remember them here and there, because I can accept help. It’s awesome to realize how similar old friends have become to me (clearly vice versa) over time, and how Karen’s friends could easily all just be my friends. We’d all get along. Which is freaking great.
It’s awesome to have my dogs trust me, and to be able to care for them. It’s awesome to eat leftovers instead of recreating the wheel, and have that be a small “Oh wait” kind of surprise. It’s awesome to remember all the things I screwed up about in the last small time frame (pick your poison on length), and realize that “Huh. Maybe that isn’t such a bad thing after all, in the grand scheme of things.” I know it sucked then, but maybe it was for the same right reasons I had back then, and also struggled to find. No one ever said this life was easy.
My favorite moment from today was after I wrote the last blog post. I was pretty upset, and like always, I started to pay attention to the types of things I was thinking to figure out what a decent solution would be. I know that where I physically am can have a major effect on me. I know that my feelings are pretty strong when there is something logically or intuitively wrong, and I can’t separate those things (which is also awesome, although mostly it just is).
But I knew I was upset. I recognized the feeling of needed to change something, because the little bubble I was in wasn’t working. I left my stuff with a friend, left the library, and took a walk, in what others would call the bitter cold.
You know, weather isn’t that big of a deal right now to me, even with today’s wind chill. I can layer, and dress strategically. I compose outfits, I don’t just put on sweatpants. So I was prepared for the cold, and I was able to do loops around certain closer parts of campus, because I needed to be outside, meander off some steam, and look at how frozen the world had become. You can see such slivers of ice in the dirt. There is a frozen crispness to the air that turns you ears and nose pink, and you are an idiot if you don’t have mittens.
I may talk about my thoughts a lot, and what I care about, and hopes and dreams and what not, but the ability to choose better for myself and others is something that I cherish. It isn’t mine. But I can claim it.
My friend Karen and I were talking about how we both externally process. Feedback is important to us, even if it is just the two seconds it takes to register the look of understanding flashing into somebodies’ eyeballs. She worked with me when we had to translate KU to International Students some time ago, in an office on campus. I learned how to speak with people I didn’t understand in part from her, because Karen isn’t scared. She is the original loveable. She normally has good intentions, and if she doesn’t, then she really did and either forgot to mention something, or she didn’t want to cause an issue, because she was going to find out over time. Karen is someone that is easy to get along with, and is generally pretty silly for no apparent reason. It’s infectious. It can be over the top when you don’t have enough energy to be able to take it, but that’s just Karen, and she’s pretty awesome that way. If not for Karen, I may have never been able to fight my fears of not knowing long enough to gain enough confidence to talk to all the International Students who I have met, who are arguably 10,000 easier to get along with, instead of domestic students. They’re so much more chill and less drama, as a whole (individuals differ clearly, but as a sample, they’re pretty nice people).
Karen is one of my favorite people (a roving definition lol, but for the best) because she just is. She knows what I’m talking about when I talk about scary crap, but she lets it just be. She understands, and she knows that sometimes understanding is the most valuable thing, versus any kind of words or well-intentioned nothings. I know that no one teaches people how to listen, but with Karen, you don’t feel like it’s something that ever needed to be taught. It is natural to just be around her. You feel comfortable, you know? That comfort makes you question what the hell the rest of the world is doing wrong. It makes you want to know where they are keeping all of the decent people, after all that. It makes you feel at ease, knowing that at least one person will undeniably get it. It is peace to know that Karen exists, and that I know her.
I care about all the people I love, and it is nice to be in a place to do that. The need to be needed is just there in me, and that isn’t bad, because it gives me such flexibility in how I can care, and how greatly I can use that for others. If people gave each other as much of a chance as some of my friends give me second chances when I don’t explain things or generally fall short, not knowing what the hell I’m doing here and there, than the world would be such a gorgeous place. We can all do that, and it makes me happy to see that goodness in the people I love.
Hope is a powerful thing. Clearly that is the case, but is anything so powerful as the hope that grace would survive all that we all suffer from? All that we don’t know together, that grace would win? The greatest hope precedes that grace, which is Jesus. And by preceding that grace, he set an example by being the first.
Think of all the first people that have come into your life. The people who taught you what was important, how to act, when you were wrong, what you love through why, and one thousand everlasting other things. We may forget, but we remember the love. When you think of someone you care about, what do you think of? I realized today in thinking about my friends, that the act of choosing to care for them when they are imperfect like me, and forgive as a lifestyle choice has the power to bless everything. The truth remains the truth, and all of it comes from God. If you loved someone, would you allow it to be the same way, if you met them again? I would hope so.
Nothing is more beautiful sometimes than seeing an old friend and realizing that the important things never changed. You still care about them, maybe even more now. You still know how much is there, and you are still able to cherish it. You still love them for what it is worth, instead of what it isn’t. The ability to have blissful memories. Now that is a blessing like I could never imagine on my own.
I trust that whatever God does, it is for his good. I love the people in my life. I am happy to simply have them around, to let the happiness I have become a mutual possession, over time. We will share our happinesses with each other, and the world will become a better place. It isn’t so hard if you just try.
I’m grateful for what I have. It may not be perfect, but dang is it growing. It may be more than I could ever dream before I know it. I spend most of my day dreaming, so maybe that is the point. To let grace transcend all my wildest dreams. Christ can do that.
I pray that your would have meaning in your life, whatever you might do. That in pursuing the joy that was always with you, you could find peace. And that in whatever peace you find, that you could share it.
All the love,