Friend Groups

Sometimes I feel isolated from the world. This morning I made the foolish mistake of looking up an old friend on social media. We used to be really close, talking every day, and seeing each other a couple times a week. I thought we’d be friends forever.

Things just drifted off. It didn’t end on bad terms, and we could probably talk and get along just fine. But we’re very different people.

I’m an INFJ, she’s an ISTJ.

Polar opposites. All eight functions switched around. Looking back I’m almost amazed that we were as close as we were. Not because of anything about either of our types in particular, but just because of how differently we approach life. It was good to have that perspective. And I miss her.

There was a video posted of her and her group of friends, half of them are people we went to high school with, and I can’t help but think — I’m not there. I thought I would be, but I’m not.

I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m isolated. I have good friends, close friends, people I can rely on and trust. But most (all?) of my relationships are singular, one-on-one. And I like that a lot of the time, it allows me to have a deeper and more personal connection within those friendships. It works for my introverted self and I find my relationships very satisfying. Yet I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out by not having a group of friends who does things together.

And I could have been part of that. Maybe. If I hadn’t moved. It was the right choice, and I don’t regret it, yet I’m still a bit sad about what I could have had.

I struggle so much with the concept of what I could have had, or should have had. And I know I need to find a way to come to terms with it. If I could go back, I can’t say that I’d change how things ended up, but there’s still a touch of sadness at that loss.

We’re distant now. And that’s okay. She has her life, and I have mine. I’m thankful for the friendships I do have, and I’m happy for her that she has that larger friend group community.

Sometimes, at least in theory, I want a group too. I’m just not sure how to find it.

Anyone else struggle with this? Do you have individual friendships, or a group dynamic? Are you happy with it? If you have both, which do you prefer?

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Pie Thoughts

I think I’m going to make a pot pie tonight. I remember making pies with my mother when I was young, and when I was still living at home. She’s always hated making crust, but I don’t really seem to mind. I can imagine the tomatoes lined up on the counter on towels to soak out the extra moisture. Tomato pie, my favorite. Lots of gooey cheese and tomatoes, basil. What more could a girl want?

It’s been years since I’ve had that pie, I suppose I should call and ask for the recipe. Though I don’t have all the tomatoes we had growing up from our gardens. Instead I live in a small apartment with my husband, no yard or pets allowed. I miss having pets sometimes. Maybe we’ll get one if we end up having to move.

Life is so full of unknowns, precious memories, longings and little bits of hope for the future. I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to believe that the pain is behind me, and the healing isn’t over yet. I want to believe I could have more positive memories in the future. I want to believe I could someday feel safe.

 

Forward

I find comfort in the solitude. Early morning comes and I’m standing in a daze, uncertain whether these steps I’m taking move me forward, or if I’m even moving at all.

Planning can only go so far, then we reach the limit, the unexpected that puts a halt on all our plans. Why do humans continue marching forward, even in the face of adversity? Why is survival instinct so strong?

Do we all know that there are bigger plans for us, even when they feel out of reach, even when we ourselves feel forgotten?

We stray from the charted path, we forge our own, and question every step. And how do we know if our deviation leads us deeper into the darkness that tries to harm us, or forward toward salvation?

Maybe we’ll never know.

Maybe that’s okay.

What is it that I’ve been waiting for for so long? I don’t want my life to be wasted away to nothing, all while I’m chasing the hope of a better day.

Things will never be perfect, and sometimes that’s okay. We just need to find a way to see the light through the trees, and have faith that there’s a reason to keep pressing onward.

Simple Reminders

Lately I’ve been craving strawberries. We went shopping last night, and they happened to be on sale, so we bought two cartons. I can’t even begin to say how wonderful it was to enjoy those strawberries.

Sometimes we need simple pleasures in life, even if it’s just a basket of fruit. It’s good to take a moment just to enjoy and be present.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12

God is good, and God is faithful, even the little things, like a carton of strawberries, can serve as a reminder that He does give good gifts. And the blessing of strawberries can be so sweet and satisfying, how much more the big things we’re waiting for?

Noise

The noise outside is deafening, the constant hum that never sleeps. How much do we lose with our obsession with machines?

I try to think, but it’s too distracting.

Oh what I would give for the peace in silence.

So I try to distract myself from the noise, a bowl of peanut butter and chocolate. Avoiding the tasks I must get done, the things I’m already falling behind on.

Isn’t this such a symbol of life? The noise of our everyday lives, the busyness we can’t avoid, so we pick up bad habits, waste even more of our precious time. None of that diminishes the noise, it only adds to its constraints, accepting defeat as reality. I don’t want that kind of life.

There’s more to life than just surviving. After all, none of us make it out alive. I want my life to matter. I want to clear away the distraction, silence the noise that pulls me from the things I know I could be doing.

I want purpose, and freedom. And really, I’m just realizing my own lack of self-control. I know that only God can help with this, because I don’t have the strength for it on my own. And I’m so thankful that by His guidance, and my submission, this love/fruit and trust will grow.

Early Morning Quiet

In the still and quiet of early morning there’s a calm that’s almost eerie in its silence. Alone, but not really lonely. I debate taking a shower, I love the warmth, but I know that my husband will be up in half an hour, and might need the water before he goes to work.

I sit with a cup of tea, no longer sipping because it’s grown cold. Uncertain whether I wish to heat more water, or if maybe I should make something for breakfast. A part of me wishes to go back to bed, but I know that sleep at this point won’t help in readjusting my schedule.

Uncertain what the day will bring, yet somehow enjoying this moment of silence, of rest, before the world awakes and the day truly begins.

Emotional Insecurity

I write to process. A desperate attempt to say please, someone understand me. A desperate plea to myself, hoping to understand what’s going on in my own mind.

It’s much easier to handle other people’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It’s much easier to understand others than it is to understand myself. It’s a blessing and a curse. Our gifts usually are though.

I’ve seen how much others can benefit from this. I know what it’s like to sit in a room full of people, and cry for someone else, feeling the pain they’re trying so hard to contain. I know what it’s like to absorb.

Whereas this can be good, and it has helped in relationships and with other people, I also tend to focus on fixing others rather than myself. And this can become toxic and unhealthy.

Sometimes I wonder how large my blind spots are. I’d like to think I’m self-aware, but what if I’m not? Isn’t there a difference between shame and honest self-awareness? I think true humility is about being honest about our strengths and weaknesses, our good and our bad, and looking at it in a true and honest light.

Emotions and self-awareness are two separate concepts, I get that. And our perceptions of ourselves and others, if clouded by emotion, are not always a genuine reflection of the facts. I struggle to separate the two sometimes. Part of it is just how God designed me, but sometimes I wonder if there’s something deeper, something unhealthy in the way I handle things.

Sometimes I want others to call me out on things. And when I bring it up, and apologize, it’s often brushed aside, or they say they don’t see it, or me, that way. My self-perception is off. And I don’t know what to do with that.

I suppose I want something to be wrong with me so I have the control and ability to fix it. And sometimes I just want someone else to acknowledge my own unhealthy thoughts. But what if my issue isn’t what I expect? What if my brother’s right, what if my greatest character flaw is my insecurity? And he isn’t the only one. When I asked my husband, he said the same thing.

Insecurity seems a lot more difficult to overcome than something blatantly toxic to others. Where’s the line? How do I know if I’ve gone too far and am overcompensating? How do I know if I’ve become toxic and narcissistic when I already see myself that way even though no one else seems to?

I don’t have all the answers. I know I need a strengthened identity. I know that it’s a process. And I’m thankful that God still has those answers, and knows exactly where He wants to lead me, and can even use this to grow my understanding. But in this moment, I’m really struggling to define my identity. Maybe that’s okay. I don’t feel like a whole person, and I guess that’s what I’m really struggling to sit with.