Life is Always Interesting

Life is always interesting, especially for those of us who make sure to keep it that way.  Apparently I have one of those faces that people are instantly attracted to… Maybe it’s the innocence in my heart or my welcoming countenance or even the eagerness in my eyes – but whatever it is, quite often I find myself making friends and finding admirers in the unlikeliest of places.  In fact, last weekend was filled with such experiences.  (If you’d like to know more of the specifics, you can fill out a contact form here. I’ll do my best to answer any of your questions.)

A little personal insight into my life:  Not long ago, I was involved in a serious relationship that everyone (including me) thought was leading to marriage.  As it turns out, our two souls were not being knit together in quite the way I had imagined, and the relationship, as we had known it, ended.    The thought of losing a friend distressed me more than knowing I had lost a lover.  Of course, there was a healing process involved.  Most people will experience these feelings of love and loss, and it’s not an unfortunate happening at all.  We can actually learn a lot from these events.  However, I have come to find that having hope and a close friend and the prospect of new love certainly helps us view the situation in a more positive light.

Budding relationships certainly give us hope in many cases.  As it turns out, it doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’m falling in love with someone.  If you combine genuine compliments with good conversation and laughing and then throw in some elegant dancing, chances are I will fall pretty hard for you.  Of course, it’s not altogether unreasonable for me to feel twitterpated by these actions since my primary love languages are words of affirmation and quality time.  Still, feeling everything so deeply can lead to hurt feelings when reality isn’t quite as you imagined it.

A friend recently remind me of the old adage, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”  I find this statement to be true in romance and many other regards as well.  If we can accept that some things are just the way they are, then why does it hurt so much to want something or someone that you cannot have – that society deems unacceptable?

Scripture says, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young; instead, be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).  Of course, we could just as easily substitute the word “young” with other labels… Do not let anyone look down on you because you are old, male, female, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor…  Why must such labels hold us back?  Why are there barriers?  Why can’t we love whom we wish without fear of rejection?  I can’t solve all the world’s problems but I can make a difference one life at a time.   We’re all different – all unique individuals with special gifts.  Imagine how that line of thinking would change our daily interactions: viewing every life as a precious thing and cherishing the moments we have with all kinds of people.  I’m going to try to live like that.

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Fun with Friends

How exciting it can be to make new friends!  There’s the thrill of new discoveries, shared interested, and feelings of belonging.  Equally joyous is the reconnection of old friends.  It can be so easy to get caught up in new jobs, fresh faces, and different places that we neglect our long-established relationships.  The best friends are understanding of this phenomenon, but are usually quite flexible in handling this dry season.

Do you know what I’m referring to?  Those friends you may not have seen in years, and yet when you spend time with them after this separation, you talk and laugh and get along just as easily as you did all those years ago.  Those are the best kinds of friends.  I’m lucky to have had such an experience as that today.

Many people are really good at socializing.  They make friends everywhere they go.  Most of their friendships are at surface level; there may not be much substance in those relationships, but they do genuinely care about those friends.  I’ll admit that I have quite a few friends who may fit this description.  Whenever I think about their popularity and likability, I wonder if I’m just another surface-level friend with no deeper connection.  As it often turns out, many of my fears have no foundation.

I was nervous about meeting an old friend, with whom I haven’t really spent time for about three years.  I wasn’t apprehensive about the fact that communication might be awkward.  Maybe I should have given this a little more thought; I didn’t even think about the sorts of questions I might ask him.  Nor was I afraid that his character might have changed since the last time we met, though I did think about the possibility.  Instead, I was worried that although he seemed genuinely interested in spending time with me, I would not compare to the vast number of other friends he undoubtedly has.  I was viewing our relationship as a surface-level friendship and that only.  However, after spending the afternoon sharing stories and laughing and getting into adventures, I realized that we had more depth than I had previously thought.  He made me feel like a special friend in his life, not just one among the many masses.

How often do we worry about concerns that have no basis?  I am just so thankful for these carefree moments with friends, new and old.  I am grateful that there are people who can renew my hope.  Of course, it is often helpful to consider both good and bad alternatives.  However, when it’s possible, I try to increase the positivity in this world.  Don’t ever underestimate the value of a simple word of appreciation and encouragement!