Saturday, December 12, 2009

wow, a semester really will fly... I cannot believe I have neglected my poor blog for this long...

I have had a really difficult time in seminary this semester, and I am just realizing it now that the semester is over (thank GOD). This semester has been full of more reading and writing than I could have ever imagined, plus the added stress of having my first church appointment. Writing an additional 8-10 page paper every week in the form of a sermon seemed to be one of the easiest parts of my weeks as they blew past me. The hardest part of it all was the fact that I have felt a huge disconnect in the social sector...

Now, in my life I have never had a shortage of friends. I thrive in social settings with people, but the more I reflect on my time in high school and college the more I realize that I function best in a circle of friends as the person who understands that she isn't quite at the same social level as everyone else, but is funny enough to make up the difference. Now, hear me out before you try to tell me otherwise...

- I dated some low quality people. That is NOT to say that every guy I dated was a loser, because they weren't, but lots of times I found myself in relationships just for the sake of having a boyfriend...
- I found the groups that I fit well in and worked to be in formal leadership positions to secure my friendships. For example, I didn't do well playing volleyball, found myself sitting the bench more often than I had ever dreamed, and I quit (man... that was hard... I have always justified the quitting with a shoulder injury... real injury, bad excuse...). In band, however, I did well and ended up field commander. The same goes for musicals. I was never the star, but had roles just bigger than average...
- In college, I found myself being the funny girl... I literally can't count how many times guys confided in me that they were in love with my roommate or that they thought my friend was great looking. And the one time a guy was really head over heels for me, I really couldn't (and sometimes still can't) get over the fact that the girl he was with before me was much prettier. I banked on my humor to get me through, which served me pretty well.

... and those are just a few of the many examples that I can think of. Now I don't want to be pitied or told that I'm wrong, because I am just reflecting on my own experiences. But this semester, something really interesting happened... When I did not have the time or the energy to get by with my humor, I found myself struggling to invest in significant social relationships. I see other people attending social events that I didn't get invited to, or people making plans that don't involve me. This is mostly my own fault...

but the greatest thing is that I have learned how I measure myself. I have always considered myself an extrovert, and I truly believe that I am, but I have spent so much time telling myself that drawing energy from being around people and banking on always being around people are very different things...

I am still reflecting on what it means in my life and relationships, but what I do know is that I am blessed to be where I am surrounded by the people I am, and I need to not be caught up in my identity in relation to others, but in relation to God and God's calling upon my life.

1 comment:

Michele said...

at one point in seminary i told KLM, "my 'friends' in seminary just don't know what to *do* with me... sometimes they don't even know that i'm funny!"
maybe it's me, maybe it's them, but i think largely it's a combination of both. we should count ourselves doubly blessed that we have found such wonderful relationships with people at many stages of our lives. people that see our funniness even when we don't try or put out the energy.