I have shared in the past that I am a pretty restless person. Eight months ago, I left my position at a title company, and have found myself home most days– with the exception of being actively involved with my church youth group plans. I took this time to try to quiet myself to just “be still”.
Silly me…. How do I “be still”?
I have taken time to read books, dive into my Bible, connect with people, start my own Etsy shop, and most admittedly– binge on Netflix. One of the shows that I am re-watching (yes, I have seen the series through, twice now) is Friends. Now, it’s not my most favorite of the binge-watching series shows that I have embarked on, but it can be a fun one to just turn on. Plus, who doesn’t love a show about friends?
The other day, I was thinking a little deeper about the concept of friendships. We had a friend over a week ago, and really with no intention except to just chill out. Not really any plans, but the bribe of pizza and snacks. We did just that. We chilled. We ate pizza, indulged on goodies, and watched a journalism documentary, because, well…. yeah. You know. #journowife
At the end of the night, I felt full and complete. Not just because of all the junk I consumed, but because my home became something I have been yearning for. I have always wanted my home, as little or big as it is, to have an open door. My life isn’t perfect, but really, whose is? So, why not literally give into the idea of “doing life together”? That means: my home is open, it may be un-kept and untidy, it may smell with the stench of cooked foods, and with stacks of dishes yet to be placed in the dishwasher. But, it would always be welcoming. That load of dishes can wait. The laundry can just chill in the basket (or floor) a little longer. There is such a thing as candles for the cover up of old food smell. And my door will be open, with a couch and blankets for you to curl up on to settle in. Oh, and coffee. Always coffee.
I feel like we aren’t necessarily the exception to the rule, but it seems that we live in a day and age where we pride ourselves on schedules. We must plan out every detail, of every hour, of every day. I am guilty of the exact same thing. Since being home, I have a newfound appreciation for those that don’t live according to a schedule– whoever you are! HA!
Looking at Friends, I started getting jealous of a fictional show, where friends unrealistically live across an apartment hall from each other, and work in unrealistic settings of making and creating their own work schedules. I started getting envious of the idea of doing holidays together, because these friends were family. I am sad that we don’t have nightly dinners together, or that we don’t think of our “group” for big events in our lives– award shows, recognition dinners, births, birthdays, etc. This made me stop and think…. who is our group? Who is it that we allow to do life together? Who is it that we could stand seeing for long periods of time– almost constantly? Who is it that truly is the generic idea of “family”? Do you have that?
Some may say my extroverted nature plays a part in this– but lets just leave our Meyer’s Briggs results out of this. Let’s think beyond our own comfort, and look outward. Who do you know that needs friends… better yet, family? Who is it that needs your open door more than they ever will admit to? Who is it that you can stand seeing daily, and you don’t mind showing the nitty-gritty of your home life? Privacy isn’t bad. Safety is always good. But what if you let yourself have the opportunity to just let people in?
My husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to our “personality tests”. I am the people-lover, and he is the overwhelmed-by-people one. In many ways, we have made it work. Not easy, but can be done. A little give and take, if you ask me. But what I need is that feeling of “togetherness”. I love knowing that we can have friends come in, curl up on our couch, do the occasional chat, and without high expectations of constantly performing. Literally. Just relax. Just eat and talk. Just binge on the Office together. Plan nights of This Is Us viewings together… just DO!
My love language is affirmation, and most recently quality time. So, if I am completely honest, being home has been TOUGH. I have loved the absolute zero stress that now exists, but for this people-person, it has been tough. Feeling like I have failed at life, thrown away an income, don’t fit the “mom mold”, and actually like it being “just the two of us”– I feel like that doesn’t fit anywhere. People around us are involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities, if you will. Or, they already have their “established” friend groups. Or they are 99% responsible for making sure their kids and pets survive. I pseudo get it. I say pseudo because I am involved in extra-curricular things with church, but I don’t have my solid “forever friend” group, nor pets or children to look after. I do have to remind my husband to throw away empty pop cans… but, you get the gist.
I struggle often with friendships. I crave them, and yearn for them. Yet, it seems like I may struggle with unrealistic expectations of friendships. I am probably too much for people– I know this about myself. I live in a fantasy world of sorts, and often times my idea of reality is still off in a dream world than what is actually the cultural reality of today.
I may be too much for people. But I love people. I want to have unrealistic expectations of life and friendships, because really, that’s who I am. I may be too much. And if I happen to get hurt because I am too much, and turns out that isn’t your jam, then so be it. You live and learn. And out there, someday, those people will exist. I am just trying harder to live life in a mold of loving everyone. Being friends with people. Giving more people the benefit of the doubt. And opening my home to a potential lifetime of love and relationships.
Find your people. I am finding mine. It may be seasonal. It may not look how you think it should. But when you do, affirm those people. Because, they may need it. I always need it. (Of course, my love language is “words of affirmation”– *eye roll*).
To wrap this up full circle, my being still has shown me a lot about myself, and about how I have been given an opportunity to change the perspective of many… perspectives of life, reality, friendships, faith, and acceptance. I don’t want to live in this culture where we pride ourselves on “self”. I am trying so hard to live beyond myself. I can only hope that my home will show that reflection.
Until next time,