These five things are a little introspective in no particular order.
We are living in an extrovert’s world and I am just an introvert-girl1
It’s a bit exhausting, living inside of my head sometimes.
In the middle of living and working within the constraints of a global pandemic, I experienced a lot of loss. The more I lost the more I retreated into myself until there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t want to hang out or make plans with anyone. Now, coming out of that stretch of time, I feel like I don’t know how to be with company anymore. It’s a struggle to answer simple conversational questions because my knee-jerk reaction is to retreat. Who wants to bring down the crowd with their sad story? And maybe that person is just asking the “how are yous” and “what’s news” to be polite and conversational, maybe they don’t want to hear more than an “I’m fine” or “nothing much”.
Someone asked me the “what’s new” question lately and I genuinely blanked, my brain could not compute quickly enough the level of our acquaintance to deliver the appropriate response. Imagine telling an almost stranger that you don’t sleep well some nights because you think your dad will die and then you’re going to have to take care of the rest of your family, but recently you’ve been working on meditation to lower your stress levels because the stress is causing your body to breakdown since you internalize everything? Yeah, that would be a fun party answer.
What do you say to someone who is grieving?
After losing my mom I had to deal with a lot of other people’s grief, and it made me wonder, how did I react to someone when they were grieving. I found this article soon after that talked about what to say to someone depending on how far removed from the situation you are and I highly recommend the read to anyone who (like me) wonders just what to say and how to show comfort.
A little emo, a little angst
A few months ago I found my old Live Journal – that I completely forgot about! I reactivated my account and started reading all the posts (most of which were private).
When I look back at college-me, I would never use the word emo to describe her, but after reading my LJ posts I think maybe I was a bit angsty as a teen. Part of me wonders if I feel this way now because I’m reading it through the lens of someone twenty years removed. However, there’s another part of me that recognizes that at that time I was holding a few things in tension and had yet to decide which side of the fence I wanted to land on. I had a worldview that was evolving and as a person who internalizes their thoughts and feelings (and then apparently writes them in a private journal online) a lot of my entries revolved around working those tensions out. Interestingly enough, even though my entries were private, I didn’t have the courage to actually name a lot of my feelings – hoping that future me (well, now present me) would read between the lines. I wonder if I didn’t feel the safety to express myself, or if it was more of the fact that I didn’t want to write something down that I would later change my mind about.
There’s a lot of conversation around the idea of deconstructing faith. A lot of people are leaving their churches and walking away from the faith, deciding to pursue spirituality in other forms, and honestly, I don’t blame them. As a person who was a teen/young adult in the time of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and at the height of purity culture, then witnessed the toxicity found in churches like Mars Hill Chruch it’s so easy to understand why people are walking away.
Personally, I still find something in organized religion – and I found a good community – but I still struggle to untangle myself from the things that I grew up believing in that were not scriptural. The entire idea that women should dress and act a certain way because men can’t seem to be decent humans is insane to me, or the focus on a list of nos and oftentimes very wrong and unfounded rules that are not grounded in actual scripture. One of my favorite podcasts, The Bible Binge2, had an episode on this same topic and it really resonated with me and anchored a lot of the feelings I had on the topic. It’s been slow, but I feel in a better place when it comes to this topic. I have clarity in what I believe, and I am slowly rebuilding around my core values and beliefs3.
There’s hope for the future
In everything, through the highs and lows, I have to admit that I am hopeful. There’s a hope that one day this will all be worth it. That the friendships will grow stronger, that the familial bonds will strengthen, and that, no matter what, we will make it through this. Well, I didn’t really mean to make this entire post feel somber, but I think I achieved that nonetheless. Here’s to the future, here’s to overcoming.
1 Sing to the tune of Material Girl.
2 The Bible Binge is one of my top 10 podcasts; highly recommend them.
3 I also strongly believe that the God in the bible would not be pleased with conservatism in the US.