I’m wide awake. We’ll see how I hold up tomorrow.
Digging through my archives, only because anniversaries are coming up, and I’m inhaling nostalgic dramatic irony. I don’t know that I know that deep emotions have diffused through the vents, triggering flashbacks and near-forgotten feelings of goodness and greatness and inspiration. Except, I know that I don’t know.
I wrote the following on April 10, 2007. My life, like many lives, works in cycles, and this pattern really hasn’t changed that much. What I experienced and learned then definitely applies to now. I could have made it easier on myself by kicking and screaming less. Stubbornness dies hard.
The intensity tapers as life goes on, in varying degrees. The people are different; the transitions suck. Relationships aren’t as much intense as they are weird; they are dis-tense, and the wordplayer in me morphs that into distance, which is the obvious space between me and these other people who don’t seem as kindred – we don’t want to get too close. They notice it too.
Old souls in high school aren’t the only ones. In fact, that phase of life has thoroughly prepared us to spot one now, a mile away; years later, or maybe a few hours. We recognize a certain gentleness and power, a familiar warmth in the countenance; a subtle thawing, like the conversion of winter into spring. Then, the intensity picks up again. You know how it goes.
Another transition comes along, and we haven’t forgotten how much it hurts to say goodbye. And that was 13 years ago. Or even last week. The key is to cherish it as much as you can presently, even if it means an unbearably poignant departure. The key is to cherish it as much as you can presently, even if the thought of goodbye keeps sneaking in on your forethoughts, which bear the trite truth: there’s no such thing as goodbye.
The key is to remember that you are old souls, kindred spirits.
When you do part ways, the key is to be so happy and excited for your friends, so grateful for your paths crossing, that you cry and cry and shudder and hiccup and snot everywhere and pray and cry yourself to sleep; so that eventually, you can look back fondly at all the good times, and giddily anticipate a sweet, joyful reunion. Every single time.
This was part of an email I sent someone a few weeks later, on May 6, 2007:
I’m feeling kind of burnt out right now, life is kind of hard. Seminary and work and studying and being social. And not just being social, deepening these social ties. The Lord has really blessed me with little extra pockets of time and energy to get things done. It would be nice to have a break, though. Some down time. Soon.
While right now feels like one of the longest transitions of my life, it’s nowhere near as severe as what happened three years ago. Maybe it just took the semester thinking I was getting my feet wet, then realizing my complete submersion. Maybe this is where all those dreams of breathing and thriving underwater make sense.
Then I look at friends – really strong friends – who are making great things happen for themselves. I regard their faith and fortitude, and they encourage me. If they can do it, so can I.
We’re doing it together, yeah?