I texted my friend Mallory the other day for no other reason, but to tell her that I felt like I was in a blogging slump. I have several "blog friends" that get the blogging world, but Mallory is one of a couple of "writer friends" that sort of inspire me. Around the first of the month, I always feel like my blog is predictable and while I don't think it's boring, I think it lacks feeling. I write about our "happenings" coming up that month, I redo the design, I set goals, and I share things I enjoyed the previous month. I enjoy documenting those things, but I don't feel like it captures my heart, which is a large part of what I enjoy sharing here.
Anyway, all that backstory was to say that Mal told me that her students share "feelings" on Friday and she thought that was a good place to start. So here we are.
I feel like I'm in a better place, friendship-wise, than I've ever been in my life. My cup feels so full, and not the kind of full where you're happy, but you're worn out from it all. The kind of full where I can just relax in these friendships and speak Grace over people and allow them to speak it over me. The kind of full where I don't feel obligated, I feel honored. The kind of full where I know that when I falter (and even when I fall), those friends are there to steady me, and if need be, pick me back up. Honestly? I have found the kind of friends that won't just pick you up. They'll dust off your ass while they're at it.
One thing I've realized recently is that God has blessed me with friends in so many different spheres. I have friends that get me when it concerns things about marriage and parenting. I have friends who really encourage me as far as writing. I have friends that push me to be REALLY honest and ask myself hard questions and say the things I'm scared to- friends who ask me to bring into the light the troubles that hide in the darkness. I have friends who remember me from when I was thirteen and yelled the F-word down the hall at my then boyfriend. We have friends at church from so many stages of life- there are elderly women in my church that I have found commonality with I never would have imagined. And we have two pastors that are more like friends than I've personally rarely known a minister to be.
And yet. Yet. Here we are...about to leave. And I have a really heavy heart about it most days. It's hard to feel like God has constructed this elaborate support system for you, in many cases, out of dust it feels like and I'm just going to, what, let it go?
The good thing is, well, TECHNOLOGY. I think it's a good and bad thing, for sure. It sucks far to much of my time and if I'm being honest, there are points where it creates tension in our marriage. There are times that it's perhaps best to step away. But, I've come to realize so many of my interactions with my closest circles and best people happen over text or email or (gasp) Facebook. These mediums give me hope for the sustainability of these all important relationships. I need these connections so desperately.
I know that I function better with a concrete plan and then with a small step breakdown of that plan. One thing I plan to do over the next few weeks is make some relational goals for the new year. Some of them will be about meeting new friends in the city, but some will focus on the maintenance of our current friendships. I already established one back in the Summer. I decided that once weekly (at a certain predetermined time), I'm going to email the godly woman in our church who I consider my mentor. I'm sure some weeks it will be a short email to say "Here is a picture of my kids in their underwear, because remember that time you STRONGLY advised me not to publicly share those pictures because of your own history working as an advocate to prevent childhood abduction and assault and OMG I have to share these with someone?" and other times I'm sure it will be more along the lines of "this awful city is destroying my marriage?" (I never said I didn't have a flair for the dramatic or that it wasn't equally pronounced- happy and sad). I think making some goals will help lessen the fear that I'm letting go of something, completely, and forever.
I'm glad Mallory recommended this little exercise her students do because I feel like my breathing got a little easier and my load a little lighter just writing it all out.