So lately I’ve been learning a lot about feelings. This may sound odd coming from someone who is definitely old enough to know about feelings, but then, you’re never too old to learn, so here we go.
Firstly, I’d just like to say that God has been showing me a lot about joy and about what it means to love people lately. In the past 7 years, I would say that I have made an almost complete turn around from where I used to be, because honestly, back then, I really didn’t like people that much. I owned the identity of misanthrope proudly and though I really didn’t like myself either, I did consider myself exceedingly witty in my cynicism. Honestly, I look at myself back then and see a bully. I didn’t see my own value, and so chose to strike it down in others. Then, while working on an art project for school themed around nightmares (shout out to Mr. Wong for being an ace of a teacher!), I realized just how much I didn’t like being angry all the time. I didn’t like hardening myself and telling myself that I was just going to be the cynic. For so long I’d learned to tell myself that people expected me to be the cynic, and so, cruelly, I played the part. But that’s not who I wanted to be, and that’s not who God calls anyone to be, so I started to change. I started to really pursue God and stopped spending so much time chasing after the opinions of other people.
There’s a lot more to the story, but basically, at this point, I feel like I’ve finally really found my value in Christ and know that it cannot be shaken, no matter what else happens in my life. And, now that I can see it in myself, I can see it so much more easily in others. That’s amazing. Sometimes I feel like I just love everybody in the world. It’s become so real to me that God has made us all, that God LOVES us all, and it’s filled me with this incredible joy and an ease in loving others. I mean, God’s joy has slowly been growing in me over these many years as I’ve learned more about who He is and who I am and His plans for me and everything, but I’ve just felt like it’s been exploding lately because I’ve finally realized that everyone around me is SO COOL. They do things that only they do. They’re the only person in the world that does things exactly like they do. And God loves them and sees the way they do things and smiles because He made them to do things just that way and He delights in them doing it. Do you realize how crazy amazing that is? It’s SUPER crazy amazing. I love it and I love Him and I love them.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand that’s when I got busy, and my car ended up in the shop, and I found out I’m losing my job.
See, I’m pretty heavily introverted, so when I get busy and am around people constantly with little to no time to recharge by myself, I get incredibly exhausted. I still love the people around me, and I still love the things I’m doing, but there’s this little part of me that starts thinking, “I love you/this, but if I went home and slept and didn’t see anybody for X amount of days, that would definitely be fine too.” The longer I go without recharging, the larger X gets. So when this fall got insanely busy–busier than usual, which in itself is usually pretty packed–I started feeling a bit overwhelmed. I was spending a lot of money doing things with people too, so I was starting to feel financially strained. I started taking ballroom dance lessons at Arthur Murray (and I cannot recommend them enough. I adore them all) this summer and that’s become extremely important to me and I was starting to feel like I wasn’t going to be able to continue because of how I was hemorrhaging money. Then, I got an opportunity to take a tap class with some friends. It was an 8 week course for 72 dollars, and the first night we went, I had had a terribly overwhelming day and was feeling like I was drowning a little with how much was still packed into the rest of the week. I was struggling with whether or not I should take the class at all because it was friends I’d spent most of my summer with and I haven’t been able to see them much lately due to our schedules picking up and I would be the only one out of our little quartet not to go, but I was also so busy and overspending and not taking care of my introverted side like I should. I felt so guilty, like I would completely disappoint them or like they’d be mad at me or something.
Then I realized, if a friend of mine was only going to do something with me out of guilt, would I want them to do it at all?
Not really. As my best friend and I always joke “If I have to tell you I want flowers, I don’t want flowers.” It’s sorta the same principle. If my primary reasoning for going was guilt, that wouldn’t be what any of us wanted. They wanted me to take it because they love me and want to spend time with me. And if that was going to come at the expense of my emotional, mental, financial or whatever kind of health, they wouldn’t want that.
I ended up wanting to take the class because it was fun, but then my car broke down, essentially sucking up most of my tap class, ballroom dance shoe and ballroom dance lesson budget in one fell swoop. So I still had to say no, but the important thing I learned was that it was okay for me to do that. Boundaries are super important, and if you’re hurting yourself to try to make your friends happy, that’s never the best plan.
Anyway, this post is getting super long, so I’m gonna leave off here and pick up how this all sorta ties into what I’m learning about being sad, hopefully tomorrow.