This is part of a blog entry i just published for Llaura, at a different site. i thought and felt that i should share it. You're welcome to comment, but i should warn you beforehand that you're not going to change my mind about any of this, unless you know something significant that i don't know.
It didn't take long for you to get plugged into Clovis Christian. i think many of the friends you only knew of by name, you now know better than i do. It seems like you should have been hanging out with everyone since you were all born.
i kept telling people they would never miss me when i left for VU. i had a few people tell me that they would, but i smiled and shook my head. i'm pretty sure i actually believed myself, for the most part. So why does it surprise me that i'm right?
i know that since i've left, no one has contacted me before i contacted them. It would have been so easy to disappear, Llaura. i could have said my goodbyes, deleted my Blogger account completely, switched to Gmail, and never had any contact from anyone again, until i returned.
No one would have said anything.
You, on the other hand, are important. People miss you when you miss a single church service. The thought of you surfaces in people's minds even in the midst of their mental busy-ness. They call you every other day wanting to go here or there. Guys, girls, family, friends, strangers, other people's families, other people's friends, everybody wants to be with you. i guess that makes sense. No, i know that makes sense. Even when you were spending so much time with me that it was hurting your friends, the fact that it hurt them (and you) shows how friendly you can be, and how people see you.
i'm not that type of person. i don't attract people at all. i have to work hard to build and maintain and further relationships. When i don't call someone, they don't call me, either. What's weird is that i don't really see you making many calls just to chat. i guess it's because you don't have to; you just check your voice messages, return them, and you've made contact.
Maybe i'm used to having things come naturally to me. i was certainly had this subconscious expectation for hip-hop (but i was disappointed). i shouldn't have expected people to feel the same way about me as they do about you.
Yes!! i've been trying to figure it out ever since that first twinge of pain when you told me you'd spent a significant amount of time with the Clovis Christian gang. i have been trying to identify and endure this emotion i have whenever you tell me stories of them and of you, and i think God is finally giving me an answer to my questions...
All this time, i've been missing my friends. That's natural. i left for college, and right when things were getting interesting, right when people were joining the CC community, right when that community began expanding to welcome both new people (whom i was just barely getting to know) and old people (who had been in hiding until i left). Also, you got to stay home an extra amount of time. Maybe i envied you for that. i'm not really sure what envy is; i used to think it was the acceptable version of jealousy, but God says love doesn't envy, so now i have to re-think that. Anyway, i felt bad for not being there with old friends, not being there with new friends, and not being involved in the new and exciting stuff that was going on while i went through my first semester of college.
But the emotion puzzled me, and today, for the first time, i am not questioning what it is, but whether it's valid or not. i may have asked that question before, but it was never my main focus. Forget the fact that i'm feeling it. Is it valid? Is it the right feeling to have? And what is it a response to?
It's disappointment- partially, at least. i expected people to relate to me as strongly as they do to you, perhaps stronger. i've known some of them longer. i have more in common with them. i hang out with them. But then, you came to surf camp, we spent a lot of time together, and then you started to really get close to everyone. That was cool; i really thought it was cool, the way everyone wanted to be friends with you.
Then i left, and people would have forgotten about me, had i made no effort to remind them. But you? If you had done what i did, they would have gone on strike. No school, no work, no peace of mind until we know where Llaura is and why she hasn't called us in the last 24 hours! Some of them even did go on strike, when our relationship was forming and progressing.
And i, in my stupidity, in my naivety, in my all-too-common pattern of ridiculously high expectations, thought that things would be the other way around.
That's why i hurt every time you tell me you've been with them. Part of me sees that you're better friends with them than i ever was, or ever will be. It makes sense that that hurts me. It also make sense that it would make me happy. i am always curious about what you do with everyone, so it makes sense that i'd want to know in the first place. i want to hear about people at home because i love them. i want to hear about you with them because i know you enjoy their company and friendship.
i'm thanking God right now, because even though my Foundations class was cancelled this morning due to Travis' sickness (i could have slept in!!!), i spent that time well. i went to my favorite morning spot: the bench and the fountain, right outside the Newport Mesa Christian Church building (chapel). On the way, i talked to God. When i got there, i talked to God. When the wind became too strong and too cold for me to bear, even with my two layers, i went back to the empty classroom and talked to God some more.
i don't know yet, but i hope this understanding will help alleviate my feelings. This was another thing bothering me this past week. i had come home for over a week, and yet i felt like i barely had any time with anyone. You came back the day before Thanksgiving, and everyone was scrambling to take a number so they could hang out with you. Not only that, but the time that each of us (respectively) spent with them, we never spent with each other! It was either Isaiah, or Llaura. >=(
A while back, i posted about how much i missed everyone. This has been the follow-up to that post. Thanks for reading, everybody.
Oh, and a sidenote for Ug: I don't include you in this "they" and "we" stuff. =) Thanks again for the week. Ask Aunt Grace how she likes her breakfast-in-bed prepared.
-- EDIT --
I was expecting this reply, because I had the same thought myself. "Get over it, foof-head." But I tried that already. If I could get over it, I would, but relationships are more important to me than that.
I believe every emotion has a cause, but that doesn't mean every emotion is valid. I think there is some validity to my feelings, but I don't think they're completely valid.
You ask how you could be envious of what I had at the Retreat... but that's exactly why I'm envious. It's because it's so great. I thought I had that close bond you speak of. I thought I was as tight with my friends as I now know Llaura is; but now that I see it, I see that I didn't have what I thought I had.
Maybe it's true that when I returned, it was as if I had never been gone. But I think it was as if I had never been gone even while I was gone. I don't feel as bad about that anymore... I don't hold anything against anyone for it. All I have now is a regret/sadness that I can't be as good a friend as Llaura is.
I don't know who I've touched or influenced at Clovis Christian. No one has ever told me I've impacted them or made any difference. I think that if I did make any difference, it was only because God used me for a small part of His plan, and anyone else could have done the same or better. You talk about signs, and I don't discredit your perceptions, but I do ask for some kind of evidence. LoL Everyone knows how skeptical I can be. When asked by the quiz (in a post below) whether I was a skeptical person or not, my answer was, "I might be... you'd have to show me some strong proof to convince me that I'm skeptical." I'm not asking people to come tell me I'm important to them; in fact, I'm not asking anyone to do anything.
I had hoped that understanding the situation would bring a peace of mind and heart, and it's beginning to do so. I don't have any negative feelings towards anyone (except myself, and that's normal), and I don't think this issue is going to bother me anymore. I guess I can learn from it, though. I've been learning alot in the past few months. I feel like I'm taking some accelerated, condensed courses, as if God wanted me to get my major in Life a few years early. Whether or not I'm as close to anyone as I'd like to be, I need to be better than I've been.
The leadership group refers to you frequently, and people ask your parents (and Grace and I) about you in church often as well. Adults are polite that way. I don't know anything about the leadership group referring to me, but I suspect the references have to do with quotes and funny stories. And that's cool; life wouldn't be the same without quotes and funny stories. That's a cool impact to have on people, too. I hope they always remember those...
Thanks for the reply. It's helped me to see things better.