It’s been a while since I posted last, and my life has been hectic. Thankfully the business is all the good that life brings: work, family, friends, birthdays. Nonetheless, I’ve been considering another year having passed, and in particular, was reflecting on my birthday (something about that day just makes you nostalgic, right??). My sister and I planned a fall celebration/birthday party for me, and had picked Pinterest recipes and decorations galore. Besides the fabulous pumpkin/apple deserts, we watched a movie outside, under blankets and twinkling white lights, while drinking pumpkin-pie-in-a-mug (which is as good as it sounds:) All of this was fine, but, per usual, I spent a great deal of brain energy focused on things that didn’t seem to go right. Like how several people I invited couldn’t make it, so our group was small, the doughnuts were a bit dry, it took two hours to figure out how to get the movie to play, and I couldn’t even make it through the movie without falling asleep (as were other friends as well…we’re all 20-somethings going on 70-something). We all know how deceiving it is to go onto social media sites, such as Pinterest, as see perfect pictures of fall, coffee, parties, food, etc. In my mind I know that it’s crafted to look a certain way (I know that sitting there with your coffee, Bible, fall leaves, and a filtered glow didn’t happen naturally), but nonetheless, it can keep me comparing my life to those in the pictures.
Besides this, I keep coming back to the idea that friendships are tricky things. As an introvert, I spend much of my time wrapped up in my own brain. I’m an observer, o.k. to be passive in social gatherings as long as I’m with people. I throw parties because I enjoy being around those I like, but I find myself falling into an interesting rhythm with those around me. I often feel in the background, missing out on moments that others share. This means that I I feel like I’m always battling insecurity, concerned about what people think about me and where we stand. It’s the irony of the introvert; you can’t always express how you feel to others, but you constantly fret about what they think and what you’d like for them to know about you. Add on top of that the fact that I’m a planner, and try to make everything perfect, well, that’s a recipe for discontent and stress. And it’s a shame really, because life brings so much good, and it just passes us by.
I find that this is the freedom of growing up. It’s always scary when you’re younger, pondering what the future will hold, then you actually live it and you find that here is good. I’m beginning to see more and more how comparison really is the thief of joy. The more I think about the lives that other people must be living, I can push myself further into that place of discontent. I may not be the girl who goes out all the time, or has a string of boyfriends, or is the most eloquent, or has the perfect Pinterest parties…but it’s ok. Really. As much as I enjoy analyzing (and really blaming) society for the problems people face, I realize that our bondage comes of our own free will. Maybe that’s the irony of The Fall; the double-sided coin of life. Our freedom brings bondage, and yet the key to keeping ourselves out of the bondage was there all along. God’s grace, which is sufficient for all our need, is available to all who seek it. Maybe I need to get off the train of self-focus long enough to chase after that grace.
As I looked at my friends around me at this party, I saw that I am blessed by people who care about me, and who I can share moments with. We can sit outside playing catch phrase and drinking pumping drinks and sit under blankets watching a movie, and after, my brother in law can graciously put all the tech stuff away while Mumford and Sons plays in the background before we go in. These moments are perfect. But definitely Not according to plan, which is really for the best 🙂