1) Wanderlust: it’s really beneficial to work/live in a different city if you suffer from wanderlust [definition: a very strong or irresistible impulse to travel] because you’re constantly surrounded by new people, new places, and new things to do. Living in the city [Toronto] for the summer allows me to reconnect with people I wouldn’t otherwise see often, try different restaurants, shop at different stores, and go different places.
I can ride the subway wherever I want [although, I don’t, because I’ve become one of those pretentious people that one goes where I can walk to. I ain’t paying $3 to go 5 blocks!] and pretty much do whatever I want. haha. It’s fun! [I should write about all the places I’ve been so far…]
I love searching for places on Google and sometimes still on Yelp, in particular, looking for local desserts, cafes, and eateries to try out and enjoy. This city is now my oyster!
2) Working with men: in the past, I have written about my personal conviction not to have male friends; not to build intimate relationships with men through shared experience, memory making, whatever with the opposite sex out of respect for my future husband. anyways. That might all sound sketchy or foolish. You can read the post here.
The fact is that “breaking up” with my guy friends was not an easy or welcomed thing. but I did it coz I could see that that was something God was placing on my heart. since then I have rejected all notions of really being friends with guys, and have a heightened sensitivity to it. How strange, then, it is to find myself in a work environment where the people I work most closely with, the ones whom I have hit it off best with, are guys.
I was reading Ashley’s blog yesterday and what really stuck out for me was when she said, she was surprised to be where she was because in the past it had hurt her so much. “He certainly redeems”, she said.
Ending it with my guy friends was not an easy season, and I think there is still hurt on both sides, but here I am now, learning to navigate those relationships and friendships differently.
Do I now believe guys and girls can be just friends? no, not really.
but I am starting to see the value in relationships with them for the way that it stretches me.
It’s neat how the foundation of the conviction does not change, the original admonishment is still the truth I believe, but how it looks in my life is different. That seems very biblical.
What’s different this time around is that I know my boundaries. the only time I spend one-on-one with a guy friend now is to walk to the subway. there is a distinct level of transparency and accountability and there are also restrictions as to how they talk around or about me. no sexual jokes.
Nothing inappropriate or objectifying. actually, the coolest thing is, that because one guy is Sikh and the other is Jewish, we have these full-blown religious/faith debates on a daily basis. It’s wild.
I can learn from them, and them from me, but I’m not so emotionally invested in someone that I’m compromising some part of me.
It’s incredible to realize how God is redeeming my ideas and experiences of male/female friendships, showing me that I can trust men and even love men [platonically] within safe, uncompromising, respectful boundaries.
He certainly redeems.
3) Friendships, & love languages: the past several months have presented numerous challenges in my other friendships, however. I admit that much of it has to do with my own insecurities coming out; my worries about how I will be spending the next year or so on the other side of the world, but can’t get communication right with my friends now only being an hour away. I have really had to learn to be upfront about certain things that really hurt my feelings, and have had to express what I need in my relationships. In reality, it’s been quite draining.
The devil definitely used the foothold I gave him with my insecurities to remind me of one of my favorite sayings, “If it’s important, you’ll find a way. If it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse”. That unleashed an ongoing mental dialogue of, “they must not care then if they keep making excuses. If they valued it, they would do it. I would do it, coz I value it!” It made for a lot of unnecessarily-sleepless nights.
Now, as things resolve, and I’m learning to let go and back off, to talk more to the people who should hear it and not those who don’t, I’m realizing what a significant place this really puts us in. With all the changes that will inevitably be coming up in my life, we need to lay this foundation in order to make it work when we’re thousands of miles apart. And when it comes to my love of languages, I really think about taking an online Spanish course. This may come in so practical these days!
It’s funny how we talk so much about marriage and how when you get two sinners together you really need a perfect God, but it’s the same in friendships. If I don’t rely on Him to be the center of our friendship then it will all come crumbling down. And I really do value it and care about it too much to let that happen.
4) Blogger love: maybe I’m just weird and sensitive like that, but I fall in love with new bloggers daily. I just appreciate and enjoy people sharing their lives for all to read so so much. and I also feel like I learn so so much from reading about other people’s experiences or hearing their perspective.
Riding on my #3 thought, it’s amusing to admit that I probably talk to the friends I have never met more than the ones I do know. I guess it’s because a lot of us are, like, hyper social-media users and I just love to hear from the people whose lives I routinely read about. It really is a huge blessing to be part of the massive blogging community and to be building smaller communities and friendships within that!
5) Homesickness & moving to Australia: tuition is paid now. So it’s a fact that I’m going to school in January in Australia. This is something I am so crazy, crazy excited for. but I’m also really nervous.
What probably makes me most nervous is people not talking to me, going back to the friendships. I think as a blogger, a lot of people think they know what’s going on with you coz they read about it so they don’t ask, but when you’re on the other side of the world, you want to be asked. I know this already.
I know it’s going to be hard – what, with 14-hour time difference! – But that’s where the “if you value it, you will do it” comes in. Expectation, though, is the killer of … everything! So letting go of my desire for contact is something I believe this season of life, being away from home, is also supposed to teach me.
When I was in Australia in January, I was dreadfully homesick the first week. I was having an amazing time, but if someone had given me an early plane ticket, I would have taken it. But once I called my parents and heard from and saw them, I knew I could take on being there for a while. Because they love me and support me so much, I can do anything. and that remains true. And I know their love and support will never go away. and I know His won’t either.
Instead of relying on communication with others, I need to rely on communication with Him. As much as I want the attention, affection, and affirmation of others, there will always be something dissatisfying about it for me, so I need to place less value on it, and more and more on His.