I’m learning more and more that you’re never safe. Before I go on, I should probably apologize for this blog. If there were anywhere else for me to put this, I would put it there. But there isn’t. So here it is.
For the third day in a row, I’ve found myself balled up on the borrowed bed in my younger sister’s room in tears. The amount that I am letting myself float in emotional turmoil lately is getting out of hand. I feel as though I’ve been completely cut off from my family – both the individuals here at my house, and those who I usually attend school with. The pattern at home follows this: two steps to the tune of “we need you to work!’, and three steps to the tune of “how many questions can I ask before you yell?” sung by my parents. There’s the “leave me alone I hate you” polka from my siblings. And my personal favorite – that bluesy tune of “staying home alone because your parents have once again taken your car to work.”
I’d like to say that I’m reaching out to other people in my support structure. Instead, I’ve felt mostly cut off. Everyone is so caught up on Return of the King madness, or family things, or holiday shopping, I feel my grandmother’s terminal illness is inadequate old hat. I was nearly to the point that I thought people didn’t really care when I received a phone call. It was fairly unexpected, and far shorter than I’d hoped it would be. And it was exactly what I needed. Someone my own age, who I trust, who I know cares about me past feeling obligated to listen because of a shared gene pool – on the other line.
My friend D goes to school on the other side of the country. We’ve known each other since we were four or five and have had classes together in preschool and middle school. We lost contact with each other for a while, but our friendship has picked up a bit while we’ve been in college, ironically. I was surprised when my sister stepped from the kitchen with the phone in her hand and gave it to me. I was even more surprised when it was him on the other line. I didn’t realize just how much I’d been craving meaningful conversation until I had the opportunity to embrace it. I’d felt abandoned by so many people due to circumstances that the fact that D called me almost as soon as he’d come in the door from the airport nearly brought me to tears. I’m an independent person. Not many things bring me spontaneously to tears. We talked for half an hour about the things going on in my life. And we prayed together. We talked about his GRE’s, and his applications to grad school. We talked about my crazy Irish neighbor, and we talked about the awards he’s winning in gymnastics. We compared his leadership responsibilities at school to my own, and problem solved. We made an itinerary for our caroling outing next week and a tentative plan to visit my grandmother together and take my sister to see the uber cool last movie in the LOTR trilogy. It was balm for my soul. For the first time in four days, I didn’t feel like an intruder, I felt welcomed. It told me that I was more than a responsibility or an obligation. It told me I was interesting and needed. And it felt wrong…but why, is another story.