I’m just going to ramble for a bit.

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. It really hit me a few weekends ago just how important friends are and just how much they change you.  I got to go back to Clemson to hang out with friends for my birthday, and it was so needed, breathing life and feeling back into my tired lonely soul.

Friendship, living life together, is one of God’s greatest gifts.  God even said in Genesis that “it is not good for the man to be alone,” and so created a woman to be a companion to the man. We help each other dampen our mood swings, keeping us more centered. We bring joy to each other, making the dark times a little brighter. We look at things differently, giving others a different perspective to look through. Friends give us an opportunity to be influenced to be better than we are.

One thing I definitely haven’t found in my new city is a group of friends. My coworkers are great, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and hang out with some of them over lunch and at work parties, but even at a small company like mine, a co-worker is still not quite the same as a friend, at least not yet. Before, I’ve always had some activity or location drawing me and others in, and so I found friends doing the same thing I am. I don’t have this anymore. I’ve just found a church and don’t know what the young adults there are like. I don’t have class, or youth group, or computer science club, or RUF. I don’t have that central focal point to find friends at, and for the first time in my life, I truly have no clue how to find friends. I’ve always been a little shy about meeting new people, but since early on, I’ve always had at least one person I knew to go with me to things, to get me to try things with them, to make me feel comfortable with who I am and get me out of my comfort zone. I don’t have this anymore, and I don’t know what to do. I am desperately lonely, and I don’t know how to get out.

Since graduation, my friendships with people there have been attenuating with time and distance apart. They are still most definitely my friends, and I theirs, but circumstances have changed and we have naturally grown apart, as unpleasant and difficult as that is. However, this has been accentuated by social media. Before this modern age of information overload, it was possible to imagine your long-distance friends as they were until you have a chance to catch up with time. Now, it is so very obvious that life moves on without you. People change, settings change, but you aren’t there to change with them.  You get to watch your friends’ lives play out on a screen, removed entirely except for comments and likes. This has been especially hard as most of my friends are younger than me, so they are all still together while only a few of my friends graduated with me and are in a similar situation of being off in the wide world. Long distance friendships have always sucked, but social media has taken it to a whole new level.

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. I experienced this with great clarity last weekend, wanting nothing more than to stay with my friends by that bonfire for hours and hours more and enjoy the great gift of their company. With the same weight, the loss of friendships is one of the hardest things I’ve experienced, especially when coupled with the loneliness of moving to a new city.

Saying Goodbye

I originally wrote this in May right before graduation. Thankfully I’ve been able to come back to college a couple times to see friends, but even with that there are friends I will likely never see again.

May 2017:

Saying goodbye has been really hard. I knew it would be, but I didn’t know quite how much it would hurt. The past few days, I keep saying goodbye to friends, and every time I never know if it is going to be the last. I’m still not sure which is worse, seeing them for the last time, or thinking I am, then seeing them again a day later, only to repeat the process again

I’ve made so many wonderful friends over my past four years at college, and it is going to be so hard to leave. They have shaped me and molded me into the man I have become, and I am so thankful for that. God has done some great things in my life through them, even though the times we’ve messed up and hurt each other.

When I graduated from high school, my choral group sang this Irish blessing as a send off, and it still one of my favorites. For all the friends I leave behind, but especially the friends who graduate with me, I leave you with this blessing.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thoughts I

A friend of mine often compiles a list of sayings and short thoughts he has had recently, which I always enjoy reading (here is a combined list of several of his posts). So I too will try this, although I doubt mine will be quite so interesting. These are more about me than the world in general, but I think can be applicable. Enough excuses, here we go:

  1. We are most alone in a crowd, for in a crowd we hide who we truly are deep within ourselves.
  2. Loneliness often sets in after the “high” of social activity, making it all the more devastating.
  3. I want you to like me, so I draw you in. To keep you liking me, I push you away from the darkness inside.
  4. I am like a great spy master, only telling people what they need to know, only letting them see part of me, never letting anyone see the whole picture (read mess)
  5. Saying goodbye for the last time is one of the hardest things we as humans do
  6. Saying hello for the first time is probably a close second

We will see if I can have a bit more of these next time, but here is my first stab.