Have you ever felt stupid? And not just stupid, but really stupid? One of my greatest joys in life is to make new friends. It doesn’t even matter to me which category they fall into. They could be acquaintances, friends or my inner circle of people. I just love meeting and connecting with new people. I pride myself on being inclusive and welcoming. I like to gather with friends and have deep conversations, preferably over coffee.
Countless Christmas songs are written about it. Countless videos are posted about it. But not everyone has a home to go to for the holidays. It’s not a good or bad thing. Sometimes, it just is what is.
That’s where I fit in. My father passed away when I was nine, and I have an estranged relationship with my mother. All of my mother’s side of the family is spread out across the country, and I’ve never been super close to my father’s side of the family.
“Fake it til you make it.” Cliché of all clichés, right? We’ve all heard it, maybe even said it. I think all of us fall into one camp or another; we either believe this to be possible or we don’t. For me, I think I have wavered back and forth on whether or not I believe this to be true.
Until recently. The past three months have been some of the hardest months of my life.
The word “purity” can stir up all manner of thoughts and emotions. It’s that important. The subject carries a great deal of weight, but sometimes I don’t know if we fully treat it as such.
I’ve led youth in one form or another for the past 17 years. It has brought me such joy seeing each student leave the group for college and step into their destinies. On the other hand, it has at times brought such sadness to see girls become pregnant as teens or not long after they’ve entered college.
I think lamenting gets a bad wrap.
Lamenting is important. It’s necessary. It’s good. It’s healing. And dare I say, lamenting is holy. The past few months, I have had a season of loss like I’ve never experienced before. There’s been grief and sadness on top of pain and anguish. Hard doesn’t even begin to describe what I’ve been going through. There have been countless tears shed leading to countless sleepless nights. Just when I think the tears are over, a whole new wave of them ensue.
I recently made a new friend. She’s been struggling with finding real, authentic community. One night I hung out with her and her boyfriend, and we had a great conversation. We did the whole “get to know you” thing: How old are you? How many people are in your family? How long have you and your boyfriend been dating? What part of town do you live in? Do you have roommates?
It was all fine and dandy until that last question.
At 36 and single, I’m feeling okay about life. I was never the girl that dreamed of marriage. However, by this age I assumed I would be married with kids. Most days I don’t think about being single; it’s just what my life is. But there are some days when I find myself thinking about it often. The past couple of months have been a string of those days.
I live in Baton Rouge. In case you’re not aware, there was a serious flood here in August.