I recently went to a bible study led by one of my closet friends from college. It’s crazy how people come into your life…some stay for a season and others stay for a while. Those that stay for a season teach you something about yourself and those that stay, witness your growth and walk alongside you through your transitions. The ones that stay for a season, may encourage you from a distance or may back away from the “new” you, or rather the authentic you. Lately I’ve witnessed and gone through some changes with friendships. One, in particular, shocked me because a newfound friendship has now come to nothing. I had hoped it would have somehow blossomed into something beautiful. Yet, in time it died into nothing. We communicate but only online: texting and social media. I have tried numerous times to see this friend face to face, IRL, but it doesn’t seem to happen. I am now at the point of letting go. Not so much of letting this friend go, but my effort to connect “offline” is no more. I don’t want to disconnect entirely from this friend, because on paper we are a pretty nice match. We have the same interests, goals, values… yet, it is very much standstill right now. This friend actually inspired me to go beyond my work environment and hone into my talents… Not directly but simply being in their presence. This friendship pushed me to grow in the arts, to create those opportunities and work towards them. This friend was in the same ordeal as I was. We both had this job that was in the arts but yearned to do something on our own… to build an empire. We had even talked about building something together… I’m kind of hoping we can still build this empire and both put our egos aside.
I have also witnessed friendships changing. A friend, who started out as a co-worker. My relationship with this co-worker evolved when we both experienced a loss of drive in our day jobs, we started to seek joy elsewhere. At first, we hit the pavement looking for new jobs, even open to the possibility of going back to school. Yet, nothing panned out. We were struggling to find peace. Our frustrations were very vocal in conversations, and a newfound friendship started to form. I started to get back to writing and she began a podcast with a mutual friend. I started reading, working out, praying more… I was discovering my self outside of my work environment. In time we both were getting our feet wet in this exciting place. This place did not have a consistent paycheck, nor any money at all yet it brought us both joy. We made a commitment to each other, more an accountability agreement. “Did you create today?”
Time passed and we finished our small projects here and there and encouraged each other along the way. I started to pull back from outings and people just to own this time to create. Small breaks from social media did the trick… the need to compare became obsolete… well, it wasn’t so prominent as before. Soon, co-worker/friend decided to create together. Similar background in theater/ visual arts leads us to create a film. In all this self-discovery, old ideas started to strip, and I started to pull back from certain people. My desire to create became stronger… and my desire for Him, pulled me to seek moments alone. I wanted to know more… ultimately I needed His inspiration. Also, I felt like no one could give me that clear direction… I had to do this on my own… at least for that moment. In this phase, it was hard especially when I would get a glimpse of everyone on social media. I got distracted and put my work aside. I had these moments quite a bit.. and in these moments I had some episodes… crying… wondering why it was not clicking for me.
The summer went by, me-time on full blast and the dynamic of friendships changed… but surprising I stayed afloat… and I managed to finish a play I started a year ago. In finishing that project, I changed churches, (I haven’t joined this new church but the new environment is giving me that strong spiritual foundation I need right now) and my desire to “gain access to my door beyond” has become stronger. This goes back to the bible study I mentioned at the beginning of this post. That was The Word: “Gain access to your door beyond.” We were asked to write down three words that came to mind after hearing that phrase. My three words: outside of school, play, writer. It was now time to seek beyond… to open MY door. In breaking down the phrase, we came to the conclusion that the door is there, has been there, it was only waiting on you to open it, this door opens up to endless opportunities/ possibilities… this door is behind our fears, insecurities, doubt… access to this door takes faith, courage, and Trust in God. It is now time for me to open this door not only to experience newness outside of myself but open this door to my authentic self. To let go of fear, insecurities, and doubt and fully embrace me, even if I am alone for a while, even if people pull away for me, even if I am scared . It is now time to be who I was created to be: outside of school, play, writer.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah 1:5 NIV