Our lives have seasons. Some are long, some short, some filled with joy, others with sadness. During each of these seasons we will have different people around us depending on what we’re doing, where we are in the world, and what stage of life we are in. Every one of these friendships will be different, some lasting longer than others, and some shifting and changing as we go. Each is important, and we must do our best to be present with these friends who offer so much to our lives when we spend time together.
Last week I caught up with friends I had been meaning to since the middle of 2019. It had been so long since we’d spent time together that I had left a boardgame at their house all that time. We had talked a few times, checking in with each other, until having dinner this week, but they were short conversations, sort of leaving the feeling that there was a bit of awkwardness.
It took all of five seconds for these feelings of guilt to fade as we fell back into step with comfortable and meaningful conversation, learning what we had all been up to. That’s the wonderful thing about friends, we can miss seeing them for weeks, months, even years, and all the worries we have melt away when we do see them. There was much discussion about ultimate (frisbee), football, rock climbing, jobs, book writing, and boardgames. No conversation felt forced or out of place, and all six people had opportunity to speak, be heard, and to listen.
I love my friends, more than I can probably tell them in person at the moment. I love them very dearly.
We can feel this way about activities we love doing as well. Writing is something I feel like my soul has been bursting to do every day of my life, but only recently have I begun pouring time into it that will move closer to the publishing of these stories in books. When I take a break from writing, it feels like something’s missing, like the puzzle that is my life lacks pieces. That same guilt I feel when not making time to catch up with friends starts to rise in my gut. And if I let it, it pulls me away from making the choice that fills my soul with joy: to just write.
Playing the guitar and singing falls into this category too. I love writing music, and solving the problem of what section or instrument goes where in a piece I’m working on. But if I leave it a day or two, maybe a week, I fall away from the natural process of filling in the gaps of time in my life with my guitar, or singing while I’m on my way walking somewhere.
Acknowledging this has been one of the first steps in helping me break away from this apathy and indecision. If they are things I love doing, things I feel compelled within my soul to spend time on, I do a disservice to myself if I simply move through life on cruise control.
The fire in my soul for writing and making music is always there, it never goes away, and I am thankful for this. Consistently rekindling this fire has been helped by spending time with a wonderful friend. This friend encourages sitting with these moments, feeling the emotion they stir up – the good and the not so good – and then talking about it. When I speak them out loud, most of things that stop me putting myself out there seem smaller than small. God knows, and understands, and provides strength to surmount these obstacles.
Next on my list: find a drum kit and a studio space. I haven’t played the drums for at least four years, and I want to get back into playing regularly, so I will.
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What is something you haven’t done for a while that you really miss?
What is one step you can take, one achievable step, to move towards bringing it back into your life?
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You have wonderful gifts. Know this. Believe this. Embrace the joy in this.