September 18, 2014

you'll need each other

"Hey friend, what are you doing right now?" I knew when she asked this that she wouldn't let me get out of pretending to be too busy to talk. Having friends that are counselors is sometimes the best thing and other times, it's really hard. This was one of the hard moments. We walked back to my apartment, parked ourselves in the office, and she asked how I was doing.

"I'm good, you know, just trying to get everything done." I forced a little smile, hoping that it might convince either of us.

"How's school going?," she asked. That's when I felt the thread snip, that little tiny thread that felt like it was holding it all together. I explained that I was overwhelmed academically. I talked about my internship, and although I've got three hundred hours under my belt, finishing these last hundred hours seems like a monumental task. I mentioned that I felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water right now.

School tumbled into work which then snowballed into life in general. I opened up about how I felt like I had been a bad friend recently, unable to make and keep plans with people because somehow school or work kept popping up. I explained, through tears, that I just felt isolated.

There are many words people would use to describe my job, but I doubt isolating would be one of them. You see, I live my life surrounded by 173 college freshman. I'm rarely alone, but for some reason, I've felt isolated in the midst of all these people.

My dear friend, bless her heart, reminded me of a very similar conversation we had two years ago, but where the roles were reversed. I remember sitting on the floor with her at our friends house as we were surrounded by bowls of lukewarm water, the idea of a girls pedicure night forgotten because life interrupted us. I remember her crying; she had just gotten married, was finishing up her Master's, and was working in the same department as myself but just felt so off balance. She talked about feeling isolated even though she was rarely alone. I remember not really identifying entirely, but sympathizing.

I have this really bad habit of retreating into myself when things feel off balance or peculiar. I hope that I can pull myself out of the slump or combat the feelings alone, but that doesn't work as well or as quickly as connecting with someone else. I have a hard time crying in front of people, which is strange seeing as how crying is practically my love language. I just don't want my problems to burden others, which is so silly because that's not a real thing. I tell my residents that on a regular basis. They are not a burden. It is a joy to go through life with others because we get to be there for the good, the bad, the hard, and the easy.

I've seen this print floating around the internet and I just love it. It's a great reminder for me to not retreat into myself, but to remember that we need each other. Even though that conversation with my friend was hard, and I tried to avoid it, I'm glad we had it. I felt better as soon as I started naming what had been burdening me. I know that it was helpful for her too because, whether I like it or not, she loves me and wants to be a part of the good and the bad.


1 comment :

  1. Yes. To all this. Sometimes just speaking the things out-loud sets us free because by someone else hearing them, it's like they can carry the burden and we can walk a little lighter.


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