It has been a little while since I’ve written a blog post. Since school started, life seems to course along at a rapid pace, muddling time in its path. In the face of this (still new) change, I’ve found it difficult to translate my disjointed thoughts into words, repelling me from the keyboard. And, in all honesty, because of the crowded nature of my mind right now, I don’t always know what to convey. So I’ve decided to focus on the immediate — on what I’ve confronted and how I’ve grown in this past month through my transition to a new setting.
Throughout my years of homeschooling, I had only myself to compare to. This, in some ways, increased my perfectionism, as I had no standard of academic or personal excellence I could measure my work with. Thus, I often found myself racing myself, attempting to attain a form of perfection that transcended “normal” expectations for students, expectations hidden from my view. Entering a physical school setting has revealed the impossibility of the standards I placed on myself, allowing me to extend grace to myself when faced with failure. Yet, it has also offered new difficulties. I now have other physical, tangible human beings with whom I can compare anything to — my appearance, my grades, my personality, my achievements, and my interests. Questions of identity flood my mind. Am I boring? What makes me special or different? Why do their strengths augment my flaws? Am I doing enough?
As a homeschooler struggling with loneliness, distanced from the world both by my location and the pandemic, I often dreamed of finding kindred spirits. (This is especially palpable in the article on “Loneliness” I wrote last October.) But navigating and forging relationships is more difficult than I imagined. I care about people and have the capacity to notice the unnoticed and deeply feel the emotions of others. In this past month, I’ve listened to others’ stories and struggles, their conflicts and emotions. I’ve been honored by their trust in me and genuinely desire to support them. Yet, I’ve recognized the draining effect these interactions have on me when I do not make time to care for myself. In addition, at times, I feel like I give more than I receive. Because of my empathetic nature, people feel connected to me — yet, I don’t always feel connected to others. Most of the time, I ask more questions than am questioned. I purposefully exhibit interest in the lives of others, yet I do not feel this often reciprocated. In some ways, this is intentional. I find it hard to translate the questions, the beauty, the grief, the ideals the tremble within my being into concrete words. A fear of rejection or misperception hinders me. But I’m growing. I’ve found a few potential kindred spirits, people who reciprocate my questions, and who understand and accept my abstract thoughts without judgment. I pray that, through the meaningful connections I forge, my understanding of myself and others may expand.
Grace & Gratitude
I have experienced the grace of God on a deeper level. I have felt it envelop me. And I have grown in my capacity to extend this grace to others. My gratitude has grown as well. I am grateful for the early morning quiet times in the presence of God, the hymns that prick my heart, the weekend strolls along the harbor, the profound conversations I’ve had with others, and the verses of poetry I absorb between classes.
In the face of whatever this week or month brings, the lyrics of Be Thou My Vision resounds in my head.
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art Thou my best thought, by day or by night Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise Thou mine inheritance, now and always Thou and Thou only first in my heart High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art High King of heaven, my victory won May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun Heart of my own heart, whatever befall Still be my vision, O ruler of all
How are you doing my friends? Have you experienced any forms of change this month? How have you confronted it? How have you grown from it?
Let me know in the comments. I love to hear your thoughts. 🙂