Long road trips always allow primetime for life reflections, forcing your mind to explore the many caves that are ignored in the hustle of everyday life. It has been a while since I had a more grammar heavy reflective post, so paired with my recent road trip I figured it as about time. Visiting my college town and some friends who are deeply immersed in college world, for this first time I very distinctly recognized that I am not in any life stage remotely similar to that part of my past. My 6 month pregnant full time working, married self has changed. I tend to be in denial that we are all creatures of constant adaptation and change. Life seems so much easier to blanket particular traits or themes across your path and weave that we have always been "the same" from age 5 to 75. Not really sure when this consistency became something I particularly strived for, but I had loads of time to observe and dwell on the fact that I am indeed different. The same but different. and that I love where I am even more than that college or high school or elementary stage of life. and that is okay. how life should be.
One area that is the most obvious where my life has shifted drastically is friendships. Once I heard or read, that being creatures of limited resources, we are in constant friction between deep and wide in our relationships. I have always been a wide girl - meaning more specifically that I value having many, many friendships. Diverse relationships with all sorts of people that can mold and teach and grow through each life phase. It's like when you walk into a library and become overwhelmed by the reality that you will never have all the time to read and appreciate every novel. But you can sure try. College is heroin for my type of personality. People are everywhere. Searching for friends. Searching for themselves. I had ample free time and my body was flexible enough to withstand crazy schedules, so I grew rather wide in relationships. Unfortunately, the trade off is most often depth in those types of friendships. Not always, but often. I have ended up with a beautiful amount of solid relationships that have continued to bloom and pursue over the past 1.5 years post graduation and I am utterly thankful! My path never would have crossed with many of these girls if I hadn't grown my width of relationships and just popped into their friend groups.
Post graduation life has been amazing! Having rewarding work, marriage, friendships and established schedules hands down beats any other phase of life. Most people spread horror stories of the real world. I, on the other hand, drink deeply of this season and am so very happy to have withstood the many awkward phases of time to be in this one. Moving back to my hometown has bittersweet moments. With a very limited time to juggle between work and investing in living life with my spouse/best friend, I became very aware very quickly that I don't have much time to spend with friends or family. The little time I do have can be split into smaller and smaller portions the more I overcommit and become determined on being everyone's bff, or I can learn to say no. Have we mentioned that I am literally a relationship hog and a slow learner?? Hence, I chose the former for the first half of our life here. Determined to maintain the quantity of commitments. Around Christmas, I realized this rhythm was not sustainable. I also conveniently ended up pregnant around this time which, wouldn't you know, forces your body to slow down MAJORLY. Jesus was just making sure there was money where my mouth was, by physically forcing my stubborn self to utterly acknowledge the weight of my limits and begin cultivating deeper relationships... and let me tell you, I am a huge convert! Most weeks, I spend 50% of my free time with my wicked cool parents and the other 50% investing in a smaller, but more quality filled group of friends. Who knows what the rest of my life will look like, but I am grateful for this season.
Thankfully, we are not asked to mold our lives blindly with no significant examples. Jesus paved the way for us, demonstrating the power of deep but the necessity of wide. He chose 12. 12 dudes that he lived out everyday dinners and conversations and morning walks and baby registry nightmares. Furthermore, of those 12 he had a more accountable ring of 3. However, he didn't just establish this click and ignore the masses. He spent days and days with groups of hundreds, smaller houses filled with groups and traveling to surrounding families and friends. I am in no way even near striking a healthy balance, but I would like to think I am getting closer. As my waistline is getting wider with this bundle of happy baby boy, my relationships are wandering into deeper realms.
See what I mean, 17 hours alone with my own mind and quality musical lyrics can make a girl think! I am working harder at pausing to reflect in the moment rather than purely after the fact. So here we are.