Are we friends? I hope we are.
I started this blog a while ago with the intention of creating a community. And in some ways, I have. I’ve created a place where I feel comfortable sharing my life when words bubble up inside of me that need to be said. I know that there’s a place now where I can share the hardships I’m facing in a way that maybe people can better understand. Okay–so maybe I have an audience…but not so much a community?
Being chronically ill is isolating, y’all. Even before COVID forced me to further close my circle, it was hard for me to make friends. College kids want to go out and do things. They want to go to parties and get drunk. They want to stay up late. They want to walk places instead of spending what little money they have on Ubers. They want to eat pizza.
And on another level completely, most people my age just haven’t lived as much life as I have. I know very few other 20 year olds who spent high school fighting for their life instead of making stupid teenage mistakes. I watch my brother go to school every day, and I think about how it may as well be a different building than the one I occasionally walked the halls of. He’s an athlete, and everyone knows his name. He goes to parties every weekend. His Instagram posts get over a thousand likes. And I wonder what it would be like to never have to feel alone.
And now in virtual learning, I’m thriving on an academic level. I haven’t missed a single class, and we’re five weeks into the semester. That’s huge. That’s amazing. This is the first time I’ve done that since elementary school.
Socially? There’s a girl in my Policy class who I would totally want to sit next to and talk to after class. How do we do that with Zoom? Should I send her an email and be like, “Hey! I know this is weird, but you’re the person I’d want to sit with in class, but clearly times are strange. Here’s my phone number instead”?? Is that what I’m supposed to do?
I need people. I need them. But I am painfully shy. I am so introverted. I am so afraid of judgement. Of being abandoned by yet another person who thinks they can handle my baggage and then gets scared off. Of someone thinking I’m cool and then realizing I’m flakey. Of one more human calling me “crazy” for the disabilities and mental illnesses that are outside of my control.
That’s why I started this blog, I think. Really. Ultimately. Yes, I love that I have been able to share my life with so many of you who needed or wanted to better understand. Yes, I love that so many old friends and family members who are a little too distant to talk regularly are now back in the loop. But I need some community, guys. So I’m hitting my little “wave” button. This is me waving. Share my blog with people you know who are in similar situations. With chronically ill friends. With student friends. With young adult friends. With dog mom friends. With lonely friends. I’m here for it.
Love you, see you, bye,
4 thoughts on “The One With the Wave”
Hugs to you, Emma. Wish we could just hang out and watch movies together! So good to get to know you this summer. Love your blogs, AKA your heart poured out. 1C2R Libby
Yes, send an email to the girl in public policy. Suggest a phone call or Zoom chat.
I am introverted, too, so I feel that fear. One reason I like studying people professionally is that I have a legitimate reason to start a conversation with other people when doing research, whereas in real life I struggle to engage without an invitation.
But if there is one thing I wish I could tell my younger introverted self it would be this: there is no reason to fear the judgment of others. It says more about them and their journey than it does about you and yours. That is one of the most important of Jesus’ lessons, to my mind. We can learn from what other people do and say; we learn about them, their point of view, or even about how they perceive us. But that doesn’t define us and it has no power over us that we don’t give it that power ourselves. If we choose not to let their judgment hurt us, then we no longer have to be guarded. And if we are not in a guarded, defensive posture anymore, then we can be abundantly compassionate, even for those who judge us.
I’m not saying it’s a piece of cake, but it can be liberating, and I wish I could have learned it sooner. It may not be your struggle, but it was mine. I share it in that spirit, because I wish someone could have told me.
Forever and always – waving back! Sending love to you and your community! Welcome!
Emma, you are so brave to share your story!
I have known you since you were 5 yrs old and you are a special young lady!
Such an old soul even back then.
I am proud of you and know that God has a plan for you that will be unique and special just like you!💗💗