The Busy Appearance.
March 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
When I was a teenager, I was extremely active in numerous extracurricular activities. Over the four years of high school, I played volleyball, competed on the Speech and Debate team, wrote lyrics and composed music for piano, tried my hand at swing dancing, played on the Junior Varsity basketball team for the school, took tumbling classes, worked backstage on a play, played the piano, sang on a worship team at church (and was encouraged to take voice lessons by said worship team), acted in a mime group, and I’m sure there are even a few things I’m missing.
Throughout the week, I would go to tutoring lessons, Bible studies, and concerts featuring local bands like Noise Ratchet and Logos. The people around me thought I was popular. They thought that I always had something going on (perhaps I did). And they, in turn, kept there distance because of that busy appearance that I put off.
Now don’t get me wrong, I had a small handful of friends that I loved and appreciated. I just never learned how to make plans with people or it felt like I was never all that good at it. That’s what happens when no one ever teaches you how to. What I find interesting though is how popular, busy, and important people labeled me as. I didn’t feel like it. Quite the contrary, I felt the opposite. I felt lonely most days.
As I grew up, went to college, graduated, and attempted to find myself thereafter, I had to figure out the whole “friend thing” myself. I must admit, I’m still not fantastic at it. I love people, although I’m not as extroverted as I was way back when. I’ve toned down a lot and gather my energy when I’m by myself for sure.
During a conversation with a good friend a few weeks ago, I admitted that no one had visited that week and how glad I was that she was there. She was surprised when she heard this, and said,
“I thought you would be busy with friends all week, so I didn’t want to bug you!”
I can share Megan’s sentiment. I think we all do that in a sense. We make assumptions, good or bad, about those around us without really knowing the truth. We find that in ourselves we have fear, doubt, embarrassment, etc. that holds us back from connecting. It’s deception in its fullest form.
Why? Because in community we find ourselves. We receive compassion, love, empathy, acceptance, truth, friendship, and so on. In community our needs are met.
Realizing that I often do the same thing, tell myself that my friends are “busy” and I shouldn’t disturb, I decided to make it a point to continue to text/call/email/Facebook my friends throughout the week. Even if they’ve got stuff going on and don’t have time to catch up, it still feels amazing to hear from those around us. It fulfills the need of community.
Screw the deception of busy appearance and love those around you. It can’t hurt, can it?
Community Discussion: How are you going to put yourself out there (though it be vulnerable) to create community this week?
Photo: Joie (Megan’s daughter) and Audrey…good friends that enjoy connecting.