C picked me up in her white car and we hugged for longer than appropriate as usual, not caring that the cold winds were biting at our faces. it felt like summer just yesterday, much like the last time we saw each other. winter weather lately has been like that wishy-washy friend you can’t quite trust.
i’ve missed her. i’ve missed her out-of-breath laugh, her unrelenting almost uncomfortable eye contact when she’s listening, her carefully chosen words when she speaks, her awkwardness that doesn’t exist that she swears does.
she asked me where we should eat and what we should do and i gave her that look i always do. the you-know-i-don’t-make-decisions look and she asked me why i still haven’t fixed that and i told her i’ll for sure work on it this year and i laughed, knowing that i’ve said this every year; knowing that the resolutions i don’t fulfill are the ones i say out loud.
we decided on chick-fil-a as usual. it’s funny that we always act like we have options in this small town yet always end up at the same place. we sat in a booth facing each other. we didn’t know where to start so we continued to talk about resolutions. she told me she doesn’t make resolutions but she’d like to sleep more because everything follows after consistent sleep: better skin, clearer thinking.
i told her i haven’t had an actual resolution in a while, but i’ve been trying something a little different that i read on a blog. i’ve been picking words – one word – to live by throughout the year. a mantra i apply to all aspects of my life. a mantra i breathe. last year’s word was “intentional”. i was intentional in my relationships with others. i intentionally loved. i intentionally kept in touch. intentionally made sure i was present in my listening, intentionally a good friend. i intentionally acknowledged God. intentionally acknowledged my emotions and as a result i finally vacuumed that rug under which i sweep all my problems. i was honest with myself when i was not okay and i was intentional on feeling better. i told her this year my year is “seek”. I want to
seek spaces of love and healing
seek God’s presence
seek opportunities to make my future self proud
seek challenge because there hasn’t been a challenge that hasn’t lead to growth
seek spaces that i and my ideas can create valuable change.
she thought that was beautiful and i rolled my eyes because she gives me too much credit.
then we talked about school. she’s finally declared her religious studies major and education minor. she told of her classes on different religions like Buddhism and Hinduism and how beautiful the similarities are – how beautiful it is that we have different beliefs yet we all intersect at the same point — at love. i asked her whether she thinks maybe we’re all talking about the same thing. she said no, i said i do, and i admired that we don’t always agree yet we’re always on the same page.
i told her i’m still not quite sure what i’m studying yet and it seems like everyone else has their life sorted out and i’m just here. and she told me no one really has their life together, not even our parents; that we’ll always be figuring it out, that it’s about finding peace in the figuring out of things, much like figuring out God. she told me being a religious studies major has been hard because now she’s learning God from an educational standpoint which makes it hard to see God as something real and something emotional when she has to go to class and learn God as a concept. i think that’s the realest thing i’ve ever heard. i think that’s the plague of college they don’t tell you about: it’s easy to get caught up in the politics of things; it’s easy to forget to look at the bigger picture, easy to forget you’re merely a pixel. to forget to humble yourself and simply feel — because sometimes all the answers aren’t in textbooks. in fact, they almost never are.
at this point my fries and tenders arrived and her nuggets and fries with a handful of honey packets (just like she asked for), and she did that weird thing where she uses honey instead of sauce. i smiled — she’s still the same.