But all this business has made me realize something: I like being busy again.
Let me backtrack. I've always been the type of girl who did lost of things. In school, there were extracurriculars on top of classes (from the age of six), and not because they looked good for college but because I genuinely wanted to do them. This continued straight through to the end of college; the reason I never worked during school (high school or college) was admittedly partly because I wasn't desperate for the money, but primarily it was because I had no time to spare for work!
And I've always loved it that way. When I came home from college the first two summers, I was always overwhelmed with the sheer number of people to catch up with! It never ceased to amaze me that, though four months of summer always seemed like such a long time, rarely did I manage to meet with the same person twice in that span. It was delightful, to remain constantly in contact with people, but it did become tiring.
The summer after my junior year of college, I finally got it through my thick skull that I really didn't have to hang out with every single person I'd ever been close to, no matter how much I'd liked them, and that it was okay to just relax at home. The same summer, I began to discover group hangout times outside of our regularly scheduled Spirit and Truth Fridays, and really threw myself into the community, looking forward to spending more than just a summer here, after one last year at college.
Well, when I came back after graduation I had a lot of busy Fridays, and I wasn't into the swing of things with the S&T crowd. Some nearby college friends (ok, mostly R) would put events on my social calendar, but that was as much an extension of college as were my weekends away visiting college friends and my frequent phone calls to college friends. It just seemed like a long summer until I actually visited my college in October - at which point I was bowled over with a physical reminder of all the fun and good times I was missing by being away at home.
So, in the throes of transition, I resolved to hold on to the primary lifeline I had (aside from the Lord, of course. He alone kept me sane through this. Ok, Him and my two weekly accountability partners, who were gifts from Him anyway) and insert myself into the S&T community, since it was clearly the college community I'd been missing. But most of my longstanding friends from S&T were now married with children (no pun intended - notice the lack of link), and forging relationships with new people was more difficult, though possible. The bigger problem, however, is that I was waking up at 6am every weekday to work a 10hr shift answering phones at a nearby engineering firm. That may not seem like a problem until you realize that S&T Standard Time means things almost never start before 8pm, and seldom end before 2am. And I've always been a person who needs a full night's sleep to function well.
I had this blog during these times of transition, and longer readers may remember some posts that address such issues. I hate to use the clothing example, because it is so clichéd for me, but it is generally emblematic of my interior, so I shall. In October I found a pair of jeans that fit me comfortably, for the first time in my life, and in subsequent months I took great comfort and relief in the ability to just wear jeans and some shirt when I was going out places.
I think it was February, however, when the tide really began to turn. Suddenly, throwing together awesome, crazy outfits was no longer a burden but an exciting privilege. I was going out of my way to see people, even at the expense of time and gas. Others even remarked that something seemed to have changed about me in a positive way, though they couldn't quite put their finger on it.
It was Easter, however, that's really put me back on the map. Since the beginning of the feast of our Lord's resurrection from the dead, I truly do feel like a new woman. I kid you not: every single day since the Triduum began, I have been blessed with some sort of group hangout or cantaloupe** or intellectual feast or... I've been out of my house every single night since Easter. And I already only have one free night in the next two weeks. And this is on top of the long-distance phone calls upon which I've been keeping up just as much as when I did nothing with my social life. (Admittedly, I am getting less sleep, but I've been functioning well even without a controlled substance to stimulate my poor body.)
In short: Claire is back, in all her crazy glory! I'm done hiding in my little cave; I'm going out all the time! No longer do I need to just sit quietly in the light and be filled with the Lord's presence; now I am so full of His love and His joy that I can't help but pass it along to others in concrete ways while still receiving it from Him!
Happy Easter, folks. Enjoy it while it lasts.
*Apologies to those who don't get the HTML markup in my title bar. It approximately translates to "On an End to Transition."
**Term stolen from Agape household. Refers to two women (or two men) on what might otherwise be called a date, save for the utter lack of romantic implications.