Friday, December 12, 2008


I've been "home" for about twenty-four hours now. It's strange, yesterday I packed up to leave my home to drive home. After 16 months in Bryan/College Station, I am now happy to say that I consider it my home, but that doesn't negate Keller/Fort Worth from also being my home. I guess it's ok for me to have two homes. There's not a rule against that, right? Who says that you must only have one home?

Leaving home to come home is bittersweet. I'm relieved to be done with this past semester (as incredible as it was, maybe a reflection post is due), and I'm thrilled about spending three weeks in this home with family and friends and then two weeks in Europe, but part of me is really going to miss my other home during this time. This past Sunday at church, as we continued to celebrate advent, as my comgroup leaders announced a Christmas party they were hosting, as one of our pastors urged students staying over the holidays to find church members to spend the holidays with, "Don't be lonely, we are here for you, so you don't have to be lonely over the holidays," I found myself wishing that I could be with this community, this church that I am a covenant member of, to celebrate the advent and Christmas season. It was hard to realize that I will be missing 5 Sundays with them. Since I started attending this church, this is probably the longest that I've been away from it. I mentioned this to one of my fellow church members, and she replied, "You can always come back and visit."

I'm not seriously planning on going back to visit during the break, but this internal desire to be back demonstrated itself as stronger that I realized today. This morning, I realized that I forgot my allergy serum at my house, and honestly was looking forward to making a trip back down there to go get it. Of course, I'd go on a Sunday, go to church, spend the night, and drive back Monday morning or afternoon. Unfortunately, my plans were spoiled when my mom asked if there were any friends still in town that were headed up to DFW anytime soon. Naturally, I soon found a friend who picked up my serum today, and we're going to meet up sometime in the next few days.

There was also a part of my spirit that cringed when I heard my pastor say, "You don't have to be lonely because we're here." I wished that he had said this at the beginning of the summer break. This past summer was one of the loneliest seasons in my life, and I wish someone could have prevented that loneliness. My church was there for me, and I certainly spent time with church members, but I still spent a lot of time alone, and I often felt lonely and left out, and I cried many tears just out of pure loneliness, and wished that people would have reached out to me more. I don't know, what happened happened, and one of the church members even encouraged me to spend time alone, and to spend time alone with God, and to be ok with being alone, and I think I learned a lot from that, and maybe would have grown more if I'd just accepted the loneliness instead of trying to fight it kicking and screaming.

And now I'm crying unexpected tears as I write this, and trying to figure out why. Last summer was really hard, and I wish that it had been different, and I wish that I didn't ever have to feel lonely again, but damnit, it seems like loneliness is just part of life, and I hate that. And I hate hearing my pastor say, "You don't have to be lonely," when that feels like a lie, and it feels like something that shouldn't be promised. And now I'm in a different home, and the relationships I have here are more deeply-rooted and older and more mature, but that also makes them more emotionally intense, and perhaps more exhausting, as there are more expectations from old friendships than from new friendships. Maybe it's just been an emotional day on a different front, and the tears are just coming out when I gave them the first opportunity.

I'm excited about these three weeks at home, but also partly nervous. I'm just not sure what to expect, especially with all this time on my hands. Most of my friends who live here work full time now, so what am I going to with my time during the day before Christmas? I brought home at least a dozen books that I may or may not read, books on therapy, books on Christianity, and fiction books that could be really enriching. I have a little bit of schoolwork to accomplish. I will have lots of time with my mom, shopping, and cooking, and seeing movies. I will possibly blog more. I will finalize my plans for my Europe trip. I will upload pictures. I will prepare for my New Year's Party I'm hosting. When I think about it, I suppose that's more than enough to do when I'm not doing scheduled things with friends and family. I suppose I should just soak it up and enjoy it too, because once it's over, it's going to be a while before I get a break like this again.

This isn't at all the post that I thought I would write when I first started writing it, but that's ok. I like it when the words just start flowing and what I'm writing just takes over, as if my fingers are just conduits for whatever should come through me.

I'm home again, but I'm away from home.


The Pensive Poet said...

Can one learn to not feel lonely when alone? It may be one of our most difficult lessons, as humans are naturally so socially-dependent. And I think it's natural for us to be around others. Maybe modern life, with all of its joyous advancements, has also created more alone time in modern people's lives, simply due to the pace of life.

I think being in school can also be a very lonely time. Many people are not married while they are in school (not to say that people are never lonely when they are married) and there is a lot of "mandatory" alone time needed for studying. I find I'm often the loneliest when I'm studying.

Juggling two lives can be confusing and sometimes emotionally draining. But it can also be exciting. Hope you have a wonderful and not too lonely Christmas at "home." And know that if you ever get lonely, I'm just a phone call away. : )

Emily said...

Kelly - I LOVED this post. I could say AMEN to so much of this. I wish I were there so that we could have one of our good "reflecting sessions" together.

I felt exactly the same way after a year in Abilene at New Life Church. It is strange to hear you say the same words I would have said, when actually tomorrow is the last Sunday that New Life will be open... it closes down after that, and I don't know where my home will be when I return to Abilene.

Though I completely understand what your pastor meant by his comment on being lonely (i.e. don't forget you have family around you to be with), I agree with you. You, I think, are commenting on lonliness on a deeper level. I think a lot of people intensify their issues because (like you said about your summer) they cannot accept that they must feel lonely. Doesn't Yalom talk about man's struggle with accepting his ultimate separateness from others... or is that my man Schnarch... I can't remember. However, I agree, we MUST be lonely, but I thank God that we must not always be lonely. It is one of the most awful feelings, especially when you have a lot of other struggles happening, to feel that you have no one walking with you down the path.

Anyway. Amen sister. I look forward to the intense reflecting session we will have when I return.
Love you.

Cara said...

Loneliness sucks. Florida was probably the hardest and loneliest time of my life. I don't talk about it too much; I try to focus on the good. But you're one of the few people I called in tears, feeling like I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

And I know God must be at work because I can look back at this season of my life with gratitude, something I wouldn't be able to do with my own strength. I can be grateful for one lonely season and still kick and scream because of the lonely season I'm in - when will I learn?

It will be my prayer that you will be able to look back at these lonelier seasons in your life and give thanks to God. Give thanks that he was there, that he answered your prayers by bringing you out of your lonely summer. Give thanks that these experiences you have had will only make you a better friend, daughter, and counselor.

I know you know all of this. And I appreciate you honestly sharing your feelings.