It’s two days to my birthday and I have begun to feel the lull and bleh that normally plagues me this time of the year except with more intensity. But I’ve decided to shake it off and I guess writing this is one of the ways I’ve chosen to do so. Last year was crazy and i can’t begin to recall everything so I’m just going to talk about where I am now.
So deep feeling has had me in shambles for a few months now. I have had highs and lows and emotional fits I can’t control. And I cherish control. I prided myself on being the hard girl that cried maybe once a year. “It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply,” I remember the first time I heard about the concept of deep feeling without getting paralysed by it and my first thought was I want to be that. But that hasn’t been the case, I’ve had many consecutive miserable days and control seems elusive. But it’s not even about being able to switch off my emotions even though I want that. It’s about learning emotional control, emotional intelligence and getting in the mind space where deep feeling can inspire me without paralysing me.
Moreover, these regular fits of deep feeling reinforced what had been becoming glaring to me over the last few months. I was emotionally isolated and a few months after writing this article about it, it’s still the same. The feeling was only reinforced when I tried opening up to the one person. You know, I wrote in my last piece that maybe I had found the one person but I can’t help feel that that’s further from the truth. But one thing remains the same I won’t stop trying to cultivate true community and intimacy. I always want to prioritise softness and vulnerability in relationships whether that option is available to me or not.
Since the buzzword is isolation, let’s talk about another kind of isolation. The kind that is perfectly described in Love In Colour, “knowing anything she replied would only ever make Osun’s eyes shadow in impatience, would cause her to retreat quickly again when her cerebral soulfulness wasn’t matched.” Intellectual Isolation. I’ve had people call me a nerd because they can’t follow a conversation or simply because they can’t be deeply interested in anything, everything is surface level to them. However, the internet is an incredible place to find people that a niche-focused. Oftentimes, it’s joining a community that talks about things you’re interested in. From Twitter to Slack to Telegram to Circle, there are so many platforms for building communities. If you’re lucky and intentional, you can develop a personal relationship. And I can’t think of a better foundation than passionate learning.
Speaking of communities, let’s talk about the friendship obsession. I think this year was the year I truly realized the value of relationships. I became tired of surface level and unreciprocated shit. I wanted intentionality. I have talked about this on almost every platform and I think I’ve made my stance pretty clear. I want intimacy and deep connection. I want a relationship where I can at least pull down my walls if only a little bit. “Real intimacy is a sacred experience. It never exposes its secret trust and belonging to the voyeuristic eye of neon culture. Real intimacy of the soul, and the soul is reserved.”- John O’Donohue. I just want a safe person.
In the midst of this, I’ve been fortunate enough to be placed in communities where I can develop meaningful relationships. I remember being on a call recently with my mentorship group and I couldn’t believe how open I was being. I felt safe and poured into. That’s the one time I didn’t regret opening up.
Saudade is a nostalgic longing to be near again to something or someone that is distant, or that has been loved and then lost, “the love the remains”. This is something that has been on my mind not total loss of the relationship but a part of it. There are definite moments that happen in a relationship that can change it forever, you might still have that relationship but you begin to miss what was. I started missing the simpler and more open times, rereading old messages and remembering our favourite moments. But the past is the past and you can’t restore a relationship exactly how it was no matter how painful the loss may be. You can only embrace growth and new memories.
My exploration of relationships has taught me the importance of grace and softness. Especially after my experience with the one person, being loved at my worst. I think we all get into that period or season where we’re not our favourite versions of ourselves and the actions we take are blurry especially if they hurt people. I think about this a lot, how I messed up, didn’t acknowledge it and I was still forgiven. How the person chose to give me the benefit of the doubt and still love the core of who I am. When I think about that kind of unconditional love, I’m reminded of God whose love is better and lighter.
This year was such a transformative year for my faith and relationship with God. I got the best foundation: learning about my identity in Christ and the new covenant. It’s been a roller coaster: hearing from God, deconstruction, spiritual discernment, knowing times and seasons and receiving instructions. There are still things to work on but I know God is holding my hand as I walk through every situation and even struggle.
I’m not really big on predicting things. But I pray this new year is one of obtaining the promise, doing more Great Commission things, finally experiencing intimacy in friendships and walking in everything I want in my writing and intellectual life.