Monday, March 29, 2004

What Was I Talking About?

2:15 AM. Only 5 hours and 45 minutes until I get to go back to my room for a three hour nap: Then class till 3, and then, oh happy day! sleep. And what, pray tell, is keeping you from your room at such an hour, you ask? Well, let me just use this one simple and oh-so-informative word: Work. It has been so crazy! I've been here just a little over two hours, and its already turned my headache into a bit of a migraine. Just moving my head hurts, my neck is so stiff and sore. At least I slept for more of this day than I was awake.

This was the first time I have missed church in over a month. Believe it or not, I am rather disappointed in this fact. I suppose one might assert that my reasons for not going are understandable... still. I was talking on the phone with Nathan until after 3:30, so I was quite tired and I knew I had to work tonight. Also, Tara was spending the night with her parents in a hotel, and I don't really like going to church by myself. You see, I don't have a church here in Springfield, only one of the churches I have been to in the two months was even in this city. I've been to a church in Branson, a church in Tarkio, my church at home twice, and last week I went to a Catholic church (The only non-AG one in the list) called Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. (A little side note: Every mass I have ever been to has been conducted by an Irish priest. Okay, I've only been to mass three times in my memory, but still!)

This leads into my next rabbit trail: I have discovered that I like liturgy. Despite Professor Murphy's constant jokes about (read: really horrible puns) about "popery" (potpourri) and being "too pooped to pope" I have come to realize that tradition isn't necessarily a bad thing. Rising for scripture and prayer are respectful to God, and congregational responses, if you really mean what you are saying, are no different than reciting the sinner's prayer along with new believers in your home church. I really enjoyed my visit to St Elizabeth, and might go again. Is that shocking?

Perhaps it is obvious that I have spent most of this weekend thinking, realizing things about myself, my life... both good and bad. I don't like to spend this much time on introspection, and I certainly don't like to make a habit of speaking of it, but perhaps this particular time ought to be the exception. Most of the really important things that happen to me go on inside my own head anyway.

I think I have always believed that there is more to life than single extraordinary moments where everything changes. Those moments exist, and they are important, but equally important is the process that leads to each of them. I believe it was Thoreau who wrote the essay expounding the gifts and virtues of Nature, and to me the Nature he describes is God. One of those gifts Nature gives us is the ability to learn. It is the process. This is just an incredible thought to me! God has gifted us with the ability to learn new things, not just from our mistakes but also by making connections in the things we see around us. "This is so and this is so, so these two things together mean that this is so" And no matter how many times one hears or reads such a thing, until you experience it in your own life it doesn't really mean anything. I suppose all this is my crazy preface to this: Falling in love isn't something that happens in an instant.

Yes, this is my revelation that has floored me to the point where I have to write about it. It isn't just falling in love, it applies to every relationship, any kind of love. Because there are different kinds of love, but the its the things that they have in common that case us to use one word for them. This is simply the context in which I made my initial observation, and the more I have thought about it the more I have realized that this applies to so many more things in my life.

So to talk about that all-important process that led up to my sudden revelation. I have not had the chance to spend a lot of time with Nathan. Time, distance, money: All of these things have set themselves as obstacles. We have, in fact, never had a real date. Never even (technically) been alone... And you know what? I'm okay with that. It isn't easy, but somehow I think that if we can stick this out, we are going to be that much stronger for it. We talk on the phone or online (depending if he is in Nebraska or Missouri), we see each other occasionally (probably every two or three months), and we write honest-to-goodness letters. We have an agreement to be open and honest with each other no matter what, and it works for us. We are learning to trust each other and getting to know one another better. Being apart has forced us to be more conscious of the need for communication. So we talk.. a lot. Nathan knows that he can ask me anything at all and expect an honest answer, and I know that same about him. (You should know by now that I can't complete a simple point with out a detailed illustration ;-)) All that to say this: Everytime I talk to him, everytime I see his name appear in my buddy list, everytime I see my name written in his hand I realize again how very special he is to me. That I love him isn't even a question! You all know (I hope) that I love people very quickly, and I think I have loved him from the very first time I met him. The falling in love part is the process. I don't even really know what that means, falling in love, but I do know that every time I talk to him I care a little more. That the more I know him the more I realize that I can trust him, and I am not afraid that he is going to hurt me or break my heart. Its a process, this falling in love thing, and while that "one moment" hasn't come, maybe it doesn't have to.

I wonder if you can know how difficult it is for me to share all this? Maybe it doesn't even make sense (It IS 3:25 AM now) but I know how many people read this on a regular basis. And to be honest, yes, sometimes I am afraid of what you think. But sometimes I think you have to take that extra step and just tell people what's going on inside your head. So. Any comments, my peoples?

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