Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Alone Among Friends

Dear Darling,

I don’t know what I’m feeling tonight.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m too much of a girl, sitting around thinking and reflecting on feelings and what they mean, and why aren’t they there, and what it means when they are. And sometimes, they all bunch up together and I don’t know where to go with them. I think the majority of confidence comes from deciding feelings are what they are, and although some may be wrong and have to be dealt with, for the most part there aren’t wrong feelings. They are what they are.

Tonight I worked my shift, once again standing and watching hundreds of beautiful young girls file past me into their seats. More than a few of them look my direction or check me out. Some look me head to toe because of my height. Some of them smile. If the place wasn’t a gathering place for newly-joined servants of Christ, or those who don’t take their faith seriously, I might consider this an excellent place to look for you. I’ve had a few ladies convey interest to me here. But so far, I haven’t found you among them.

Afterwards, a group of them invited me out to dine with them. Having passed on the invitation a few times already due to other obligations, I joined them tonight. I sit listening to their conversations, and realize I’m out of place. They all have their jobs and careers and (for some of them) marriages in place. I see no further than the surface, but from that vantage, their lives are playing out in that orderly, linear fashion everyone dreams about. I’m working my two jobs, going to class, writing and balancing everything else in life. My plans didn’t work out so I have to go back to school.

The one girl looks my age, and she’s already a doctor. She’s married to the engineer. Across from me are two teachers. The next table over, it’s two successful business owners. All of them are young, but their lives appear on track. They’re feeling free to be among friends, and all discussing the frustrations of the lives and careers they’ve chosen that appear to be on track.

Sitting here, they all make me feel like I slept through life’s starting gun and now I’m rushing to catch up on the first few laps while everyone else has settled into a steady jog.

No one really asks me the frustrations I’ve gone through, and in an abundance of caution against arrogance to insert myself into the conversation, I stay quiet. This isn’t my turf anyway, and although I do feel comfortable outside of my turf, if it’s someone else’s I stay quiet for a while and watch.

But put me in another crew of people (like my colleagues back at work) and I have to keep quiet about my moonlighting political and writing work, because then I’d feel ahead of them. A colleague at the job I worked tonight asked me how I became so knowledgeable about the Bible, and I answer the question without realizing he just told me I know a lot more about it than he does. Same thing when we get to talking politics.

All the things I feel I’ve put in enough time to be educated about aren’t the things I want to talk about when I’m relaxing with friends…but I’m too quiet yet to join in the humor, which quickly took a turn to the immature anyway.

I just keep wondering where the people like me are, way ahead in some areas of life, and behind (or at least feeling behind) in others.

I wonder where the people are who care about me just because I exist. This sounds like a morose and depressing contemplation, and it’s not meant to be, but I can’t help but notice in the last week or two, I’ve reached out and made genuine inquiries to more than a dozen friends by text or e-mail. I had lunch with one person, and listened to another confide her struggles with abuse, rape and alcoholism.

I don’t remember hardly any of these people doing what I do; folding their own cares up, setting them aside, and saying “well, enough about me, how are you doing?” Or even better, someone who reaches out without prompting — perish the thought!

Just another extension of wanting to find that elusive peer group that says “we know how you feel, we’re there too, join us.”

You ever notice how people have so many self-portraits on Facebook — or pictures of themselves with friends? Don’t know what it is, but I’m not vain enough to take persistent self-portraits, and I don’t seem to have any of those friends who say “hey come here, quick picture, I’ll upload it and tag us on Facebook!”

Do these thoughts sound scattered and jumbled? They are. I’m okay with that. We all get tired and worn and down sometimes. At least this is just a short-term. It’s back to work and studies tomorrow, and that’s the perfect distraction from all these thoughts.

I can imagine the times when you get a little down and frustrated and annoyed, and your thoughts don’t connect well. Maybe you realize it too: “I’m not making much sense, am I?” “No,” I’ll smile, kissing your forehead. “But it’s alright.”

Maybe tonight, I’ll even make myself believe it’s going to be alright.


September 10, 2012 - Posted by | Loneliness, Sundry Thoughts

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