Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Needy

Dear Darling,

Physically speaking, it isn’t often I am needy. This past week represents what I hope will continue to be a rare exception. An exhausting weekend set the stage for some invasive bug to ambush my health, and flatten me for what would become the whole rest of the week.

I haven’t been that sick perhaps since I was a small boy.

This, and other life events, have made me realize a few things. First, that I am not the kind who requests people’s kindness. Perhaps I exaggerate my own, but I see in myself that when someone is hurting or unhealthy, when they are needy, I’ll help out. Truthfully, I wanted to feel like those efforts hadn’t gone to waste; I wanted somebody else to take initiative, to do more than post a “feel better” on a Facebook update. No one did. My family bailed me out with food and medicine. It is a sorrowful disappointment to see no friend is there for you when most you need them. Darling, I just couldn’t imagine you would lack the pity or sympathy to leave me alone during that time. “You have to say what you need,” someone said. But I’m not good at dictating my own get-well cards. Nor am I the kind who commands his own sympathy.

Second, I’m not quite as equipped to handle life as I thought. Life has a way of stretching to its full height and making you swallow hard as all your preparations and expectations dwindle away. I suppose that kind of intimidation and inferiority is easy to feel when one spends time around people a full decade ahead in life. Not many people take the path I have, taking time to reinvent themselves. They are a crowd who have basically arrived where they want to in life. They are in their thirties, settled into their careers, and spend their time deciding to what use they should put their disposable income. I don’t have a really nice car or a settled career. I don’t have spare time or income, nor friends to conspire on spending it. I’m too busy with work and school. Naturally, it bequeaths to me a sense of inferiority, a feeling of constant chasing and being out of breath, working harder for less.

I feel this burden of a destiny and a calling, like I will be great and important one day. But the days fly away and leave me in obscurity, since, as you know, I hung up my secret identity earlier this year. Perhaps I may take solace in the knowledge that it is a voluntary exile; once again, one of the most well-respected groups, known nationally and internationally, has approached suggesting I alter my course to work for them. It would be an opportunity to be important, to forge political alliances and carve out a career and reputation for myself. And yet I choose school again. (No one at work would ever believe I’d chosen that way.) Maybe that’s part of what this stage of life is about. To be among the damned, the lost, the forgotten, the undesirable. To be lost, forgotten, overlooked, inconsequential. Look how quickly Joseph was elevated when his time came. And I have so much more to learn than he.

Third, I’m struggling in my evaluation of the lady who I thought could be you. In some ways, I’m learning that loneliness doesn’t always want to die. Sometimes I find myself reverting back to those days of loneliness. But then again, I’m also beginning to notice that the warming of my heart has only been superficial. The inside isn’t thawed. I’m learning to beware my foolish servant’s heart, it can be overdone, that not all service is good. I’m learning that there is a difference between a connection, a criteria and a chemistry, and that perhaps all three are required, and perhaps here not all three are present. That’s hard.

My health is still not fully restored, so these contemplations are being forced through a still-ailing mind. I drove past the creek, and on one of my crazy whims, I pulled over, parked and walked down to the bridge. The moonlight streamed through a shady midnight mist and the stream gurgled its watery lullaby. I don’t know why I thought I’d find answers there. Answers to anything are becoming harder to find, and once again I miss having a sage mentor to talk to about my problems. They say we shouldn’t trust all in the counsel of men, but Christ put on flesh to carry my sins, not for therapy sessions where I pour out my complaints. After a short time absorbing the beauty of the scene, I got back in the car and drove home.

School is getting ready to start back.  And I’m no closer to you, or answers to any of these questions. Just floating in this existence, grimly eyeing the prize at the end of the tunnel, and trying to ignore all the shiny distractions.

I say I’m not needy. But really, I’m quietly needy every day. I hope you’ll recognize and be equipped to handle that. Because sometimes, the saddest people really are the kindest.

Love ever,
Beren

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August 27, 2013 - Posted by | About Me, Loneliness

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