I haven’t been praying as much as I’ve wanted to lately. I wrote a while ago that I thought prayer was my way of being helpful and doing God’s work. The problem with that is that it isn’t always that satisfying. I want to do meaningful things. It’s been hard for me to figure out what is meaningful and what is doable. A big part of it is that I think too hard. I’m not saying prayer isn’t meaningful, it’s just that it feels like I need to be doing something more.
I’m always trying to figure out ways to “save the world.” Yesterday I went to the movies with a friend of mine. I met her through a program called Project TEAM; the project that I’ve been working on through Boston University. At first I was her peer mentor, which meant I would call her once a week and help her review the things she was learning in the weekly sessions. As a part of Project TEAM, each trainee gets to go on a field trip. Since Alycia lives super close to my house I offered to give her a ride home from her field trip. I don’t remember how we ended up talking about college, but somehow on the ride home I ended up offering to show her around Gordon. At some point we exchanged phone numbers, and when Project TEAM was over we started hanging out anyway.
Now Alycia is on the development panel with myself and a few other people, and she’s going to be a peer mentor herself. When I first met her, it didn’t really seem like she was thinking about college at all, but she’s started talking about it the past couple times we’ve hung out. I don’t know if this is just coincidence or if it had anything to do with what I did, but I’m just really proud of her, and I’m glad we’re friends.
Something I have trouble with is coming out of my shell and just being nice. I agonize over exactly what to say in so many situations and I often end up just saying nothing and avoiding the situation. I’m trying to get better at that, and I think I am getting better at it. Today I did something that I normally have trouble with. If a friend is having trouble with something, I usually don’t ask them to talk about it. I just try to make them comfortable enough so they can just tell me when/if they want to. I almost never explicitly ask if something is wrong (I know, kind of a problem). My friends usually do tell me when something is wrong, which I’m glad for, but as I said, I almost never simply come out and ask, partly because I’m worried it will annoy them.
The thing is, there have been so many times where I have held something in and never told anyone it was bothering me simply because no one asked if something was wrong. I’m not even good at hiding it either. I made a step in the right direction today, though. One of my friends posted on their blog that they were dealing with some difficult stuff, so I sent her a text just saying that I was available to talk if she wanted to. Just doing that one little nice thing felt good. I need to change and do more of that because I think that kind of thing brings me the satisfaction that I’m looking for. I think I’m just rather impatient because on one level, I want deep, loving relationships with people, but on another level I just want to “fix” everyone, which may mean not getting as close to a lot of people. I think to get the satisfaction out of life that I want I need to ignore the second level urge because it’s unrealistic and impersonal. It’s a very hard urge to ignore, though.
In church today, the deacon talked about how we, like John the Baptist should pave the way for Jesus’ coming (in terms of Christmas and in general). It made real concrete sense in my mind today; I need to be doing Jesus’ work while he’s not here in the flesh. I know that when I get past my own awkwardness that good things happen, so I need to work on being less of a perfectionist. I need to worry a lot less about embarrassing myself because in the long run, what is a little embarrassment going to cost me? Part of it is also that I’m worried that if I don’t say things perfectly that people will take what I’m trying to say the wrong way. Again, it would be easy enough to apologize or correct myself. It really doesn’t matter all that much.
I could do a whole heck of a lot more good if I just stop being a perfectionist. I guess I’m always a little afraid of doing nice things too, because I’m sort of a pessimist in that I always wonder what will come of it in the end. I guess the point isn’t the outcome, but the intention behind it. Instead of worrying about the outcome, I should just plant a seed and hope for the best. That’s really how life works anyway.
Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!
P.S., I’m sure I’ll be writing again between now and then anyway, but I just wanted to say happy Christmas to all the peeps who read my blog. 🙂