You know what’s hard? Friendships. You know what shouldn’t be hard? Friendships. Since moving to Kalamazoo it has been so hard for my husband Trevor and I to find real community. I have learned what kind of community I desire while being on the race. The six people on my team have changed me and the way I look at friendships. My whole squad has. Those fifty-five people have loved me in a way rarely found in this world.
We are so concerned with saving face, with making sure the people around us think we are cool, or smart, or good enough. We are so obsessed with what the people around us are thinking we never go deeper into the relationships we have. We don’t want to be “found out.”
Trevor and I have just finished Scary Close by Donald Miller. We read it with open hearts and pen in hand. We’ve underlined multiple paragraphs and our hearts are better because of this book. I was crying ten pages in because Donald was speaking so close to home. I have lived my life trying to impress the people around me. This is why I get so exhausted being around a large amount of people for a long period of time. I’m exhausted from acting.
“Human love isn’t conditional. No love is conditional.
If love is conditional, it’s just some sort of manipulation masquerading as love.”
I want to be honest with the people around me. I want to be very bad at small talk because I want to know the people I’m talking to. Donald brings up so many personal things that echo my own inner self. He is vulnerable and because he is vulnerable, he allows his readers the same freedom. I’m confident Donald’s book will change something in this world. It’s changed me, and it’s changed my husband.
“If Honesty is the key to intimacy, it means we don’t have to be perfect and,
moreover, we don’t have to pretend to be perfect.”
We concern ourselves with thinking people around us are going to find out we don’t have it all together. We can never let anyone know we don’t always have quiet time in the morning. We can never let anyone know we’ve messed up with our boyfriend once or twice. We can never be honest about anything, because then, somehow, we will be less loveable. These are lies. Lies I’ve believed for some time now.
I’m thankful though, for people like Donald and a select few of my friends—for Trevor, who want honesty and who crave it. I’m thankful for people who will not let me leave without really knowing how I’m doing. I’m thankful I know people who are fighting the lie: the instinct to hide. I don’t want to hide anymore. I want to be known and I want to risk my heart on people who matter and who challenge me.
Do you crave the same thing? Look around you and ask yourself if the people in your life make you a better person. If they don’t, you should branch out and look for people who are not necessarily comfortable but ask you hard questions, and allow your heart to be honest. This world is in need of some breathing room. It’s in need of people being themselves and being themselves unapologetically. You are meant to live this life free from the pressure to be perfect.