coming home.

27 Jun
Yesterday, while chatting with seminary friends following jD’s ordination in Rochester, one asked me what it was like to be living at home again.  I kinda stumbled over my answer.  I mean, it’s good but it’s also not any surprise to any person that moving home after being away for so long would be tough.  There are certainly perks to being home – living in the country, seeing family, free rent, etc.  Definitely perks.  I love seeing cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents on a nearly daily basis or being able to call them up and see who is up for any kind of adventure.  I love my hammock and having time to read.  A full-sized kitchen in which to cook and bake.  Time to sew and a yard in which to frolic.  It’s been fun living with Mom and Em, though it seems we’re all too scattered to really be together too much.  I’m still waiting for a repeat Friday night of Modern Family and chinese take-out …
See – perks.  But then today I woke up extremely angry and frustrated about how things have changed.  This isn’t in regards to family or the home I’m living in but rather in regards to friends.  My high school friends and I have remained in touch and close since we graduated nine years ago.  Now that I’ve returned, five of us live in southern WI/northern IL, plus some boy friends who live close too.  I moved home and thought that this would be great.  I could hang out and reconnect with my long lost friends that I haven’t lived near in so many years.
It has kind of worked.  I see a small number of these friends and talk to them on a weekly basis.  [The three Ks – Krissy, Kim, and Kay.]  But then there are those friends that seem to have grown distant from me without knowledge or my permission!  Why do they exclusively hang out with other people, not reply to my facebook messages, and create events to which I’m not invited?
I understand it’s simply a fact of life.  There are friends for certain seasons, and in other seasons, those friendships change and grow distant.  I think what frustrates me the most is that I didn’t get the memo.  There was no breaking point in the friendship.  No betrayal or disagreement.  It just shifted.  I’m a connected person [Connectedness!  I just remembered – that’s another one of my StrengthsFinder themes!] and will hang onto a friendship, trying to stay in touch and connected to those people in all times and despite distances.  When that connection isn’t reciprocated, I guess I become frustrated and sad.    
I know that I have changed too.  Maybe some of these friends don’t want to hang out with a pastor [I seriously – and sadly – wonder if this isn’t part of it …], or maybe they just have found more meaningful relationships in my absence.  But still, isn’t it the truth that even after you’ve been gone for so long, you expect to return to a home that was the same as when you left?  I suppose that’s what we hope for, yet know it can never be the case.  I guess I have two more months to adjust to this kind of home and make the most of it, connecting with those people who want to connect with me and filling my days with the things that bring me joy. 
Up next?  Party planning with Kim for a dog-themed birthday party.  I’m thinking these and cupcakes with fondant bones on top … I have a whole pinterest board assigned to this party and can’t wait to begin!  [For those who are curious: The party is not for an actual dog; I would not be a party planning fool for a dog’s party.  That’s weird, people.  It is for Kim’s husband, which I realize, does not sound any better.  Apparently Mike didn’t want a party dedicated to him so the party is dedicated to their yellow lab, Bella, while really, it’s for Mike.  There will be a bouncy house.]

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