Hello Friends! It’s been a little bit!
On Instagram I’ve started a series #emmasjournalentries, which follows along with photos captioned by random journal entries of my choosing. I started this series because I love reading through my past journal entries. My journal is the only place where I am completely free in my thoughts and words. I can be as angry or stupid or joyful as I want without the criticism or even fear of criticism from others. For someone who studies the art of thoughts, words, and interactions with others, this is especially exhilarating. Of course, for some strange reason, I’ve decided to breach the sacredness of my journal space for just a little while by sharing some of these entries. In a world of fear, I guess I thought it might be fun to share a little bit of raw me in hopes that we might all find a bit of encouragement to be a bit more unafraid of the most free version of ourselves.
So far I’ve only posted a few of these entries on Instagram. Honestly because I’ve come to a halt as I read through and recognized just how stupid and vulnerable many of my scribblings actually are. I started with a bold face and now I’m realizing that this project is more terrifying than I first expected it to be. I’m faced with questions and doubts such as,
“Should I really post this one? I mean, it’s interesting to me because it was a sweet memory, but it’s kind of weird…?”
“Is it unethical for me to edit this? On one hand, it’s my own journal entry, so no one would ever know if I changed it. On the other hand, I feel like that defeats the purpose of what I’m doing. I wanted to express this particular uncut version of myself, but if I cut her, I’m changing things…”
And the one that constantly lurks– “What will people think of me?”
The ultimate questions that dogged me in posting this specific entry came down to that specifically– “If I post this, will people think I have no friends? Will every smile and happy day seem like a charade if I post about my darker moments?”
I decided two things–
1. Other than changing specific names for privacy purposes and possibly cutting out sections I deem inappropriate for the platform, I will not explicitly alter the content. I will also alert the audience to any changes I decide to make.
2. It doesn’t matter what people think of me. Those who seek understanding will ask questions, those who already think they know the answers will continue to live their lives robbed of true stories and I can’t keep striving to control that.
Before jumping in, I think it is important to caveat that I do not intend this to act as a “cry for help” in any way. Sometimes in the midst of pain or raw emotion some perspectives are dramatic and short-sided, especially in writing where I simply cannot express every thought I have at once. The moment itself is captured in a uniquely isolated way as I sought to calm my mind in a moment of panic, which is what I hope to communicate. Without further ado, here’s today’s entry–
I can’t believe how lonely I feel.
After all this time, after all I’ve been through, after all I’ve done…
I’m an RA.
I can relate to almost anyone.
I love Jesus.
I’m at a school of 5,000 mostly awesome people.
and yet I still feel so lonely. I can’t believe it.
I feel caught. I feel stuck.
On one hand I feel angry at myself for not pursuing meaningful relationships better. It’s my fault, ya know. I am very loved. I have numerous great people around here that love me very deeply but I’m so scared of knowing and being known that I don’t pursue people well.
In this world of thoughts and ideas I feel too overwhelmed.
And I know it’s so selfish of me to worry so much about myself that I don’t step into something I know is good— relationships— but I am.
I want to trust God, but I don’t.
I know I shouldn’t be afraid… but I am.
I thought that when I walked into the room from my softball game that my roommate might notice me and say “Hey, how was the game?” to which I would’ve replied,
“Miserable. Just miserable.”
“Why?” she would inquire.
“We were creamed. 22-11.”
“Awh. That sucks. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, ya know it was a big bummer especially for some of our team members who are extremely competitive. But that wasn’t the worst part for me. For me the worst parts were the head games I kept playing with myself. I felt so insecure playing 2nd base. I’ve never really played that position for real since like 8th grade. I typically have always played 1st base, 3rd base, or I was the pitcher. So I was just standing there the whole time trying to fight all the negative thoughts I had about missing the ball or my ugly outfit or anything else that came my way…
Those weren’t even really the worst problems though. The thing I was trying not to think about too much was the REAL insecurity I have which I dug up on the way to the game— my loneliness. I feel so out of place in this group of such good friends where I’m just kind of awkwardly on the outside and I don’t know how to relate. I look at how they interact with each other and I’m just reminded about how lonely I am and how incapable I feel of belonging anywhere. Especially with Sandy. It’s nothing bad about her— quite the contrary actually. She’s just so good at building relationships. She’s become best friends with the girls on her floor and she has community everywhere she goes. She easily lets go of the pains of the past. She rarely takes things personally. Whereas I I feel like a balloon of insecurities who only needed the pinprick of a softball to burst. I know people just well enough to give off the appearance of community but not enough to have real true friends. That’s why I’m here, balling my eyes out so hard that my ears have popped as I sit typing this fake conversation in the bathroom stall as if these were the days of being bullied in middle school.”
I don’t know what she would say to that. Maybe nothing. But she would have heard me, and that would’ve been something.
Instead I laid down on the ground of our bathroom stall sized room with tears on my cheeks and ice packs all over my body, but she didn’t notice me.
I wanted to go to the parking structure to start working on choreographing a dance. Dancing always helps me cope with raw emotion a little bit, but I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing and I felt myself beginning to heave, so I dipped into the bathroom. Once I locked the door of the stall I was beside myself. It’s disgusting how comfortable I am processing my emotion in here as if it’s my second home. Sitting on the ground of the bathroom stall dripping tears and spit and unmentionable amounts of phlegm into the toilet. Most college girls become acquainted with the toilet because they’ve drunken themselves sick.
At least they do it at parties… in community.
I sit alone. It’s just God and I in here.
Maybe it makes sense that depth of emotion would be processed in a bathroom stall, especially when it comes to me and God. He’s the only one that sees me [in here on the regular] and, while I’ve never had the 3rd party perspective to know, I feel like that’s gotta be one of the most ugly sites to see. Just like me right now.
Processing my loneliness, relatively alone. It’s ugly and a little bit hopeless but it is what it is for now.
Lord, please, give me deep community. Please Lord, gift it to me. I know that no community is perfect because no humans are perfect, but I pray that you would gift me with relatively healthy, God-fearing friends and family here in LA that I can be myself with and spend time with often. Lord, grant me a friend who would know me. I want to be known God. I’m scared to be known and I’m scared to know others, but the deep longings of my soul cry out for it nonetheless. I beg of you Lord to satisfy the deep longings of my soul rather than allow my fears to perpetuate. Vanquish my fears with your perfect love and show me your incredibly abounding, steadfast, and unconditional love through other people— Not because I deserve it Lord. I know I don’t deserve it. I know I know I know I know I’ve done nothing to deserve your Love. But I need it God. I honestly have no other appeal to you other than the fact that I really really really really really really really NEED your gracious love to be revealed to me in tremendous ways.
Please show me clear ways to live according to your word. I feel so overwhelmed about what it means to follow you well. I really need your help.
*Names have been changed for privacy purposes.*