Yesterday during a lull in one of my graduate classes I took the time to look ahead to see what I would have to do in order to ensure that I graduate when I’m supposed to (which would be May 2016). As I was doing so I found out that I’d have to take four courses next spring, three next summer, and then go into my third year (assuming my application to the third year program is accepted) during which I do two semesters of interning. At this point I’m wondering to myself (1) will I make enough money to cover the summer, and (2) will I be able to earn enough money during my internships to cover costs of living. Basically, realizing these things ruined my whole morning yesterday. Then, as I was pulling onto my street I thought of my friends. I thought of them not in the sense of comparing myself to them and where they’re at in life, but rather I thought of them with a deep sense of gratitude.
As I write this I think of perhaps the only relevant line to come out of the abomination that is Star Wars Episode I. Early on in the film the Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn tells his apprentice that while he should be mindful of the future and what might come to pass, he should do so, “not at the expense of the moment.” And so I, too, turned my attention back to the present and took solace not in the material things I have or my health, but my relationships. I consciously embraced the gratitude I feel towards what I would consider to be four of my closest friends. Because when we are together, while we may talk about the future, what’s really important to us is that moment of simply existing together and living life together.
I hold many of the people in my life with deep appreciation and love, but words fail me when I think on my four closest friends. Each personality is so wholly unique, but still meshes so well with mine, and the only way I can guess how that is possible is because of our shared faith in Christ and how that faith influences the way we love each other. We choose to love each other in each and every moment of being together. They choose to love me of all people despite the moments when I misunderstand something they said or I do some idiosyncrasy that’s probably insanely annoying, like starting a sentence with “LISSEN!” (And, yes, I do say it just like I spelled it), or when I’m angry or frustrated and I haven’t calmed down enough to approach them as warmly as they were expecting. Despite my idiocy and flaws they still choose to love me and be a part of my life, and allow me to be a part of theirs.
Reminding myself of how grateful I am of these friends really put my anxiety about school and the future into perspective, because even if I lost my belongings, my health, failed school, or some other cataclysm happened in my life, I still trust that they’d be there for me. And not only that, but I trust that in being there, they would not lead me astray.
So while the future may be daunting and scary, frustrating and exhausting, I need to remember to keep my perspective fixed on what’s really important in the moment, and that’s striving to love well those people who are in my life here and now.
I wanna have friends
That I can trust
That love me for the man I’ve become
Not the man that I was
And I wanna have friends
That let me be
All alone when being alone is all that I need