a blog written by Jennifer Lynn
I went through a bit of a creative slump near the end of summer. Which for a creative person like myself, sucks. It’s really frustrating. You know you’re a writer. You know you have the ability to create. The creative wheels haven’t stopped turning. They’re always turning. Always ideas forming. That part doesn’t shut down. It’s the putting said thoughts down into written form that was the problem. I had lots to say, I just didn’t know how to say it. I perhaps also lacked the discipline, temporarily, to sit down and hash it out. It also could have been major burn out. I’ve been pretty exhausted lately. Not the kind that can be cured from a good nights sleep. The kind that’s had life throw you one thing after another without time to breathe in between and now you just need to win a million dollars, quit everything and disappear for 6 months to recuperate.
All of this to say, I needed a creative nudge to get me back in the saddle, as they say. I thought that perhaps a change of scenery would do the trick. So I packed up my laptop and drove to a local “hot spot” where it seems other people have latched on to this concept as well. I went where the people are. Which, as a natural introvert (not to mention a self made hermit over the last couple of years) was a huge step for me. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
The change of scenery has actually been really helpful. For my blogging that is. I still prefer to write songs in the privacy of my own home. It requires a different process. But writing blogs such as this is now a bit easier once I get out of the house and sit at my usual spot now and let the ideas flow.
On one of my latest visits, I was writing away and because I was one of the few people that didn’t have earphones in (it distracts me from writing), I overheard a brief conversation. It was involuntary eavesdropping. It’s not my fault people talk loud. To my right was a group of elderly woman, about 8-ish or so. They were just finishing up their time together and had started to get up from the table when one of them said, “We have to do this more often!” The other women agreed, with each of them commenting how much they enjoyed getting together to catch up etc. My immediate first thought was, how sweet it was that they were still making it a priority of getting together. All these years later and they were still doing life together. It’s such a rare thing these days to do life with the same people and it made me feel a bit nostalgic or hopeful or…I don’t know. Something warm and fuzzy…or whatever.
My best friend and I always joke about how we want to be little old ladies together, in our rocking chairs with our knitting needles, just chatting away. In a few months we’ll be celebrating 19 YEARS of friendship together! That’s absolutely mind boggling to me that we’ve done that much life together. That’s longer than most relationships these days. (Trust me, I would know!) And we’ve been through a lifetime together already. I can’t wait for another 20 years. When someone knows the real you and sticks around, that’s your crew. For life.
It’s always been difficult for me to meet new people and having to start friendships or relationships from scratch. It can be hard to find people that accept you for who you are, let alone people that will have your back for 20 years or more. My bestie and I are different in a lot of ways but the key component to our lasting relationship in my opinion is built on trust, having each others back no matter what and accepting each others weirdness. And don’t knock that last part. Listen, this life is hard enough as it is. If you can’t let loose and be your weird self around somebody, it’s not gonna work. Laughter is necessary in doing life together. With anyone. Period.
Listening to those older ladies sitting together and laughing, drinking their coffee and catching up on life, I couldn’t help but wonder what journey their friendship had led them on. What had they gone through together over that many years. What joys or heartbreaks had they experienced with each other? How many late night phone calls had been made or perhaps even hand written letters sent back and forth when they had a moment between dinners and kids and husbands or careers? This newer generation is so terrified of getting older I think sometimes we don’t realize what a privilege it is to grow old with the same people.
My circle of friends is very small. And I used to think that there was something wrong with that. With social media now a days it’s easy to see how busy other people are. Hanging out with so many different people on any given day. Girls weekends or a night out with the boys. Couples going away together or friends just grabbing a bite to eat between busy schedules. My life isn’t quite as full in that sense. My social calendar isn’t exactly bursting at the seams. Which can seem lonely in comparison to some. Ah, there’s that word though right? Comparison. Why do we do that?
For starters, we have to keep reminding ourselves that most people on social media are showing you their highlight reel, not the REAL deal. Not the mundane, lonely moments. And we all have those. Another thing to keep in mind is something that I’ve told myself for years and I’ve even told my kids this as well, I’d rather have four quarters than a hundred pennies. What does that mean? It means that it’s better to have four friends in your life who are loyal to the core, have your back, are trustworthy, and you can be yourself around rather than having one hundred acquaintances who are only with you so long as life is going good. But the minute it doesn’t benefit them to be affiliated with you anymore, they bail.
Even Jesus’ own life here on earth is a perfect example of this. He only had 12 close friends. And one of them ended up betraying him in the end. The crowds came and went. One minute they loved Him, the next they deserted Him. But it only took those 12 closest to Him to literally change the world! (Well, eleven, after the betrayer guy did his thing.) It’s not about having an “entourage”. It’s about having those few around you that you can count on when trouble comes. That accept you for who you are. That you can say anything to. That speak life into you and your purpose, even when you’re going through an “off” season.
Crowds come and go, but having longevity and purpose with a chosen solid, few that are for you? No amount of “popularity” can beat that. Especially in a world that can be so cold. Keep your focus on the ones closest to you that keep the fire going long after the rest of them are gone.