There’s this fad going around right now that we have no right to ask favors from those who love us, including family and dear friends. Characters in movies, animes, books seem oh-so-pitiful and lovable when they are just sad in their own heads, putting on a show for everyone else.
As much as possible, I fight to sense when friends are putting on a show. And I deliberately do my very best to get them to talk about it, sometimes to cry about it. Like with a Budo-Sister, Natsu we call her. She’s an artist to her core – one of those people you want to shoot because they’re so good they make everything around them look like chicken scratch. There really were tell-tale signs that she was hurting about something, and when she accidentally almost stepped on some of her artwork and just kicked it away, I was certain about it. Because, unless in a supremely terrible mood, artists, writers, anyone who creates – we do not destroy our own works without care.
Being told nothing when your friends are hurting – it hurts me. At a certain point in friendship, I should know, because then the relationship is just as nothing, if they don’t trust my love. Never mind their pride, never mind the fad, never mind if I can do absolutely nothing but be there for them – this is “need-to-know basis” at the relational level.
That being said, that fad is wildly attractive to me, because my pride goes through the roof. But I only know I’m in that mode when I stop writing, in my diary or otherwise…when I spend more time watching tv series than working…when I wander about the house doing practically nothing productive but eating.
I’ve been in that mode, recently. Lots of reasons. First is, why am I still stuck doing my thesis when the majority of my batchmates, including my best friend, are done and graduated? Secondly, why does my family feel like the only one on earth that God forgot? Thirdly, why do I have to pay this stupid residency fee to my university because I’m over-time? (I understand why, but annoyance is rarely properly backed with reason. At least in my case).
So I follow the fad – not my usual rebellious self – and shut up about my problems. I don’t want to burden my family. I don’t want to burden my friends. What I really want to do is go into a comfortable hole and hide there. That or win the lottery.
Boy, is that fad a relationship-killer. People can tell when you are shutting them out, or shutting up. And if they love you correctly, they’ll poke and pry and share the load.
My family is like that. And last night, my discipleship leader and another dear friend were like that.
Because, this is a thank-you note, of sorts. A thank-you to those who are bound and determined that my pain gets shared and carried by everyone. A thank-you to those who say “to marshmallow with fads”, and create their own. A thank-you to those who remind me that God didn’t forget your family, and never has. A thank-you to those who believe in me and my really annoying thesis even more than I do. A thank-you to those who share the burden, freely, and to those who give, sacrificially or otherwise.
I don’t test as a Lannister for nothing – I will pay my debts, and keep them in my heart until I can. For now, this is my promissory note. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have rallied myself for the last stretch thanks to you. I love you. God bless you.