So Not Ready for Bed

Or for tomorrow (Monday), for that matter, but it's an in-service day, and nearly everyone else in the country has the day off, so at least I'm not dreading the morning commute. (I just have to get up in time to get coffee, 'cos budget cuts mean there won't be any offered, booooooo.)

Things were a bit crazy on Friday (hence the absence of the Friday Five--and changes to that are in the works, to be announced shortly). It was a challenging day managing the library without the other librarian, but I did all right and got to blow off some steam at the biggest faculty happy hour we've had so far this year. (Just ginger ale for me--I had been taking Tylenol.) Still, it got a bit loud for me and I was worried about traffic, so I bailed at 5:00.

I spent Saturday contemplating whether I really liked the new stereo (verdict: no, and I think the display was broken during delivery) and cantoring the vigil Mass on-the-fly, because the mic at the cantor's podium was broken and I had to sing everything from the pulpit. I must have been having a psychic moment, because on the way there I mentioned something to my dad about the priest who is an occasional visitor but whose name I can never remember. . . and sure enough, there he is, signaling me to start Mass (or steal second base, because that's what it looks like). Not to mention about three dozen students from one of the local universities were there, too, so it was a pretty crowded church. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but fortunately everybody seemed to go with the flow. Just all that panic wore me out a bit.

Because I did my drop-in cantoring gig last night and my standing "gig" this morning, I got to hear
one of my favorite readings (Is. 62:1-5) twice.

I guess this reading holds a lot of significance for me because sometimes there are those moments when I feel as if my situation--single, no long term relationship in years, renting for ages and no prospects of owning a home, no permanent job (yet), haven't settled into a group of friends--just screams "forsaken" and "desolate." My life has taken some pretty abrupt turns (some passive, some active) in the past few years, and I often wonder if this slow (re-)build is ever going to get to the point where things aren't constantly shifting underneath my feet.

What makes it worse is I know that people who knew me before the abrupt turns happened are watching--I can feel it. Some of them worry (my parents), some of them distance themselves from me (sibs, extended family, former friends/acquaintances), and some won't shut up about it (yes, that aunt). I try not to worry about what they think, but it's hard to miss their behavior towards me. They see me struggling to work things out my life, and they don't know what to do with that.

On the other hand, there are other people who think I've got it going on--the people at church who tell me I have a lovely voice, the people who think it's remarkable that I went back to school, etc. They compliment me, and for a minute it's all very nice. . . then they walk away and go back to their own lives, their own people.

Seraphic has been asking in one of her sidebar polls, "What do you like least about the single life?"

I personally found the choices lacking, but I couldn't put my finger on the problem until this weekend: Lack of intimacy (in the whole sense of word). "Loneliness" doesn't quite cut it, nor does "Not having anyone to go to events with." About a year ago, a well-meaning married friend told me I "had a lot to offer," and that made me respond with a tearful, "Then- why?"

I couldn't get it all out, but I was trying to ask, "Why isn't anyone interested?"

He must have misunderstood me--to this day, I'm not sure what he thought I was asking--because his response was, "Because at some point in time, someone gave you the message that you were unlovable." Probably true, and probably even truer that the same message often seems to surround me, press in on me, to the point where I'd just rather give up and not try to keep working on these changes in my life that relate to being authentically me and realizing my full potential--and not try being "out there" anymore.

So why is that first reading from today's Mass one of my favorite readings?

Because it doesn't end with "Forsaken" and "Desolate." Or "Unlovable," for that matter.

It states outright that even if I think nobody's interested, the Lord "delights" in me, and the reading ends with promise. Maybe not an immediate resolution, but a promise still: The time is coming when those labels will be "no more."

I don't know exactly what that means, but I have hope.


Dave E. said…
By coincidence, I went to weekly mass on Saturday for the first time in I dare not say how long and heard the same reading. I thought some of the same thoughts too. Keep the faith, Kate.
maggie said…
Oh Kate. I am thinking of you today.
Kate P said…
Dave--Cool! And, yeah, I've simmered down a bit and realized this is my cross (or one of my crosses) to carry for a while.

Maggie--thank you, sweetie. I have just been missing friends so much lately. . . I think this too shall pass.
Ashley said…
<3 This is tough. Prayers and love.

Making friends as an adult is HARD. Period. I wish I had something to offer...
Kate P said…
Ashley, I meant to thank you a few days for your lovely comment. So--thank you!

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