Went to a book club tonight – my first ever, actually.
Good things: Talking about Yaa Gyasi’s book Homegoing. Talking about the parallels between the stories of African Americans in the United States across generations – stories from the past that mirror stories from the present and the danger and continued oppression they experience today. Choosing women we relate to the most while also feeling like I can’t actually say that I relate to any of their stories which are much more traumatic than my life.
Difficult things: Still feeling like people don’t understand me. I just want to know what people are assuming about me, so maybe I can try to overcome that in the process of relationship, making more accurate first impressions…not to be manipulative, but to start from a better place, rather than having to make up for lost ground. Or maybe everyone else is seeing what’s real and I’m actually wrong about myself…probably not. There’s a lot going on in my mind constantly. Incessantly.
We had an apt discussion of idols in my “covenant group” which is a small group consisting of some of the folks in my degree program’s fellowship. I struggle with approval much more than I’ve ever realized (or cared to admit).
Another thing that I’ve been thinking about since…basically my first class of seminary:
Some people – probably all people, at different times – hold knowledge of subjects like they hold knowledge of their own personal lives…like it’s private knowledge. In a way that generally assumes the ignorance of others. People ask questions and make comments and give knowing nods that suggest their idea of the breadth of their knowledge. I want to let them know that they aren’t the first or the last people to have knowledge of any given subject. But of course this impulse comes to me because I want to feel intelligent and informed, and to be known as such…especially when I truly care about the subject.
But I think it’s so arrogant to approach others as if you have the information, and they’ve never heard it before. Better to assume everyone is on the same level until proven otherwise. I’ve struggled to enjoy the company here, for these reasons. I’m making assumptions, and probably exaggerated ones, but it’s hard to turn off my radar when I’m usually very perceptive about people. I wish I could perceive my own arrogance in the moment, or understand when others perceive me that way and correct it.
Maybe this is why I have so many fictional friends in books and shows. Or why I cling so tightly to the truest friends in my life that live hours away but still take the time to talk on the phone and share real stories and share real love. It’s easy to forget that even these things aren’t supposed to be my comfort. My identity is rooted in Christ. It is not conditioned upon my relationships or my knowledge. I’m forgetful.
With each post, I want to recommend one thing! Until I run out of things, I guess… 🙂 Things like TV shows, podcasts, articles, books, etc. Tonight, I recommend the NPR Politics Podcast. Only TRULY relevant (in its current form) for several more days, but also truly wonderful and I want it to continue forever. Political reporters of various emphases/strengths get together and have a jolly time discussing the most recent political news – covering what we want to hear about in an intentionally nonpartisan way. Loving it.