These are three separate topics so don’t expect any overlap with them. I’ve just been thinking about these things recently and I didn’t want to write multiple posts.
When I was on my way home from the airport on Wednesday, I noticed something my mom said. For whatever reason, she was annoyed with my dad (that tends to happen sometimes after 28 years of marriage) and she was giving him the cold shoulder. My sister and I were in the back whispering about it when something came up. I don’t know if one of us said this or if I was just thinking it but I thought of how childish my mom was being. Then I thought about it again and realized how silly I was to think that.
I don’t think I was silly because she wasn’t being childish or because childishness isn’t a thing, I just think it’s silly because what we call childishness is really just humanishness. There are ways in which we can be childish (1 Corinthians 13:11) but you’ll note those ways all speak to our mental capacities. He spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. But there is no mention of acting like a child.
I find when I call someone childish, I really just mean that they aren’t acting how I think they should act or they’re being knowingly irritable. I’m not saying children don’t do these things and I’m not saying that this behavior is good, I just don’t think it’s fair to call it childish. It’s childish to think that Santa exists; it’s human-ish to purposely hurt another person. Neither is a good thing to do but let’s not claim all of our bad qualities are just a matter of temporary immaturity.
Communication is difficult but abundantly important. That’s something I always knew but never really felt the need to thoughtfully and deliberately enact. But I’m realizing now that communication, or lack thereof, has played a big role in a lot of my relationships recently and not always in a good way. I’ll use my parents as another example.
I was talking to them recently about some things I was interested in and the conversation just became really overwhelming and stressful. It felt like I was being told to both embrace this time of uncertainty in my life and figure out what I want to do. It felt like I was getting conflicting messages. So when I finally got a chance to talk to my brother about all the stuff, I explained that feeling to him. But I couldn’t help recognizing that a lot of the conflicting talk had actually started with an unclear statement from me.
Because I had never said what I meant and because I was still unwilling to be completely honest and forthcoming I couldn’t stand talking to my parents about the issue of life after college. In fact, my whole body wanted to avoid it completely by just being away from them and the issue with hopes that it would just blow over. It wouldn’t and I knew that. I guess that means next week we’ll be having a long conversation to sort all this stuff out.
Side bar: I realized that I don’t like having these long conversations, much to my detriment. I wonder how much easier things would be if I were more willing to have these conversations, be totally honest and candid, and just go from there. That would be much easier than my current tactics.
Sitting in the field tonight, watching the fireworks reminded me of how much people want to be a part of something. Tonight was the last night of reunions so I did a bunch of stuff today. I mostly stayed in my room yesterday and didn’t participate in the festivities so I figured I should at least do something today. I did the P-rade, a brunch, and the fireworks and all three things were really fun but also really exhausting. At the end of the P-rade and fireworks we sang “Old Nassau”, one of my fave things to do, and everyone was happy and yelling and drunk. It was memorable. I thought about how, singing that song, you feel like something. You feel connected. I mean, that’s what tradition is.
I would write a few more paragraphs about how that thought led me to think about Christianity and the Catholic church but I’m too sleepy for that and I trust your mind can make the same leap mine did. It’ll be a fun night…of sleep.