Turns out I have a sprained ankle. I woke up this morning in complete pain and just sat on the ground in our room and cried, haha. My pain tolerance is horrible, I’m sure, since I’ve never broken or seriously injured anything and thus I have nothing to compare it to…(anyway, it hurt in my book).
And against my wishes, E convinced me to go to the infamous Tang Center, which I have heard many bad/useless trip/4-hour wait stories about and wanted to avoid at all costs. Luckily, the nurses and doctors there were really nice about explaining everything and getting me what I needed, and so hopefully it’ll only be a week or so before I’m walking more normally again!
Not really sure what God is trying to tell me through this experience, but I think it has something to do with how recklessly I sometimes make decisions, especially health-wise (NST10 is really pounding the fact into me, too), even though my eating habits have been a lot better than they used to in more ways than I can explain right now.
So there’s definitely that, but in the <24 hours that I’ve hurt my ankle, it’s also been a big lesson of allowing people to love me, which I have trouble with. Of course it’s a pride thing…most of my personality problems are, I’ve discovered…but it’s hard. In short: I’m spoiled, a truth I hate confronting. The times I have talked to people about this, usually in passing when someone comments on how nice my camera is or something, the other parties are always very nice about it (and a lot of them relate, strangely enough) and tell me that as long as I’m using what I have well, then I shouldn’t feel so guilty.
But more than material possessions, this translates into how I approaching life in college, too. I hate being thrown under and just being regarded as someone who is comfortable and has no problems; since honestly, my family is not incredibly wealthy or anything—my parents are just very keen on, as they say, “investing in” my so-called talents and are big on providing my brother and I the best opportunities, especially when it comes to our education, even if it would be so much easier for them to have just sent us to state college. It’s what my dad and mom think are important, and they always put us over themselves, so in turn I am very spoiled. And I don’t handle it very well, haha.
Maybe I’d feel a little better if these expenses, the close to $60,000 a year in tuition and whatever, was an easy burden, but it’s not. But people still have that impression of me, since I’m not frequently talking about financial aid, and it’s undeniably pride that makes me uncomfortable when people scoff at my struggles, which are not really struggles in the global scheme of things, which I also have difficulty digesting, since I’d rather be moping at my first-world problems than to sympathize with why other people are jealous or envious of my life and upbringing…
But back on point, this whole complex, something I’ve never really had to deal with in high school but is such a potent presence here, drives me to feel the need to prove myself. To go out of my way to do things for other people, to show them that I really don’t feel entitled to comfort, but that I want to share and be as useful, as helpful as possible. And so I don’t like asking for help, whether it’s with building furniture or cooking or splitting bills or editing essays; don’t like asking to sit in the passenger’s seat even though cars never cease to make me severely nauseous, don’t like talking about this or that that I own; I don’t like people getting to know me too well, or offering me things, lest they end up getting the wrong impression that I have so much and am just trying to mooch off other people, lest they realize that it makes no sense why I had “problems” since I was just one of those bored suburban kids that somehow and rather unnecessarily managed to develop depression, borderline personality disorder, an eating disorder, destructive habits, who is now practically immune to drugs like Advil because she took so many while toying with the idea of overdose over extended periods of time, whatever…since there’s nothing in my life that I can complain about, nothing that I can pit on the unfairness of the world, since I have everything.
Insecurity and pride. Insecurity in myself and other peoples’ views of me…but if I let them love me, if I am vulnerable and honest, I know I will find support and comfort and a sense of peace. But I’m ashamed and want to prove myself as someone other than who I am. I want to be tough when I have nothing to be tough about. I want to erase the thought people have about me when their intuition picks up the fact that I’m living in fair ease. But if I am as grateful as I say I am, if I am thankful and this plays out in my life, than what do I have to be ashamed of?
So, the greatest of these is pride. It’s just me in my own way, refusing to let friends help me, refusing to let people bring me ice packs even though I clearly need them, refusing to let myself be driven, refusing this and that and struggling against everyone, all the people who so evidently care so much about me…
Haha, I don’t know what I’m getting at. I guess just, now that I’m in a position where I personally actually feel like it’s marginally okay to let people kind of take care of me, since I am actually struggling to physically go places and do things…all of this has been really hitting home a lot more than usual. In general I just push my pride out of my mind and justify my independent behavior on the fact that I don’t want to inconvenience people, but this is slowly opening my eyes to the truth of the situation. That I’m also hurting people if I don’t let them help me, that my attempts to preserve a certain image end up affecting those closest to me.
Funny, since N was just telling me this on Monday. He offered to take me grocery shopping since I hadn’t been yet since coming home, and I felt bad since he was taking the effort to drive, so at the store I kept trying to take the shopping cart we were using away and at the end of the trip he kind of just looked at me tiredly and told me that guys don’t like that, that I should just let people do things for me sometimes, that it’s okay and they feel it’s their duty and so rejecting it is actually offensive/hurtful…and then today K pretty frustratingly sent me the following: “Do you realize it’s okay to inconvenience people some times? Especially when its not even inconvenient? Can you just let people love you sometimes?”
And there are hundreds more examples of this, all of which set me off crying in an overwhelm of both guilty and grateful emotion. But maybe that’s what I need, more than allowing people to help me. Developing that perspective of genuine thankfulness…it’s a struggle, but it’s grounding more than myself merely trying to “use what I have well” in justification. Since that’s never enough. But honesty and being in touch with my surroundings, immediate and distant, and the humanity of everything, and not trying so hard but allowing myself to actively engage in being a member of a community like Acts 4 so beautifully portrays…maybe that’s what God’s getting at. Maybe this is what I’m made for, since my self-preservation patterns are ultimately futile, falling apart. Maybe…yes.
I want you to know you’re the first
I want you to know the grace you’re made of
I want you to feel that you’re mine, dear
And I want you to know.