I used to have 8234839234 million “friends.” And I put quotation marks around the word “friends” because I use that term so lightly.
College was a dream for me. While the school I went to wasn’t perfect, I was too enamored with it to notice it’s flaws while I was there, so I danced through those four years with a big fat smile on my face. Sure, I had plenty of tough times in college, namely some difficulty adjusting to the academic rigor of the school I went to and a couple of ugly relationships, but otherwise I was the girl who’d hijack the high school guests at your dinner party to convince them to think about applying to the place I loved so much.
But now you’re staring at your computer screen, blinking at phrases like “Travel to every country in the world” and “Find true love,” and you’re not sure where to start.
All these crazy aspirations you’ve thought up, the picture of this amazing life you’ve dreamt about since forever – all of this feels elusive. There are too many invisible steps from where you are now to where you want to go.
Okay, Amanda, I thought to myself. This is like, what? Your third night in a row in bed?
The workday was over and I’d shut myself away with a laptop, some comfort snacks, and a serious determination to finish Insecure on HBO. And I had no intention of getting up. Ever.
Which would have been fine, except that I realized this was becoming a pattern of the week. That bothered me.
I really would have loved to cast away all worries and anxieties about the week to the wind and binge-watched sad documentaries (now you know never to ask me for comforting movie recommendations) until it was way past my bedtime. But I also knew that I’d be really unhappy with myself if I did.
Because while one part of me wanted to spend my third evening of the week this way, there was another part of me that didn’t want to.
I was sitting across from an incredible human being over salads and coffee in a local lunch spot and I was scared to death.
It wasn’t this human’s fault. She was becoming a person I trusted. You know those people you meet at random times in life who make you feel like God cut you from the same cloth? Like your souls share the same threaded design? This was how I felt with her, a person slowly becoming a friend as we decided to share small swatches of our hearts with one another, bit by bit, testing the waters to see if they felt safe.
And they had so far. But things were getting scary for me. Because I did feel safe, and that meant I had to wade a little deeper. I had to share a little more. If I wanted to take this acquaintance-becoming-friend to full-fledged-partnership, I knew I needed to make my way to the deep end, revealing more vulnerable realities I carried around inside clenched fists so nobody could see them.