Have you ever had so much work to do that you’re more than overwhelmed and so you just resolve to taking a nap because you have no idea where to begin? Well, that’s not what I’m going to write about. (However, that IS the boat I’m in.) Haha.
Instead of having all the work, I have all the thoughts.
I know, I know…what else is new, Jayna? Not much. If there is one consistent thing in my life, it is the fact that my thoughts are incessant and I love it. It is THE most annoyingly and obnoxiously beautiful thing about myself.
But enough of the preface, let’s get to the story, shall we?
And that’s just it. I want to talk about stories–they’re beautiful. My creative writing class has me thinking through the lens of stories a lot more as of recently.
We’re all storytellers. Each one of us has something to say, and each one of us has something to hear…
Jesus told stories ALL the time, y’all! That was practically his main MO. I mean, that and living by example. But still. 🙂 We know about who our Savior is because of the stories in the Bible. How cool is THAT?!
But back on topic…
I know these three people.
I want to tell a story about each of them.
I want to tell it accurately.
I want to tell it wholly.
I want to tell the story of how I see them.
These three people in particular have told me countless stories. I love that. I’ve heard stories about getting kicked out of soccer games because “break his legs!” was yelled. I’ve heard stories about peeing in places other than a toilet. I’ve heard stories about smooth talking out of too many situations.
I love these stories. I love the ones that are known by many and the ones that are known by few. But I don’t necessarily want to tell their stories. I want to tell a part of my story, the part that these three people are apart of. I’m going to tell the part of my story that explains how I see these three people.
**I’m not going to use their real names, but I’m sure IF they read this they’ll figure out that they’re reading about themselves.**
So, let me tell y’all about muh frannddss…
I’ve known Rose for about a year, but I have only been friends with her for less than 2 & 1/2 months. I met her in the library last year during exam week. We left with another mutual friend to go get dinner and decided that it would be a good idea to play “hot lava” on the way to get food. On our way back, while scaling the wall of a building, an employee of said building started to come after us. Rose ran to safety. I panicked and jumped off of the wall. She and our other friend were completely fine…I messed up my knee and couldn’t run for about a month afterward.
A few months ago, we had a snow day. Rose, along with some other friends, came over and had to stay the night because the weather got so bad. As this unexpected sleepover took place, Rose and I did exactly what you do at sleep overs—stay up way too late. We ended up talking for almost 3 hours all because she asked me, “So, Jayna…what’s something about yourself that not a lot of people know?” Boom. Instant friends.
Rose gets me. She’s taught me to be myself and that I’m not crazy for thinking the things I do. She’s taught me how to be a better friend. The way that we think is nearly identical and it’s both strange and wonderful. Rose is patient with me and one of the best listeners I’ve met. She is extremely intelligent and has the ability and capability to understand when to talk and when not to. She is kind and compassionate and has a huge heart. Her laugh feels like summer and her company is necessary. Her face shares a smile that I can’t help but respond to and she has eyes that shine.
However, a lot of the times they’re a duller glow. Like the remaining embers of a fire, but they’re still lit. But when they’re ablaze, there’s no way not to be happy. When Rose’s eyes open, it’s like eating and freezie-pop on the hottest of days—refreshing. But her eyes, her eyes are something to hold on to. You can tell a lot by looking into them, if you take the time to look. Rose has eyes that have seen things that no one should have had to see, and she has eyes that will one day see things others only dream of being able to see. Her eyes see potential, her eyes see love, her eyes see adventure, her eyes see joy, her eyes see honesty, her eyes…see. Her eyes see so much, but they often don’t see herself. At least, not like I see her.
She’s hidden behind a strong exterior of thorns because Rose is a fighter, she’s a survivor, she’s strong. But the thorns can’t cover up the delicate and the beautiful. The thorns can’t cover up who she is.
I see a painting with colors of blues and greens, oranges and purples. It’s all over the place, but some how breathtakingly mesmerizing. But the painting isn’t finished. The painting is too big for the canvas. It needs to be extended on to another canvas, and another, and probably more after that. Even if I only get to see a fraction of the completed masterpiece that is my dear friend Rose, I consider myself to be more than fortunate.
Next, there’s Chad.
I became friends with Chad roughly around the same time that Rose and I became better friends. I’d known who he was for a bit, but didn’t have a REAL conversation with him until a few months ago. He and several other people came over one night after a “church-esqe” event and we all talked for hours. 5 and 1/2 to be exact. (I blogged about it, actually). In those 5 and 1/2 hours I learned a lot about Chad. Little did I know, I was going to learn a lot more about him and from him. Roughly 2 conversations later & Boom! Instant friends.
We’re very similar, Chad and I (Well, he’s a boy, so that’s different). We have a lot of the same interests and often find ourselves on the same wave length when talking or thinking about things. It doesn’t happen all the time, we definitely disagree on things, but it happens enough to be a little ridiculous. I like it though. It’s an honor to share a wavelength with Chad. I’ve said before that anyone that gets to meet him, and better yet know him, is lucky. And I stand by that. He has a personality that you can sense from yards away. You can sense it because it radiates distances and draws people in, but you can also sense it because he’s usually talking…loudly…and you can’t not hear him. 😉
Chad has an air about him that immediately causes you to feel welcomed when you step into it. He has a sharp tongue, but also one that is doubly tender. He’s more encouraging than he realizes and doesn’t have to fit a mold that’s often cut out for him.
Chad’s taught me not to hide and not to fear stepping off the stage and removing my mask. He’s taught me the importance of wisdom.
But he’s perplexing in a lot of ways. Every time I think I’ve figured out something about Chad, I’m surprised with something new. It doesn’t mitigate my previous find, but only adds to the interestingness of him as a person. And he’s hilarious. If you know me, you know that I laugh…A LOT. It’s one of my favorite things to do. But when I’m with Chad my laughter is incessant. It’s really, really hard to be upset or in a bad mood around him.
But one thing that I truly admire about Chad is the way that he loves and the way that he talks about the people that he loves. Though he is broken and scared, he is strong and so is his love. It’s honest and it’s real. It’s careful and specific. It’s acute and big. Those who have experienced and get to experience that love are like royalty, whether they realize it or not. After one solid conversation with Chad you’d probably agree with me. But after several conversations with him, I resolve it to be completely true. He emits the type of love that makes you feel loved even if he’s not talking about you. It’s the way in which he phrases his sentences, the pace in which he speaks the words of those sentences, and the tone in which they’re delivered.
I think it’s pretty sweet that I get to experience even just a sliver of that, a sliver of who he is now. Because let me tell you, who the Lord is molding Chad to be in the years to come is one heck of a person.
And last but certainly not least, there’s Skye.
I’ve known Skye for almost 3 years, but I didn’t become close to her until this year. We met the first week of freshman year, lived near each other last year, and now she’s literally right around the corner from me. Skye’s friendship is unlike Rose and Chad’s in the sense that it’s one that didn’t happen instantly. Skye and I have a friendship that’s developed over time. It’s one that has history and one that I won’t forget. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a friendship that I didn’t foresee coming, but I’m thankful that it did. Skye and I don’t really have that much in common, though. Skye and I think in opposite ways. We both think a lot, but in the way that my brain loops and curls and repeats, Skye’s bends and dips and keeps moving. In this way, she levels me out. When I go on an overthinking spree, she’s calm. When I’m angry, she’ll make me laugh. When I’m upset, she’s silent and lets me cry because she knows that’s what I need.
When Skye comes into a room, you know it. If the room was dim before Skye’s entrance, it’s much brighter once she’s arrived. She’s wonderful and weird. Cute and quirky. Beautiful and bold. Skye is consistent. We all change around people because of the nature of who we are as humans and because of the society that we live in. But Skye usually stays the same. I can count on Skye to handle and respond to certain situations in a specific way, her way. She won’t respond in a way that’s not true to who she is. She’s dependable in that regard. Skye’s taught me, “if you’re going to make a decision, make it and stand by it.” That’s what she does and I love it.
In the most minute of ways, Skye has been exactly the friend I’ve needed, exactly when I’ve needed her. She is talented and and intelligent. Lovely and sweet. Straight forward and timid. Skye is someone who can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to. Her work ethic is one that I admire and often wish I could emulate.
The potential I see in Skye is vast and I hope that she one day sees it like I do and runs until she can’t run anymore. She doesn’t have to be someone that she’s not, or mimic something she sees, or hide a part of her to get there. Being exactly who she is is who she needs to be. That is the person I can’t wait to say that I’ve known for all of my college career. Skye knows who she is and who she wants to be, but often feels like that’s not enough. But the Lord is growing her and I’ve been so blessed to be a part of that journey.
I’ve said it already, but I am extremely grateful, honored, blessed, and thankful to share friendship with Rose, Chad, and Skye. They are three of my best friends. The parts of their story that I’ve gotten to hear, the parts of their story that I’ve gotten to witness, the parts of their story that I’ve gotten to be a part of are only chapters, if not pages of the epic novel that is to come. It gets me excited thinking about where these 3 will end up one day. I hope and pray that I get to hear about, if not continue to see their plots unfold. I don’t know how to tell them how much they mean to me, nor can I give them reasons why they mean so much to me. I guess I could, but I fee like that’s not enough. So here’s an ounce of a way to say: I love you.
These are just 3 people out of so many in the world—and this isn’t even their full story, it’s not even a full page. Just think about how many stories are being written that need to be read and told, y’all…
[Jesus, thank You for the fact that I get to experience You through friendship. And thank You for sending me the friends that You did, exactly when You did.]