I video called a best friend of mine today. I’ve seen her only for a few hours since we finished high school last June, but we have the beautiful kind of friendship where it doesn’t really matter how much we talk, we both know the other is there for us.
As we were talking about how our lives are going- as you do- we got onto the subject of the ‘big picture’.
She mentioned how hard it is with social media, and only seeing the sunshine-side of everybody’s lives, when in actual fact all you’re glimpsing is a snapshot.
This friend goes to an extremely prestigious university, full of wealth glamorous balls and ancient traditions. However, at the time of our call she was working her butt off on an essay and so swamped with work that she’s done little but study in the library this week. Big picture. She knows she’s fortunate to be there, she loves her time there, but it comes at the price of having an experience somewhat removed from reality.
When I blog, I generally include tales of days out, sights seen, mountains climbed- all nice, romantic stuff. But the majority of my time this year has not been spent in that fashion at all.
That is not to say I have not enjoyed it, but I am not on a million-pound’s worth spending and travelling trip full of white sands and five star restaurants. Much of my time has been spent at a desk, or cutting out kid’s crafts.
This year is about growing as a person, maturing and stepping into who God’s made me to be, and that isn’t always pretty or easy or fun. Some of it’s been downright tough.
The big picture teaches you that life isn’t one big joyous moment. Certainly there will be times when your life seems like paradise, and you can hardly believe it’s true, and this is a true blessing. However there will be tough times ahead, at some point.
This sounds pessimistic but in honesty it’s beautiful. The endurance gained in the difficult, and even just in the mundane, teach you to grow your own moments of joy and to hold onto what is really precious.
People are really precious. Really really precious.
This year it has been amazing to meet and engage with so many different men and women from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. Staying in one place for an extended time and doing life- especially the monotonous bits- teaches you far more about humanity and yourself than you could ever realise.