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weekend wonder : not a hermit

July 2, 2011

There was a time in the not too distant past when I was the antithesis of the person I am today. Or more accurately, I was on a temporary hiatus from being the person I’ve always been. For a solid year I took a vacation from associating with the world at large. This was due to a variety of factors, but the moral of the story is that I assumed I would permanently function as a recluse. I was outwardly gregarious – I had friends at work, got together with people for coffee every now and again, talked on the phone with friends from high school – but I wasn’t really into it. My idea of a perfect weekend was leaving work on Friday and not seeing another human until I went back into the office on Monday. That was my identity: hermit girl.

So when I recently applied to be a tenant at an (unbelievably beautiful stone cottage) apartment and was rejected on the grounds of not being enough of a hermit…I realized things had changed.

The landlady called. “I think we should talk about the dynamics of the living arrangement here so that we don’t waste each other’s time.”

No problem; I figured this would be smooth sailing. Because frankly, I rock as a tenant. I’m clean, quiet, low-maintenance, and have an affinity for making and sharing baked goods. It’s a win on all sides.

“Ok! That sounds great!”

“So,” landlady continued, “we’re a settled group. There are two other single ladies who live in the cottage and we don’t like commotion. Essentially, we’re looking for someone who wants to live alone in peace, undisturbed.”

SCORE. Perfect fit. I’m a single lady! I like to live in peace! I’m your tenant!

“That shouldn’t be a problem,” I said, “I’m definitely not going to be having wild parties anytime soon.”

“It’s not about parties,” she interrupted. “Do you have friends?”

“Well…yes. I have a great group of friends in Rochester.”

“Will they ever come to visit you?”

“Yes, probably…”

“So what you’re saying is, you would be having people over? Because what we’re looking for is someone who is basically a hermit. And you don’t seem to fit that description.”

I’ve never been so happy to be rejected. Because she’s right. I’m not a hermit. It was a slow transition that went unnoticed at times and begrudgingly agreed to at others, but over the past few years my social calendar began to get fuller and fuller. And as a result, I’ve never been more relationally blessed than I am right now, with more true friends than I can count on both hands, feet, and appendages in general. I can frequently be spotted out and about with a variety of people, fully enjoying every minute. THIS is who I am. Connected. Invested. Filled with gratitude for my life and the people who fill it with so much joy.

“I’m not Josie Grosie anymore!”

It was true for Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed and it’s true for me now. I’m not hermit girl anymore! It was something I first realized on the road trip and relearned again yesterday. My socially awkward moments are frequent and I still enjoy regular times of solitude. Those are parts of who I am too. But I no longer relish in the thought of people-free weekends. I don’t avoid social gatherings like the plague. I don’t hide.

I’m sharing this sappy and sentimental moment with all of you on the internet for two reasons. 1: Because God did a really wonderful thing in my life and I can’t help but share it. This is my rooftop and I want to shout the following: THINGS CAN CHANGE! You can be a different person, or in my case, a truer version of the person you are in the first place. Nothing is impossible for God. I would have thought a hermit-free existence for me would be nothing short of a water-into-wine miracle. But not for God. Changing lives is what he does. It’s humbling and mind-blowing what he can do with an inch of willingness. He’ll take your inch and turn it into miles and miles of new, beautiful, transformational growth!

And 2: Because my friends (all of you! everywhere!) really are incredible. And you deserve a shout out too! Thanks for making my life so wonderfully full.

So for this special holiday long weekend wonder, enjoy your friends and family. People are God’s greatest gift, and the best part of life.

True story.

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