Sunday, November 18, 2007

Depressed? Yeah, but really just homesick.

I was just about to blame LA for how bad I feel right now. I mean, I feel depressed as Hell. I was sitting here, recalling the same feeling from the other time I lived in LA. That lasted all of five weeks. But as I grabbed some napkins to scribble on I remembered another time when I had done that. It wasn't in LA, either. In fact, it was in Portland, one of the places that I thought could solve the problem of feeling like this. The feeling might just be loneliness. But it's a loneliness that is given to me by cities, and it's a loneliness that only gets the chance to settle when I have no connection to a real community. Sure, I have some good relationships here, but that isn't enough. I need actual community, which is far different from just having a few friends – even good ones – or being around a lot of people.

I wrote that last night in this very coffee shop. Then this morning at church I decided to proactively take steps to change things. I introduced myself to a few guys who had been here for music last night, and then went to their small group. It was good. Then I went out to lunch with them. It reminded me a lot of the group of friends I got to interact with when I stayed with my friend Michael in Stanford two years ago. Hopefully I can grow to become an actual part of that community for as long as I'm in Long Beach. Even if I end up back in Oregon next year, it will be good for me to have the connection with people while I'm here, as evidenced by my scribbled realization on that napkin last night. Even with that, though, I still miss the community in which I've invested so much of myself already. I was trying to find the right Wendell Berry quote to show how I feel, but instead I'm going with this one, which shows part of why I feel drawn back home
It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.
I can most certainly learn from those around me here, but there is something much more forceful about learning from people who have already invested in me.

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Your feelings and sentiments almost exactly describe how I felt at WVU. I just wished I would have realized what it was that I was actually feeling before I ended up leaving Medical School.

Hope the group that you are investing in can provide you with a little of that community that you are looking for in the next few months. By the way, I actually am starting to believe that by being a place where we had great community, going to Wheaton makes it harder for awhile in the "real world."