The hardest part of college for me was always the going back to it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like school, I loved school. It wasn’t that I didn’t have friends, I did and they were amazingly wonderful people. It wasn’t that I had bad roommates, really awful food, or difficult situations with which to deal. The reason it was hard to start a new school year was the feeling I felt at the beginning of the new semester. It would be exciting, but I had this fear that I would be forgotten. With new classes, I didn’t know when my friends would be going to lunch or supper and I would have to establish a new routine for myself. The fears weren’t particularly overwhelming, but they were real. My heart would feel like it was caged in a bit the first few days of school. Contrary to my natural introverted temperament, the first days of the semester I didn’t want to be alone. Being alone made me a bit anxious and nervous.
The fear always faded quickly. Within the week, I would study alone in my room and be completely fine with it. I would call up a friend and we would go get lunch. It was all fine. As the years of college passed, the fear was less and less prevalent, although always subtly present.
I felt that little fear again when I moved into my first new home post-college. My parents and sister helped me move the stuff into the house and then they drove home. None of my housemates were home and for a little while, I began to question why I moved. I felt isolated and alone. That fear of being alone that is strangely so frightening to a natural introvert was again present.
I would like to say that since that point I’ve never again felt this disconcerting anxiety. That, of course, would not be true. It was the inspiration for this post. At times I am able to feel overlooked when I come home and can’t find someone to talk to, when everyone I seem to know has plans each night of the week, or when I see other people’s lives moving forward while I think mine is standing still. There is just enough truth in each of these events to make my little mind wonder if I’m not being forgotten or overlooked. It is then that the anxious feeling returns and I don’t want to be alone.
So this time, when it happened, I laid on my bed and I asked the Lord what was going on in my heart. I asked Him to tell me the truth because my heart is getting tangled in half-truths and full-lies whispered by the evil one. The anxiety I feel at times, isn’t desired by God. He desires peace for me. He desires not a spirit of comparison, but a spirit that is directed toward His unique love for me.
The fears that plague our heart are not foolish, but they are not necessary. God desires to hear about these troubles and aid us in our response toward them. Through that conversation, our fears and anxiety will necessarily subside and peace will reign.
“Dear young people, like the first disciples, follow Jesus! Do not be afraid to draw near to Him, to cross the threshold of His dwelling, to speak to Him face to face, as you talk with a friend.” -St. John Paul II