This weekend, I have a whole lot of friends converging in a city in North Carolina for a guided writing retreat. I decided to start writing this post right now because I’ve exhausted all the Instagram and facebook posts tagged #hopewriters and #guidedwritingretreat. I’m so, so excited for my friends. I went last year, and for so many reasons, the trip was one huge highlight after another. This year, I just couldn’t make the logistics work, mostly because of a certain small somebody who still nurses in the wee hours at 15 months.
I miss them. Yes, I’m bummed about the content I’ll be missing and the chance to plan and execute a real writing day. But “real writing days” aren’t a thing in my life right now, so I can get the highlights from friends later. What I miss is being with my people in real life. I have friends. Good ones. I talk to them a lot. But writing is kind of a quirky hobby and there just aren’t that many people I see day-to-day who understand the draw and the struggles of sharing your soul to bring light and hope to those few readers who need it.
I had a post in my head already written. “Failing at FOMO.” I was going to talk about combating the Fear Of Missing Out with celebration. And that’s a legit thing to do. Celebrating with friends really does combat jealousy, and I figured it should probably do the same for FOMO.
What I’m learning instead, as I attempt it for real, is, first of all, I’m not experiencing FOMO. There’s no fear here, just an ache at missing connection with some friends. Secondly, celebration doesn’t actually cancel out the sadness that I’m missing my people. They coexist. This shouldn’t be a surprise. I feel like by now I should be pretty good with holding contradictory emotions, but somehow I didn’t see it coming. I really thought I was going to be able to beat it and be able to experience only the joy. I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS! YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A GREAT TIME! TAKE NOTES AND TELL ME ABOUT IT LATER! I’M WATCHING FOR PICTURES!!!
All of that’s there, but the ache remains.
And that’s okay. Just like I was so thankful at the beginning of the month for a friendship worth missing when Kat moved away, I’m grateful for these relationships that are good and real and worth showing up for.
So, to my lovely friends in Charlotte right now… God bless you. I pray this time fills your souls. I’m so very excited for you and I’m cheering for you and can’t wait to hear all about it. Hug each others’ necks for me, okay?
And I miss you. I wish I could be there.
This post is part of a 31-day series called “Grace in Failure.” Other posts from the series can be found here.