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Love is a bubbling over!

My senior year in high school I had two best friends.  I met them the summer before my senior year and they had been friends with each other since elementary school.  We did all kinds of crazy stuff together.  At church camp we got our names put on the backs of our camp t-shirts.  Kinda.  Our last names were Grace, Hand, and Owen.  So the backs of our shirts said Graceful, Handful, and Owenful.  We thought we were so clever!

One of my most favorite things about blogging is all the friends I’ve made

Up until 2002, I lived in somewhat of a bubble. I was raised Southern Baptist by awesome parents. I went to public schools my whole life, but I was somewhat naive when it came to other people. I think I assumed that most people’s families were similar to mine. I went to a Christian college where my bubble continued to envelope me. I got married right out of college and settled down to have kids. The bubble was ever present. Life in the bubble was comfortable. Easy. I did teach school for awhile and met a few people who lived life outside that bubble. I didn’t understand them, and they scared me.  The few times my faith or sexuality was challenged, I wrapped myself tighter in that bubble.  My world-view was small and safe.

In 2002, we moved overseas. I tried to carry my bubble with me. There were many, many people who were different than me, but I did find a rather large group of people who fit quite nicely into my bubble. But then something happened. I got tired of life completely in the bubble. I was meeting people outside of the bubble naturally, and I found myself challenged by our differences. They didn’t scare me.  I wanted to understand them.  I would take trips outside my bubble and every time I stepped back into the bubble, the fit was a little tighter.  A little more uncomfortable.  I was beginning to think like them.

This same philosophy also carried over to my blogging buddies. My very first blog started off as private. Only people I gave the blog address to could see it. In November of 2007, I made the big change from private blog to public blog. I stepped out of that bubble completely.  Between November 2007 and the summer of 2009, my life changed dramatically, and I couldn’t really blog about it.  There were way too many people from that bubble reading that old blog.  I needed a place to explore my thoughts without having to worry about what they would think.  That’s when I started this blog.  I have had many people I don’t know read my blog. Some have even come back for a second or third visit.  Despite our political, religious, cultural, and sexual orientation differences we have become friends, and that doesn’t scare me.

After all this time blogging, I now know that I may not always agree with those I meet.  My beliefs may be completely different from theirs. I may not always understand where they are coming from. But I can listen to them. I can love them. I can be their friend. And the great thing is I want to.  I know I’ll never fit in that bubble again, but I’ve learned something about that place.  It was a necessary part of the process of becoming me.  I want to live a life full of compassion and love.  For everyone.  Those still inside their own bubbles and those who’ve managed to make it out.

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2 responses »

  1. You are awesome and a great example of a wonderful blogger and (wait for it…) person!

    Reply
  2. What a wonderful post! I agree. We don’t have to be the same as everyone we’re friends with. In fact, most of my friends are very different from me. I find it interesting that we have different likes and dislikes. We don’t need to be carbon copies of each other to respect one another and share conversation or good times. An open mind and open heart are all that is needed! 🙂 So glad to know you, Natalie.

    Reply

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