One of the wonderful things for me here has been that I've very quickly developed some great friendships. One of my new friends picked me up for lunch today.
I've mentioned before my need to be asked questions. Some of that is because it's hard for me to be sad in front of someone else. It usually happens only if someone asks a question that probes into my quiet, dark, underground river of sorrow. I barely want to visit it on my own, I certainly don't take tour groups down there.
This friend, Smart Girl, is very good at questions.
At one point she mentioned, "When you talk about your vision for your future it seems separate from an 'us' vision with your husband?" I hadn't even thought about it before. In some ways, because he's reached a point of survival, he doesn't really think in terms of goals, dreams or visions. If I'm going to think about those, it's within the context of what our life together has become, but isn't something we usually discuss much together.
Other questions (all asked from a place of understanding, quiet listening, and caring):
"What do you think the Lord is trying to reach in you?"
"Usually when the Lord closes a door, He opens something else. Do you think you're just staring at the closed door? What do you think He's leading you toward?"
"What frustrates you most about your life at this point?"
Let's just say it was a bit embarrassing to keep tearing up at a sidewalk cafe!
In return I asked her lots of questions. I love finding out about people's lives. Some might see this as a bit 'nosey', but my intention is not to pry, just to discover.
I asked her about the fact that, despite being an only child with no cousins, she didn't seem spoiled.
"Oh, that's cause no one noticed me. When I was 9 they gave me a credit card, and when I was 11, I started running away to Europe."
"What?!! As in getting on a plane alone [nod] and actually getting there? [nod] Alone?! [nod] For how long?"
"I would usually go for a week."
Total shock in my voice, "And just stay in a hotel and walk around?"
"What happened when you came home?"
"Nothing. They didn't say anything. It was like I never left."
"And they just paid off the bill?"
"You never got molested or bothered by anyone there?"
"No. Total miracle. I remember wandering around alone in Paris at 3 a.m. drunk and no one messed with me."
All of a sudden my ghetto fabulous childhood filled with roaches, foodstamps and hovering parents seemed like the wealthiest childhood I could have ever had.