Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm a little too old for an identity crisis, aren't I?

We went to an interesting lecture last night-- at least it finished up being interesting, but the beginning was rather obscure and almost intellectual to the point of display rather than communication. Afterwards there was a wine reception, a bit similar to the wine reception they had to welcome all the new graduate and post graduate students. And there is an abundance of rumpled plaid, corduroy, and serious contemplative expressions among my new acquaintance.

I met a woman at our Wednesday playgroup whose husband works in a hotel in Brighton. We were chatting along just fine until she asked what my husband did. When I told her he was getting his PhD in history at the university, she actually physically drew back and said "Well, you'll be living in a mansion when he's done, eh?" I tried to explain that professors don't actually make a lot of money, but our conversation was stiff and quickly died away after that.

Wine and cheese? Conversations about rhetorical redescription and paradistole?

Who am I? I'm not one of those snobby turtleneck-wearing intellectuals, am I? To be honest with you, I'm not terribly fond of them. They tend to be very proud and self-important, boring others and making them feel small with their learned nearly unintelligible theories. Are other people going to be intimidated and uncomfortable because Brian has his DPhil for the rest of our lives? Is this going to be a stumbling block to building real relationships and sincere communication with others? I certainly hope not.

No one, including myself, seems to know where exactly I fit. A mommy on campus? It's a little weird. I don't quite fit in with the normal people who live in town and I don't quite fit in with the intellectual crowd-- and I'm not sure I want to either, though they've all been nice to me.

I think I may have met my first kindred spirit this week at our church's playgroup, which I plan on making that part of my weekly routine. Her name is Katy and she and her husband attend our church. She runs the toddler group along with the pastor's wife even though her kids are my age. She gave me a few much needed hugs yesterday and told me that she was praying for me every day. I hadn't said anything to her about being homesick, but she knew I was and she was so welcoming and kind. What a blessing. At least I know there is one place I always belong all around the world. With my brothers and sisters in Christ.

PS- Have I mentioned how thankful I am for the internet? It really enables us to keep up with the other side of the world. Thanks to everyone who has dropped by with an encouraging comment!


Anonymous said...

Dear Jordan,

I have accidentally stumbled across your blog, and have been reading through your posts,--I hope you don't mind. I just want to say that I am so happy for you, that your move to Brighton has turned out well, that your little son is hale n' healthy, that your husband is doing very well at the university, and especially, that you are doing well yourself, despite every day's ups and downs. I have been thinking about you, and I do pray that the Lord might continually bless and keep you and yours.

In Christ,
Lucy Lewis

Susan said...

Oh Jordan, I really miss you when I read this. A couple thoughts. First: Aren't God's people wonderful? Second, I'm so glad you have that kindred spirit.

Then, "display rather than communication" was brilliantly put.

Then, the most incongrous picture I can conjure up is of Brian being one of those snobbish intellectualoids. You know the ones. Brian will cease being Brian when he becomes one. I won't be holding my breath...

Then, take forewarning and comfort from our family. How many times have we used the word "intimidating." Yes. I'm sure you'll be seen as intimidating to a lot of people. And yes, it will probably be a stumbling block for your whole life. Some of those people in time will change their minds when they get to know you. Some won't: But you won't miss them. They won't miss you. But even though our family is "intimidating," you know better than anyone what rich friendships and fellowship we do have. It's there. Don't be anxious about that. Just keep being your very real, realistic, unassuming selves and you will be just fine. Your identity won't ever be defined by turtlenecks or paradistole. You have a bigger identity than that and I'm sure it will always keep you from being one of "those" people.

As I said before, I won't be holding my breath waiting for y'all to become as you fear.

Gah! I'm returning you the favor of the long comments. ;)

Jordan said...

Lucy! Hello! I hope that you and your family are doing well. I don't mind at all if you read my blog, though I must say it is rather whiny at the moment. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and prayers. Feel free to stop by this site anytime. Give my love to your Mom!

Jordan said...


Feel free to "blog" in my comments anytime. :)

Thanks for your thoughts. This really wasn't something I had anticipated or prepared my mind for, so it really took my by surprise when I realized people were perceiving me differently now. You know what a huge man-pleasing streak I have in me. It is such a struggle for me to fear God rather than man.

Brian said a lot of similar things to me... we're both taking comfort and (well me anyway) a little timidity from your family's experiences. There have been times when ya'll have got beat up a bit. Maybe God is trying to teach me to finally stop caring so much about what other people think.

I love your family SO much and we really want to have a home like theirs. You have no idea how many times we've said "we want to be like Cal and Debby to the people we meet here". So we're striving to be hospitable, and I'm trying to be a faithful keeper at home. We're having two girls over tonight for dinner. (Two is our limit as we have two extra chairs and two extra place settings. Though I'm toying with the idea of trying to borrow more for Thanksgiving.)

Anyway, Sus, thanks. I love you and I miss you too. In the words of yourself :): You TOTALLY rock!

heidi jo said...

I'm so thankful the Lord led you to other believers who you could relate with more - who understood loneliness and sought to love on you simply and sweetly. :)

I too have found the internet to be such a lifeline when far from family - I'm thankful you have this option right now!