Went to a graduation party today. One of my friends from church school and academy got his degree in biophysics. What a smarty pants! But apparently biophysics is a little less "mathy" than what you would typically think of with physics. It honestly sounds pretty neat. He wants to specialize in something like "health biophysics" or whatever it's called-- basically protecting people from radiation. Sounds like a worthy ambition. Can't say I've ever aspired to it myself, but... it takes all kinds, right?

The thing was... the other attendees were almost exclusively people from church, so I got the inevitable, "Oh, I haven't seen you in a while! Where have you been?"

Ah, well, you see, I was in Idaho...

"Oh, that's neat. So how is school coming along? Where are you going to school again? When are you leaving?"

Well, actually... I'm staying here. Going to the community college.

"Really? That's wonderful! I'm so glad! We look forward to having you around!"

And that's where I got super non-committal. And stayed that way.

Because I don't really want to tell them that I don't know if I'll ever come back...

It's not that I don't want to, in a way. It's just that... I wish that I could come back as a stranger, as one whom they didn't automatically look to for involvement and whatnot. I wish I had a clean slate... but I've had so much invested there over the years that this is impossible. They watched me grow up. I did my Bible work practicum there. I've preached sermons there, given talks, sung them songs... there's no way to erase all that. It is what it is.

I went to that Sunday night service at the church that's been so nice to me, but it still didn't click for me. The first time, I was nervous about being in a different denomination's church, and I was apprehensive about being at church, period. This time, I realize that I just don't dig the way they worship. I mean, wonderful people. They're amazing, and so loving and sincere. But it's not for me... so I'll check out the other two churches I found with weekend evening services.

Despite all this floundering around, I still can't bring myself to go to church on Sunday mornings, or to treat Sunday as any way holy. I have a hard enough time with Sabbath... and knowing that Sunday is a bogus holy day (thanks, Catholic church) just kind of throws a wrench in it for me. Like, if I'm going to go to anything right now without going to actual church on Sabbath... let it be something other than "Sunday church", you know?

But I've also thought that the day I am able to seek out fellowship is kind of irrelevant to the day that I honor as holy. I mean, prayer meeting doesn't make Wednesdays holy, right? I dunno. I still feel uncomfortable with the image "Sunday churching" presents. I don't want to be a total rebel, after all.

So anyway, I left halfway through the service tonight, because I just realized how pointless it was for me to be there. Also, wasn't feeling too hot.

This potato thing is really getting me. Most GF stuff has potato starch/flour in it, do you realize that? So does Egg Replacer. Srsly? How much harder can eating get?! But I choose to view this as a challenge... (And perhaps this is why I've been getting sick all along, even when I'm "doing everything right"?) I always thought that I got queasy after potato chips because of the grease, but maybe not. And there was that time with the potato tacos in LA that I got suuuuper sick, and didn't know why... I mean, it's not like an instantaneous death sentence, but it's pretty consistent (at least now that I'm noticing). Sometimes I can get away with it, sometimes I can't. Seems like most times I can't, lately.

Yesterday, I was I was curled up on the bed in pain (potato starch in the egg replacer and the GF flour blend I used-- realized too late), C really expressed concern, and wants me to get to a doctor to get this straightened out.

Um, yes. Back to the church friends thing.

I'm just really wondering whether this pressure that I feel is actually real, or just imagined on my part? Like, can we all really still be friends if I choose to believe a different way than they do? Or will I be pressured? Shunned? Guilt tripped? I alternately cherish and dread the idea of setting firm boundaries and sticking to them in the area of religious beliefs and my rights to whatever beliefs I choose. Perhaps I just spent too long looking down on others who believe differently, cracking jokes about them... or too long in the quiet war for approval and acceptance, whatever the cost?

It's just hard for me to be okay with knowing that I've disappointed people, deliberately gone against their wishes... but if our friendship cannot withstand the divergence of mindsets or ideals, then it wasn't really a relationship I want around anyway, is it? I look at the C's, the S's, at K and J and H as prime examples of how friendship and relationship ought to be, even as one or both parties is in flux.

And you know what?

It's okay if others disagree with my choices. I mean, really, it is. I am not living my life for them, though they make up a portion of my life, if that makes sense. Even if everyone thinks I'm doing the wrong thing, but I believe that I am making a good, right choice... then that's what matters, isn't it? After all, I'm the one that has to live with this decision.

I see how God has somehow talked me out of decisions that I would have indeed regretted to one degree or another down the road. I also see more clearly how I am supposed to make well-informed decisions for myself, rather than waiting around for God to dictate every move of my life to me. Not gonna happen.

Now... if I could just strike a balance...

Oh, and FD was at the party, too. I was surprised to find that I no longer actively hate him. It's just like... whatever, dude. I don't even care anymore. You're not my responsibility, and I'm not going to worry about you. I mean, yeah, what he did was definitely wrong, and it still ticks me off and gets my ire up when I think about it, but it's done. It's over. It doesn't matter anymore. Just... whatever. I don't trust him any farther than I can throw him, but I can be pleasant to him without actively faking it... most of the time. If you're the one that did that, God, then I surely appreciate it.

Tomorrow, we go running errands at the mall, and C has a certain little package to pick up. He mentioned he had to pick something up, and I (brazenly) asked what it was (though I knew perfectly well), but he just said, "Oh, I just have to pick something up." So I left it alone. Now as to when he passes on that little package to a certain blog author... that I have no clue about. I don't know when or how he intends to do it. I just know that he can and will at some point. And the suspense just leaves me in a shiver of excitement. I love surprises.

I also love sleep. (Though it seems I've been needing less lately than I have been the past few months... but it could just be a fluke. It's only been a week. But I'm thinking that the Cell Food Mom sent me is really something... not to mention that my acne is starting to dry up! Could be a.) the decreased dosage of DHEA, b.) the Proactive body wash J gave me, c.) the Cell Food, or d.) All of the above. Whatever it is, I'm stoked. If this keeps up, I won't have to go back on antibiotics!! ^_^)

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