Note: I've been on hiatus from blogging for a while, but I am working on a few new entries. Thank you to anyone who might still check this blog :)
At age 20, life can drag on and on. Actually life can drag at any age, when a person feels trapped.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” – 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
When I was seventeen, the decisions of two individuals caused my social life to end within the FOC. Of course I realize that my own decisions, words, and actions over the months and years prior to this time led up to these little shunnings. But although I had said and done some stupid and hurtful things, I hadn’t committed any “unforgivables”. I just wasn’t lucky enough to be born at the right time, or into the right family, or whatever. The fact was I had suddenly become a pariah.
So for three years I lived in a state of essential, though unofficial, shunning. Almost nobody talked to me, except this one guy, J--, who verbally assaulted me every chance he got while everyone mutely watched/listened. For three years I went to the social events and talked to virtually nobody. Toward the end, I talked to a few other similar pariahs, but I never had a chance of social success after those two people decided to destroy me.
Those three years were an eternity. Can you imagine? Three years of attending church services twice weekly, without being greeted or spoken to, or in any way acknowledged. Three years of attending dances and home parties and decorating parties while being invisible. Three years of having no life outside of my family and work.
But other things happened during those three years. I went to work and had a fair amount of success in this aspect of my life. I was trained in every aspect of automotive office management: payroll, accounts payable, receivables, warranties, new and used car titling, and month-end reports. At age twenty, I was promoted to office manager, with a staff of older/more experienced employees reporting to me. Something else happened: guys asked me out all the time. Not FOC guys, of course, but worldly guys. I couldn’t believe that so many attractive, charming, successful men would want to date me after all the social silence I’d endured at the FOC. I didn't want to date the entire world, but it was just one more indication that the "reality" I experience in the FOC didn't check with reality elsewhere.
It came down to the decision to continue living as an invisible and unwanted recluse in my parents’ basement hoping that the years of loneliness would pass quickly and the reward (the possibility of salvation for all that sacrifice) would be real or bolt into unknown territory. Was this seemingly meaningless existence even worth it?