nov·el·ty – the quality of being new, original, or unusual.
I never knew I liked this word, until a few years ago when I discovered that I loved the rush of being in new situations where I didn’t know what was going to happen next.
There is nothing wrong with novelty, if anything, novelty is fun! I specifically love novelty when traveling. If I could be in an airplane writing this, I would be. I love the novelty of new places, new adventures, new coffee shops and all the amazing people I get to meet.
That is, novelty it is fun, until I use it as an excuse to run away.
A few years ago I ran into a predicament with a friend, I knew there were some conversations that needed to be had, but I didn’t want to have them. At the time one of my friends had invited me to visit her in Los Angeles, and with all of me I wanted to be there, so I started looking up plane tickets and planning the trip.
In those days I was fully obsessed with John Mark McMillan’s challenging and stunning lyrics…okay, okay, who am I kidding, I still am. I was listening to his live album, when he said the words that struck my heart for the following two years of my life and to this day.
“There’s something that some people never understand and that’s that intimacy is way better than novelty. The problem with intimacy it’s that it’s hard and it takes work and sometimes it’s a little painful…”
Intimacy is way better than novelty? What? But novelty is what I do! He was referring to choosing to love someone instead of going to the “best next thing”, instead of running away to a new place.
I wanted to shake his words, they didn’t apply to me, but I knew they did. I knew he was speaking to me. The next new thing is for me. There is something so exhilarating about encountering the new adventure, the new story, the new albums from my favorite musicians, the new relationship, and for me, especially, the new city to explore.
I always run away from intimacy, because intimacy requires commitment, hard conversations, it requires that I let you see who I really am, no gimmicks, no hiding, and trusting that you won’t leave, but more than anything, intimacy requires unconditional love, especially if you do leave.
I realized I loved running away, from community, from my job, from friends, and from God.
I have a million excuses to run away: heartbreak, people leaving, friendships that are no longer there, moving countries, etc. Yet I knew it was time to let all those go, not because they’re not part of my story, or because they’re not valid reasons, but because I knew God was asking me to trust again.
Deciding to trust again has led me here. Is intimacy hard? Yes! And it is so worth it! Pushing through the uncomfortable conversations and situations, breaking down walls, and letting people know the real me is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
A few years ago I chose to stay at my job, I chose to have those conversations with my friends, I chose to delay a trip so I knew I was going for the right reasons and not running away. Was it hard? Yes! And it was the most brilliant step I have ever taken.
To this day I am always learning to stay, to stay for the good and the bad, the nitty gritty every day life, and for the growth that comes from staying, knowing that intimacy sets you free, because not many things in life compare to know and to be fully known.