Hayley: Seeing Your Friends Soar

This semester, we have made great efforts to revive our commitment to buddy time, and I’ve found it to be one of the most meaningful tenets of our life together. I’ve also found it to be the one that induces the most head-scratching in folks who don’t live in the Ruka. Hanging out together? Seems like a no-brainer. As my friend once said in response to my explanation of buddy time, “So it’s basically like living in Spann?”

Eh, fair enough…but I disagree. I believe that what sets Ruka buddy time apart from almost all other friend hang-outs is (big surprise here) A. the intentionality and B. the transparency of that intentionality. We are in no way playing it cool. We are saying ‘I care about you and want to spend time with you for the purpose of getting to know you better and building our relationship.’ We have no chill.

To take our absence of chill to the next level, we’ve started making intentional efforts to engage in everyones’ individual passions and interests. In January, Eilidh called us to participate in the Shelby County Point In Time Count, an effort that seeks to provide an accurate estimate of the number of county residents experiencing homelessness. Eilidh has dedicated much of her time and her heart to advocating for people experiencing homelessness, and participating in a cause important and meaningful to her work undoubtedly brought us closer in community.

We’re currently on Easter Break, and as Alex and I are the only ones in town, I’ve enjoyed all the quality time we’ve been able to share together. Yesterday morning, we attended a yoga class taught by Yo, one of the yogis Alex most admires. Again, I was enriched by the experience of being in someone else’s element with them, participating myself but also stepping back to see them thrive.

I don’t know if I would have made this effort to experience what makes my friends tick had I not lived in the Ruka. If I did, it probably would have been by coincidence rather than concerted effort. But feeling as I do now, that seeing what fills your friends’ lives with meaning and purpose is vital to the depth of the relationship, I know this is a practice I will carry out in my future relationships.



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