superfriends

image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons

i’m in my 40s and i still love the old school superheroes. specifically the DC heroes—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, etc. i’ve been known to wear a justice league shirt or two.

i grew up on comics. some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of my grandmother taking me to the comic book store. i would pull out my saved up allowance and purchase as much as i could with the dollars and cents. then I would read all the way home. i would read them again sitting in the house or outside in my grandparents’ big yard. i would grab stacks of comics and take them on long car rides. i was never without my comics, just like some people now are never without their cell phones or iPods.

i love the stories of the heroes. i love how i see them working together in teams, or facing hardship. i love when i see their humanity. i love when i see their compassion. i love when I see their concern for their fellow teammate.

in fact, those are my favorite books—the justice league, legion of super-heroes, the new teen titans. for some reason, i only like to read the team books.

and it’s quite ironic. because if you looked at how i think, how i live, i spend a lot of time alone.

i don’t have a lot of “guy time.”
i don’t call the friends i do have often.
i live a distant, removed life.

some of it’s because i’m a self-admitted, grumpy old man. but a big reason is that i’m not just not really good at day-to-day friendships.

i have three incredibly close friends who i know i could call in a crisis situation and they would be there for me. but they are either super busy or live a distance away. they are still some of my best friends, but i think it’s time to add to the team.

and i’m not even sure what that means for a committed, married, father of three. i don’t know what that looks like for a guy who works full-time, lives on a budget and has kids who are involved in various things.

but i have noticed that i have this incredible longing for that. at that sadness hit me in at an unusual time—while my wife was in the ER.

jennifer had a kidney stone earlier this year, and i realized that while i needed to notify work and make the arrangements not be in the office, personally i didn’t have anyone i could call. anyone, who if i just needed to talk, they would be there.

i live too much of my life alone.

i hear all the time that you should have people in your life, community. and on an intellectual level and even spiritual level, i get it. i’m just not sure what that looks like in my daily, weekly, even monthly life.

i want to be a part of a super team. i always have.

i can function in a role. i can get things done. but that’s about all i’m good at—get it done, and then leave. i’ll come help you move. mow your grass. answer a question. but other than that, i’m not sure what to do.

and because of that, i’m not quite sure if i go into a battle with lex luthor or darkseid (comic book reference), or confront a serious illness, a significant loss or crazy parenting moment—if there would be someone who has my back, and i have theirs.

someone who knows what my life looks like now because they are already a part of it. someone who knows how tim is wired, how tim responds and is able to meet him in that place.

i am that kind of friend for some. but i need to add to that list. i’m just not sure what that looks like or how that happens in a realistic way.

if i’m completely honest, that makes me a little nervous. i’m kind of scared of what that might require from me. i’m even scared to write these words. i’ve edited this blog more than any other one i’ve posted.

i don’t want these words to be thrown out here to elicit a response. i’m not trying to provoke a reaction. but i’m writing these words to admit that i’m not good at this, and i need it in my life.

and i’m leaning into God to see where He takes me from here.

contents on this site are © 2011 tim walker. all rights reserved. for permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.

3 Responses

  1. I’d like to apply for the Green Lantern position. Because I’m off in another sector of the universe but would fly in at a moments notice to help out.
    I felt like I could have written this ( not as eloquently as you ) but i could totally relate. I suggest when we come to thevATL next month we brainstorm a name for the team.

  2. you know Tim, I’m 40 this year as well…& I have friends that are in our demographic but ‘hanging time’ with the boys is simply not a top priority. I have 3 girls, married now for 14 years & that really is my priority. Just like a close friend of mine said at a Men’s group at our church…we were trying to see if guys wanted to hang out & do somethings (planning session really)… & he honestly told us “really my priority right now is: work, get home & be with family & take care of that”. He has 5 children. Not that hanging with the guys is not important…. but I find that between the job & family…I’m pretty fulfilled right now.. I did a LOT of ‘hanging’ during college…..what I currently do is grab a friend & get a cup of coffee with them.. 30 min-45 min max… we chat, we laugh, etc… & it’s pretty cool. I understand your feelings bc/ I’ve thought the same things… but even if we’re honest w/ourselves…when we do go hang out & do stuff..we are pretty much thinking about the family, getting home to help out, & all that. I LOVE MY LIFE…it’s a blessing!!! I am thinking about having a monthly Texas Hold-em night though for some fella’s 🙂

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