friendship

No One’s Leaving Should Be A Threat

Originally penned/published: Jan 4, 2016

 

greatest-gift.jpg

I like this quote, but I don’t love it. I found this the other day while browsing quotes on freedom for the previous post. I’ve been thinking a bit about acceptance lately in relationships. No one is perfect. And there are some people who, for me at least, I just have a hard time being around. For whatever reason, something in their personality is a rub for me. But in our close relationships, everyone we love is going to drive us crazy at some point.

I just finished a 6-day trip with my best friend. I know I drove her crazy at times, and she drove me crazy too. But at the end of it, through humor and silliness, we are able to shrug off any irritations from each other and still have an amazing time and come home still loving one another.

I watched my parents over the last two days as well. They both have ways in their personalities that irritate each other. And you could see it pop up almost daily, in small doses. But they let it go.

And that’s beautiful.

What I don’t like about this quote, however is “without the threat of you leaving.” I guess, that’s fair maybe for our closest relationships, the one’s we’ve committed to, but I see this more applicable in an every day kind of way. So I re-fashioned it a little:

 

the-greatest-gifts-you-can-give-someone-is-the-space-to-be-themselves-acceptance-of-who-they-are-inspiration-to-achieve-their-dreams-and-plenty-of-room-to-grow-even-if-their-growth-i.jpg

 

I think I value more the human’s ability to fully self actualize, to pursue their dreams, to find where it is they really need to be and among whom much more than I do committment. (Oof. This may lead to another post but let’s get back on track for now): Not everyone you meet and join up with for a while is going to be on your journey for the long run. And even those who are, sometimes the distance changes. As we grow, we change, and sometimes that means we need to leave.

I don’t think anyone’s leaving should be a threat.

Really, it’s a message. Could be one of many:

This place/relationship no longer serves me

OR

There is something I need to pursue that is of ultimate importance, so I cannot stay

OR

Maybe there is not another thing or place or venture I have to go to…. but I can just tell that this place is not right for me.

In short, I just don’t think we should take it as a threat when anyone leaves us. There are always reasons and lessons. And sure, it may be sad, it may hurt a lot! But I believe people need to do what they need to do and they ought to be able to feel supported and accepted in their pursuit of their full selves. Even if that means leaving…

…but maybe I am a just a super-individualist. Or a claustrophobe. Or a runner. Or a changeling.

Or I just really, really, really love feeling free.

Good Day family.

Post #457 On How “Love” is Stupid

Originally penned/published:  Dec 27, 2015

 

I just think that love is so, so stupid. I’m not talking about the companionate kind of love that you have for your family and friends. Nor the passionate love…. I mean, that sh*ts fun as hell… c’mon…

What I mean is that foolish kind where we confuse passion and kindness and momentary joy to somehow mean that we ought to be with this new, fancy person for the long run…

That early feeling of newness. The excitement. The butterflies. That fantastical feeling where your head is completely in the clouds… The kind that grows little wings on your heart that whisper “forever” to a brain that has clearly fallen asleep…

Yeah that. That chemical thing. That thing no one really understands.

THAT is stupid.

Keep your effin head out of the clouds.

That’s not where your future resides.

I have been dwelling on love and the various manifestations of what people call “love” around us… and it looks weird to me. Even some of the “loves” I’ve professed in the past look weird to me now with my 20/20 hindsight.

So I began contemplating more the love I have for my friends. My dearest ones. Particularly my best friend. I have an amazing best-friendship. And every now and then I think, “maaann… If I could find a dude that I relate to like I relate to HER! Boom! Done!” lol

But if we are honest we know that our friendship has been a long one. It hasn’t spawned overnight into unicorns sh*tting glitter all over everything. It’s been 7 years and counting and I’d say only in the last 2 or 3 have we both really, fully embraced each other in our full and complete selves. Only since then have we really full gotten to know each other completely inside and out. Like, I know what my girl is gonna do in pretty much any given situation and she knows me!

Shoot, sometimes she knows me better than I know myself!

We understand each other fully. And we give each other the grace and the time and the space and the distance in order to do so.

So if true love is really born from understanding then my only interest is to understand and get better at understanding as I grow…

So… In the interest of transparency and in situating myself for my readers:

I’ve been spending time with someone. Which has been kind of amazing. Fun. TONS of fun! That has been my favorite part. I love laughing. And I could really use an extra dose of fun in my life lately, so the timing has been perfect.

But because, y’know, it’s still pretty recent, there’s not a label or any expectations or anything. I honestly feel like it’s the best place for me to be right now. It’s open. I’ve never really been in “open” before…. not really. Relationship-wise, I’ve only ever done 1 of 2 extremes:

1. Serious relationship

2. No strings sex.

I’ve never been in this in between space before. It’s cool! I’m liking it. One thing I really do like is:

It feels like it requires a bit more intentionality from me. Like, I can’t expect this person to stick around, to be here tomorrow or next week (by ‘here’ I mean, with me and wanting to spend time with me). It exists outside of the realm of what often feels to me like a “safe relationship” where you’re committed to each other and you expect each other to be there… I feel like that has the potential to get lazy.

In this role, I almost feel like I have to work a little harder. It’s a little less “safe.” Nothing’s given, there are no guarantees. There’s no commitment. You just gotta roll with it, enjoy it and try to be good.

So I’m practicing being good to someone.

I’m not totally sure how well I’m doing. I’m new at this. But I think I’m doing alright. I am trying. And I think that’s apparent.

And who knows where anything will go. I feel like I’m wandering through the woods, unsure of what’s ahead. And every now and then someone comes along to hang out a bit. And then they leave. And that’s cool! I think this pretty much my favorite place to be.

Like a kid again. Just open and just loving. Practicing kindness and joy and giving and learning.

I’m just trying to learn how to better understand.

So maybe I’m just now learning how to love.

Regardless, I think this is the best place to be.

It's Not That Difficult, You're Just Doing It Wrong

Originally penned/published:  April 29, 2013

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ll begin with a bit of dialogue between myself and a colleague on Friday:

“Marriage is difficult.”

I nod my head, “So I hear.”

“No, it’s really, REALLY DIFFICULT.”

Nod head some more, “Okay.”

I have never been married. Fair enough. But I have a very close example in my life of two people who are married and who are gloriously happy. Granted, it’s not perfect. Nothing ever is. It is not a dream-sequence. But its good, damnit. REALLY good. And I’m sure it took work. Still TAKES work. But growing takes work. And I definitely know all about that.

My concern here was the tone in his voice and the persistence in his speech. Yeah, I get it. Marriage is hard. So I’ve heard. Yep. But we all know that. You knew that going in! Anyway, he proceeds to tell me about his schedule. How he used to travel twice a month and since he’s been married (which, I believe is somewhere between 9-12 months) he’s only been away twice. I, personally, think that’s striking and I wonder why he hasn’t been away more.

He continues with, “It takes compromise. Sacrifice”

I nod. I know this.

But he says these like they’re REALLY SERIOUS things. Like… like maybe he’s compromising or sacrificing too much. Perhaps he is? I think about the travel. Sure, I imagine when one marries they may need to make changes. You lose a little bit of the freedom you once had. And especially when there’s a child involved. But, generally speaking, I think as individuals we ought to watch HOW MUCH we compromise and what things. There are some things you must maintain for your sanity. Emotional health. For your overall well-being. Those things, I would argue, are not really compromise-able. A healthy and happy Joe Black, single, is better than an unstable, overworked, exhausted, and stressed-beyond-belief Joe Black, married.

I would also argue that we’ve gotta watch out for our people. Our friends, family, and most definitely lovers or partners, to ensure that they’re still healthy post-whatever life changes they’ve made. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re unhappy until we’re already there. But as friends, family members, and yes, even as someone’s lover or partner, we can realize when they’re not happy. And we have to have the confidence and the trust and the better judgement, and damnit, the maturity to share our observations. And then the willingness to RE-compromise, renegotiate really, if things aren’t working well for both parties. And be okay with it. Use it as a growth opportunity.

Growing is good. It hurts. But it’s good.

You cannot compromise the things you love. They must be incorporated.

 

And sooooooo you all know how I feel about dating. I think it’s f*cking stupid. At least the typical American style of dating.

It’s dumb. Really. No, no really. It’s really, really dumb.

lol

And here’s why. It’s because it has “roles.” And people actually subscribe to that and then become them, own them… I mean, are we in a play now? Is this a movie? You = doorholder/payer (sometimes) and your role is to impress me. Be kind, seem strong, give the impression that you’re financially stable or perhaps “well-off” if you so feel. You should be reasonable and even tempered…

And then here’s me: I’m sweet. Docile. I wear a dress. I let you open doors. I am agreeable, supportive, pretty….

Ugh.

Have you ever heard of anything SO BORING????

Are we supposed to just pretend like we’d be the perfect wife or husband??? Give me a break. No wonder why there’s this “honeymoon period” in so many American relationships. BECAUSE EVERYONE’S PRETENDING!!!

F*ck that.

So why am I bringing this up again?

So I recently started “seeing someone” – you could say – orrrrr however you wanna say that. It’s new, there is no title, but we shared that we’re not seeing anyone else… and so yeah. And I kinda don’t want to see anyone else. At least not at this time.

So anyway… so yesterday a friend texted me to see if I wanted to go to brunch. Or, at least I thought he was a friend. I replied that I would love to (I love going to brunch btw) but I was cooking brunch for someone already. Then I followed with the whole I’m-seeing-someone-now-so-any-future-outings-must-be-strictly-platonic…. And honestly… I liked this person. And previous outings hadn’t really been overly non-platonic. I think we kissed once. When we were drunk. Lol. But I was hoping for a strictly platonic future outing. I value this person. And I have many male friends. The male-female friend thing is not impossible at all to me, it’s quite a good reality actually. Most women make me crazy. But anyway, I was surprised to receive a message back saying, “My bad. I won’t bother you anymore.”

Jesus.

Really?

  1. You’re not a bother. If you were, I would’ve told you long ago to leave me alone, but more importantly

  2. You really have no interest in being my friend. Geez…. Wow. Thanks. (<— note the sarcasm)

So here’s my sadness to all this. When meeting people, as a single woman, I honestly approach everyone as a potential friend. (if I find out they’re legitimately crazy or just do awful, awful things… Then no. We won’t be friends.) But I approach everyone with the concept of finding out what they’re about: their visions/dreams, their goals, values, their work, integrity, their peace…. I’m always curious to learn something from someone. And so…. Man… I guess I become sad when I find out later that they did not have the same approach as I. They weren’t genuinely interested in knowing me.

I guess, though, there’s really not much of a reason to be sad, there’s just a reason to grow:  know that not everyone is or even wants to be your friend. And that the people who really want to be in your life, and the people who belong there, will be present and will stay. Everyone else…..??? They’re probably not the best for you. Have faith in that.

Okay, maybe it’s not typical American dating that I’m so frustrated with but perhaps the typical American…

So in reflection on my colleague – this morning I was thinking about his comments and his conclusion:  he whisked off to Costa Rica for 4 days, against the wishes of his wife, to rest, recuperate, rejuvenate… I also wondered why she didn’t want him to go. The man is visibly exhausted. Shoot, I wanted him to go. It’s clear he needed to get away.

And while eating breakfast this morning and listening to my best friend/roommate’s phone conversation with a supervisor, and her subsequent complaints after…. Which were a little irritating to me first thing in the morning but I listened… I thought, “maybe it’s not so difficult at all…. Maybe you’re just doing it wrong.”

I finished my coffee, breathed the irritability out and re-found my peace.

So in reflection:

Breath in.

(finish your coffee)

Breath out.

Re-find your peace.

And keep friendship first.

Be good, good people.

<3