Posts tagged friends
Posts tagged friends
sometimes things happen that will bring out a side of your nature that you forgot even existed. since my transition a year ago, my highly sensitive, highly emotional self has mostly manifested in the form of tears—sometimes even sobs. moving away from my family, becoming detached from everything that was my life for 30 years, and the solitude of a soul-less city like LA, has created a pitri dish of emotions—often magnifying parts of my psyche that have long been forgotten…and then something will happen.
today i was reminded of one of my mom’s favorite stories from my childhood—an experience that i was far too young to ever recall on my own that, however, is a perfect example of a personality trait that i’ve never grown out of, but may have put to rest for a bit of time.
growing up i lived in two-bedroom in a decent-sized apartment complex with my mom and dad, little sister and a mut from my dad’s youth (later becoming my mom, her boyfriend, my little sister, her 6 ft iguana, and often her boyfriend/soul mate). it was tight, and we were often piled on top of each other, which forced me to learn to just let things be sometimes…the constant poking of a little sis, the never-ending nagging of an over-caring mother, the lack of privacy…live and let live was the only way to survive. who wants to spend their life fighting every day?
in spite of all the patience learned, my emotions became a sleeping bear—snoring through most of the insanity—even if outside disturbances caused the occasional nightmare, they were my nightmares that i endured in solitude. However, at times the mania became too much to sleep through, and if pushed too hard, the beast would awaken…which was exactly the case with my now best friend, Traci. poor Traci.
i was always a well-behaved child. Mom made sure of it. always said please and thank you, never spoke unless spoken to, didn’t talk back (until my sassy teenage years), and never…ever…used foul language or mom would make me a nice plate of dial soap for dinner. but there was ONE time that i managed to expel the F-bomb without suffering punitive damages, and a 5-year old Traci was on the receiving end.
Traci lived up the block. my mom used to babysit her. we spent a lot of time together, which lent itself to plenty of opportunities to get on each others nerves, as i’m sure we did…often…i just can’t remember. As my mom likes to tell it, we were enjoying a lovely swim together in the community pool—a favorite hangout for the Terrace crowd—when Traci decided it would be fun to dunk me under water. not cool Traci. It happened quite a few times, (i’m sure there were tears and desperate pleas of release somewhere in there), before i climbed out of the pool, dramatically stomped my foot and in my best outdoor voice belted a single statement: “EFF* YOU TRACI!” [*substitute “EFF” with your favorite F-word and mine]. I had had enough.
that threshold is something that i’ve carried with me throughout my life…opting most often to internalize my frustration rather than voice it, often resulting in personal determent, but also personal growth. i had to learn to let MANY things slide. i constantly tested my limits and boundaries, making excuses for bad behavior or things that caused me pain, and ultimately it made me stronger—still a cry baby—but stronger.
I’m weird…that goes without saying. My oddities, unfortunately, have made forging new friendships a bit of a challenge, however.
The word “Best Friend” doesn’t mean the same as an adult that it did pre-puberty, in high school, or even college. Those wear-it-on-a-necklace, parade-skipping-through-the-streets-holding-hands, wear-matching-outfits-to-school, share-everything-even-gum kind of friendships tend to disappear when you grow up and realize that there are more important things in life…things like a career, relocating, personal goals, money, romantic relationships, etc.
I want to say these things shouldn’t change relationships, but they do…no matter how much we may wish otherwise.
Why is it that in my adult life I have only been able to find the closeness I used to share with my very best girlfriends, with guys? Guys who’s hair i’ll never braid, who will never split a best/friends necklace with me, who will not sit beside me for a bi-weekly mani/pedi and or a a sit-and-bitch about mom calling me every ten minutes, or how much I hate mushrooms, or how cute the guy in accounting is…but nevertheless, these relationships seem so much easier for me.
It may just be that i’m weird…which has been my go to excuse for many things i can’t explain.
Or maybe it’s because I don’t have to worry as much about being weird with guys, or about showing interest in things I really don’t care about…maybe it’s because i feel less judged for being the uniquely odd less than feminine girl who prefers weekend watching the LOTR trilogy back-to-back while splitting a meat lovers pizza over an all day boutique shop-a-thon trying on two-sizes-too-small skinny jeans while lamenting my body’s shortcomings. You never really have to concern yourself with mutual self-loathing while spending time with the guys…kind of like when we were kids and that stuff didn’t really matter.
Ironically, even though my inclination towards male friendships has once again come to fruition while establishing myself on the other side of the world, i find, more often than not, that i miss all the ladies i have left behind…the ones that took the time to get over my flaky inability to commit to plans in advance, my chronic lateness, my dislike for most of their female friends, my odd obsession with diner food and breakfast for dinner, as well as my need to share everything we do in social media. I didn’t appreciate or even recognize how rare this kind of patience is…or how selective i was when deciding who i would let get that close to me.
I also miss not having to have the “it’s never going to happen” conversations with my guy friends. This had already been mutually established with my best guy friends at home…It’s so weird starting over. I find myself having the When Harry Met Sally debate over and over again. Lucky for me, it’s worked out in my favor a few times since my move. Even if my relationships cause many a raised eyebrow and some awkward conversations in the office, there are a few wonderful new friends (mostly male) who have decided to take me as i am without judging my sometimes tomboy, sometimes insanely emotional mood swings, who understand where i came from, and generally like who i am—quirks and all.
and sometimes they will cost you dinner :)
i love you guys :)
want to know my secret? i’ll never tell.
“should’ve” is the worst word in the English language.
A single word which embodies so much lost opportunity, lost hope, so many wishes and so much regret. For a word nerd, like myself, it’s pretty hard to admit such distaste for any specific grouping of letters, let alone one that does not have cruel meaning or harsh emotion attached to it….but “should’ve” is one that I try to often avoid.
There are so many things in our lives that, when reflected upon, we can only use the word, “should’ve,” to describe—“I should’ve taken that job,” “I should’ve made that bet,” “I should’ve shared that last bite of s’more,” “I should’ve asked for that raise,” “I should’ve said thank you.” I’ve had a lot of these lost opportunities, and I have taken from them certain learnings that prevent me from missing out again…one “should’ve” I vow not to relive is “I should’ve told him/her how i felt…”
Sometimes the hardest thing to say is, “I want you in my life…” This emotion comes in many different forms. For some, “I love you,” for others, “I feel a distance between us,” and sometimes it’s as simple as “please stay…” There seems to be so much emotion and vulnerability attached to this expression, that the words are often not said, and the one word we are left with…forever entwined in the beautiful reflection of what was, poisoning all it’s goodness, is “should’ve.”
I’ve learned that we have so much more to regret by always protecting ourselves…not in the physical sense, but emotionally. Bruised pride, fear, disappointment…these are feelings that none of of seek out, but can be experienced when we open ourselves to possibilities, allow ourselves to hope, and are let down…but I bet one thing you will never say is “I shouldn’t have tried.”
…and in those times when maybe things don’t work out, that’s what I am here for…
Image courtesy of berries23 at we heart it.
Best friends are hard to come by…
I remember being told years ago that I would be a very lucky person if I could count just 5 GOOD friends in my life time…and by “good,” I mean the be-there-for-anything, answer-your-calls-in-the-middle-of-the-night, listen to you cry (every time), hold your hand, be supportive, love you for your blue nail polish obsession, knows every member of your family, every ex-boyfriend (and why they’re no good for you), your nephews birthday, your college major, your favorite TV show, your celebrity crush, your regrets, knows your successes and keeps your secrets, doesn’t judge you and just wants you to be happy…no strings attached—that kind of “good.”
Have any of those?
While my idea of friendship has change drastically over the years…I can say I have had one constant. She might not always be around…I may not always like what she has to say…and I may even get frustrated at times at the differences in the way we maneuver through life…but she’s always been there. From the very first time that things ever got hard.
You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet lately. Things haven’t exactly been working out the way I had hoped they would. My heart is full of longing, my days are filled with missing, and my eyes seem to be constantly filled with tears. I know…grow up! Everyone goes through hard times, but I am an emotional being…one who takes everything in to the fullest capacity…that experiences emotions mentally, psychologically, and physically…happiness and sadness alike. It’s a huge burden to anyone who gets close…but she’s never shied away.
I found some peace this weekend in her company. Although she is experiencing her own turmoil, we were able to share our stories over toasted bagels and manicures. We laughed at each other as we both squirmed in discomfort and release at the worlds-roughest-massage. She watched me enjoy a little too much Japanese food, and still shared her popcorn with me at the movies. She listened to my input on her sneaker selection and allowed me to turn her on to the beauty of Nike’s use of Volt in footwear. She was patient with my limping (ouch), and tried her hardest not to criticize my driving. It was a much needed friend-date, and I could not have asked for a better friend.
I think about this a lot when considering my dreams of a home on a different coast. Wondering who will fill that void. Who will I call in the middle of the night, when I just need someone to listen? Who will be my hug when things get a little too hard? Who will help me “hide the bodies?”
It is not enough reason to keep me from moving forward, but I can’t help but wonder…
I’ve noticed that men seem to have a much easier time creating and maintaining friendships. Perhaps their emotional requirements are not as demanding? And again…I’m talking GOOD friends…not just the guys you have burping contests with or the one that helps you pick up chicks. The fly across the country to be by your side, wouldn’t miss a single milestone, tells you when you’re being a jerk, and supports you in all your endeavors—no matter HOW insane, kind of “good.” I know of one man who has more close friends than I can count on my hand. REAL close friends…friendships I envy every time I am around them. Friendships that appear to be bound in blood and will, most likely, last a lifetime.
Is this the status quo for guys? And if so, what is the magic formula that forms and strengthens these bonds for life?
It’s days like today that I am reminded that patience is a virtue…
This would be day two of sitting, nose-pressed-on-glass, watching the world beyond my icy third-story apartment window stand completely still. Transit has stopped, the snow-blowers have come and gone, the view beyond my window is virtually lifeless, serene, motionless, save for one fat little bird, hopping from one snow heavy branch to the next. Hello fat little bird. Would you like to come in and play?
When I permit my nose a moment to thaw, it finds no rest, searching for the next “window” to press against…enter the window pane of the virtual world…looking out to those who are similarly imprisoned. I find solace in knowing that I am not alone here. Hello virtual friend. How is your day?
I can see you, you are working diligently from your makeshift desk…your back to the world of living breathing things…your back to me…fingers moving swiftly on your keyboard…eyes and brain focusing to create intrigue for us who sit, nose-pressed-to-monitor, waiting to devour your words. Hello beautiful writer. What literary deliciousness will you feed me today?
I notice my impatience growing as your words go on and you are still stuck in that chair. That.Chair. I think of how I want you out of that chair, wrapped around me instead of rapping letters and spaces and countless bits of punctuation…I think of that little bird outside my window, hopping around, branch to branch, hopping, waiting…watching me watching it watching me…restless.
Nose thawed, I return to my real world window again. Hello Birdy, sorry I went away. Goodbye laptop…goodbye virtual friend…Hello you…Hello day.