As I sit here, in a bad frame of mind because I’m doing paperwork (seriously, I hate my own paperwork), I want to make a post that will make me feel better.
I want to make a post about awesome friends.
I know I’m an odd duck and I’ve always been that way. From kindergarten through my senior year of high school, I can only say I’ve ever had two friends that I clicked with. Sure, there were other people that I hung out with, and others that I got along really well with, but I never felt comfortable around anybody like these two people. My theory on why is best saved for another night, but in short, these two got me.
The first was Emily. We met in the second grade after I moved to California from…some state in the Midwest, I’m not really sure which we’d been living in at the time. Emily and I had personalities that just made us inseparable. We like horror movies, gore, lizards, finding cool creatures, making huge messes-everything we liked, the other person did as well. As we advanced through middle school I went through a lot, and she truly tried her best to help.
Emily had a dark side, though. She knew how to manipulate people and how to avoid doing anything at all that she didn’t want to do. When Emily decided she was done with high school our sophomore year, she just walked off campus. When she decided she didn’t want to go where her family was going, she’d be absolutely intolerable until they turned around and went home. I hate to excuse it as mental illness, which was always my parent’s resort for her behavior, but knowing Emil I think it boiled down to the fact that she could. There were no consequences for her at all, she reigned over her parents and siblings with violence and terror. And eventually, she tried that on me.
I’d been having issues with the relationship for a while. There was a day I was on my way home from her house and I realized that I never left happy; every time I went home I was exhausted and depressed. It made me miserable to be around her and although I tried to get her to hang out with other people, she just wanted to stay home and play video games. One day I dropped by with a couple of friends one day to ask her to hang out. When she called me later that night, after refusing, she verbally attacked me, insulted my friends (and their looks, like one friend’s nose and another’s size), and made it clear that I could have other friends, or I could be her friend.
Oddly enough, her mom kind of cyber-stalked me until about 3 years ago, seeking out every internet scene I was involved in and sending me messages, saying how much she missed me and “how much better” Emily was. I finally blocked her from all social media.
The other was Jen. Of everyone, I miss Jen. She was an absolute nut just like me. We’d get pizza at two in the morning and hang out by a strip mall fountain in the dead of night. We took multiple, poorly-planned road trips all over Oregon and on the coast. I really loved Jen and how we were together. We were weird, but it was okay, because we were weird together. It was as if we could accept each other’s oddity and add it to our own. It was ridiculous how close I was to Jen.
I don’t want to say much about what happened but in short, it got to be too much work to remain friends. I felt like I gave quite a bit, and went out of my way often and one day, I realized that I didn’t think she actually cared about me anymore. I’d owned a business for a year, and despite seeing each other at least once a week, I don’t think she ever knew or bothered finding out what I did. It got to a point where I felt invited into her life only when I could serve a purpose or do her a favor. I’ve never had a bad breakup from a lover, but I still get heartache over not having Jen around. I never feel like it was the wrong decision, but that doesn’t make the sadness fade.
But all this, and a few minor friends along the way, has made the people I have now so much more important. Taken as lessons in my own happiness, its clear the kind of people I want to surround myself with now. I have able, capable friends. I have people who love me, and care for me, and know my secrets and when I’m down. And it’s a two way street-I love them back. It’s an easy sort of love, maintained through movie nights and Sunday morning breakfasts and babysitting and help when it’s needed. With people around me who understand how busy I stay, who know when to tell me to stop before I kill myself, who I can sit and talk for hours with, I’ve found more of a peace. There’s still a longing for that strong connection, but I know the kind of people who have it, and I know they’re not always good for me. In a way, I’ve built myself up to be strong and successful and incredibly capable and there’s a very real fear deep in my heart that the right friend, the right connection, could pull the rug out from under me before I grew wise to what was happening. If that means I have to button down the pieces of my being that search constantly for a similar soul, so be it.
I am incredibly lucky to have two ladies in particular in my life right now, and this post is theirs.
Haley blew me away this weekend. Always a kind soul with a kinky twist, Haley is sweet and caring. She claims it’s peaceful here for her, an escape from the noises of San Francisco, and I’m not calling her a liar but I know she doesn’t come out just for that. My birthday was this past week and Saturday, Haley drove the 1.5-2 hours from the Bay to Sac to watch Trex so Shaun and I could celebrate a little (See yesterday’s post). Most people I couldn’t just walk out of the house and leave my toddler with, but Haley is so perfect for the job. Full of life and positive energy, Trex loves her. They play for hours while she’s up, giving me full appreciation of the phrase “I got tired just watching.”
But beyond that, Haley goes out of her way to support her friends and what they’re doing. She appears on my show probably more than anyone else, she reads friend’s work, she’ll see your show and cheer you on, and she’s always there for a little encouragement when things get hard. I wrote a novel last year and just got it out to a couple readers last month. Despite having a TBR pile a mile high from her boyfriend, she made my novel a priority, then sat with me today and talked about it with me. Haley, I know it’s hard to critique like that, but everything you said helped, and your support means the world.
The other lovely lady is Rita. Rita is fiery, and I love it. She feels everything, so hard. Although it means things get her down and hurt her pretty hardcore, she loves with such a great passion that it warms you just to be near. She dances, she sews, she works hard, and she laughs often. She’s there in a pinch, she’s there when I need an ear, and she’s there when I just need companionship. We swap books, recipes, dinners, deserts, hugs and baby clothes. Rita, I love you, and I can’t wait to help you with Orrin how you helped me with Trex. ❤
I apologize if this post was a little personal, but I really wanted to take this time to reflect on how beautiful the people in my life are. There’s so many I didn’t mention, but as a whole, they make my life more wonderful by the day. This place in my life now might be temporary, the fluidity of life might wash it away in a few months and leave me finding my feet again, but I’ve learned so much about my own happiness in the past three years alone that I can’t say it enough-figure it out. Find what it takes to bring yourself happiness and pursue it with all your heart. No one else will make it happen for you but once you can identify what it takes, never stop chasing it.
All the feels tonight.