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Archive for the tag “old friends”

Lessons In Cattiness, Real Friends, No New Friends? IDK…

Oh that Facebook.

You know my love and hate relationship with it. Probably last year or so, I wrote about the painful end to a friendship that really made no sense but actually did make sense because I blindly stumbled into it anyway. I think it was convenience for both parties and when the party was over, it was over.

I don’t think this ex-friend is a bad person at all, but we just didn’t need to be in each other’s circles anymore. So it’s ok.

We are Facebook friends and because I just got tired of her documenting every moment and poop and I was a little jealous of her weight loss, I had to hide her posts. But I do wish her and her family well. They’ve been through a lot.

I happened to look on her page again because there was a rare post that made it through my filters and got on my homepage.

She’s back to the same old same old, but it looks like her boyfriend actually stuck around this time. She was notorious for having a good run for three months and it all falling apart.

So of course there’s so much irony. I can’t seem to find and keep someone around, but I thought about the loss of that friendship and what I ended up gaining.

After losing that friendship, I’ve solidified old ones, I’ve become close friends with one of my cousins (who I have admired forever and looked up to) and our relationship is stronger and deeper than ever. We even travel together now. I no longer see her as this ideal person, but as I told her recently, I’m so honored that we’ve become friends as women and that she’s allowed herself to see me not as a little cousin, but as another woman too. I told her that I love her even more because she’s let me see her flaws and be vulnerable and it makes me even more proud of how strong and amazing she really is.

I’ve made new friends who are hardworking, beautiful, funny and genuine and intelligent. Did I mention genuine? It’s mighty difficult to hit your 30s and meet genuine women and decide to become friends. It takes a lot of faith on the part of all parties to A) be themselves B) be secure enough in themselves not to make assumptions and then start the comparisons which leads to jealousy and mistrust. One of the young ladies I met through this very blog, the other, a friend of the friend I met through this very blog! I can sit in a restaurant with them and laugh for hours or have scandal parties in sweatpants, or go have ice cream with them on a Tuesday night and just be myself. (Take that Drake, I do want new friends especially if they are going to turn into great old friends).

There’s nothing fake, phony or pretentious, they aren’t clamoring to be in VIP sections or be seen, and they don’t have to run the streets. They are just as happy hanging out at the mall as they are at a party. But they can get jazzed up too. I think we are often the best dressed people in the room at most places we go, and that’s even when we are “casual.”

So I’m very thankful. I had to learn some lessons about friendship and about how people’s prominence in your life does shift. While some people take a seat or take a break because of their life changes, other people step up in unexpected, necessary ways.

And that is beautiful.

Accepting the shift isn’t easy.

Sometimes when old friends fade out, you are upset, you feel like they walked away with all of the things you gave them, but what did you get in return?

I got so caught up in how I helped that one friend get a job, that increased her salary and led her to getting a new job with an even bigger salary.

But I didn’t give my ex-friend credit for showing me how to expand my skill set by teaching me how to do her job on websites while she was on sick leave, setting me up to do it full-time and two years or so later getting a raise and leading the department and getting a new title.

I saw her as getting more than me and moving on to better. But all the while, things were slowly coming into place for me. If I didn’t learn something new, I could have easily been laid off when the company went in a new direction. So looking back, being more mature about it, she helped me immensely too.

Old friends may surprise you by how selfish they can be, new friends can surprise you with how giving and caring they can be already.

Regardless, prepare yourself to be surprised.

Then there are friends who are steady, steady, steady and tried and true that will not change, will always be dependable and God, you need those folks in your crew too, they are the foundation and I’m beyond blessed to have folks like that. No matter how moody, how silly, how frustrated, or man-obsessed they will give you your space, they will check on you right on time and say exactly what you need to hear whether you felt like it, or wanted them to or not.

Me and one of my dearest friends who makes me nuts like no other, I’ve written about our epic battles, we’ve come to another level of maturity. I’m better at expressing my feelings and calling her out without being harsh and blurting it all out at once when she’s completely upset me. She’s better at listening to me and trying to consider my feelings before hitting our danger zones.

Even though I don’t get to see my sister often, I love our phone conversations. We were on the phone for about two hours on Sunday. Me, talking about the difficult single life, she talking about the difficult married and mom life. We exhaled and laughed a lot.

I saw that old friend’s Facebook page and it made me think of all of these things. That’s awesome.

But I’m still not unleashing her regular posts on my timeline.

No thanks.

 

The Power of an Encounter

As I was thinking about reconnecting with old friends,  mentors or relatives by just simply reaching out and saying hello and happy new year (not with a mass text) one person really stuck out in my mind.

I met this friend last summer, when I decided to vacation alone for a few days in Myrtle Beach.

The goal of my trip was to get away, spend some time by myself and be badass enough to go on vacation alone.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I slept in when I wanted to, I got up early and had breakfast when I wanted to, if I wanted breakfast at all. I laid on the beach in the late afternoons and then I went to the pool or hot tub whenever I liked.

One afternoon after my dolphin tour, I went for lunch at a new restaurant. I had a great conversation with the restaurant owner who was intrigued I was vacationing alone.  In walks an energetic food critic who is reviewing the restaurant and was chatting up the restaurant owner.

She asks for my opinion for her column and I share it. But I warn her I’m part of the media too. As more information is exchanged, we both found that we went to the same university and shared the same beloved professors. We exchanged information and she offered to take me out on the town during my trip and I looked forward to it.

I ended up seeing her sooner than I expected, but under not so great circumstances.

My car broke down at one of the tourist traps later that night, and alone and about 500 miles from home I needed someone else to call besides emergency roadside assistance.

I took the chance and called her. Do you know she came, she waited with me and followed the tow and dropped me off to my hotel? She also knew of a reliable mechanic who wouldn’t try to take advantage and we were set.

The next day, she picked me up to check on the car, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t visit a local museum to see a particular exhibit. She called the director, told her she’d be dropping me off and arranged for the director to drop me off at the hotel when I was done with my visit.

We hung out the entire trip (when she wasn’t at work) and we shared a lot of deep things– things I never would have thought I’d share with someone I’d just met the day before.

Maybe that was even better; she didn’t have a history of me to judge me by or be able to say, “I told you so.” We were two kindred spirits with a lot in common and we talked and talked and laughed and laughed.  It was refreshing and beautiful. We both often mentioned how wild and amazing and pleasant such an experience was and that it was truly meant to be for some reason.

It was what I like to call a “sisterfriend connection” and besides just laying out in the sun and listening to the crashing waves and having no schedule whatsoever, I needed to meet her. I was supposed to meet her and share all those things bottled up in me.

It was almost as magical as finding a romantic relationship on vacation, but way more fulfilling and way more honest.

I told her about part of the reason for my impromptu trip, all of the pain I was going through and how just physically and emotionally tired I was.

When we said good-bye, we hugged one another, crying for a good amount of time.

It was another moment that I knew for sure there was a God and he was listening.

To have the right people placed in your life when you need them most, even when they seem to be at first glance– just strangers passing along on this road, or in my case, a food critic asking me what I thought of the ox tails, is indeed a miracle.

Sometimes we have to hear from strangers what we can’t seem to grasp from the people in our everyday lives.  The kindness they show to you is even more powerful because there really is nothing in it for them– the recipient could be an ungrateful jerk or their next best ally for years to come, or they could just be the angel you needed right in the nick of time, never to be heard from or seen again.

Maybe the memory of what that stranger was to you was the point.

Maybe that memory will stop you from making a bad decision or compel you to make a good one. It will compel you to open up to someone new or help someone you really didn’t have to.

Those moments in Myrtle Beach reminded me that life is so unpredictable and full of good surprises, just as much as it is filled with inconvenient, ugly and difficult circumstances.

I sent my friend a text today, wishing her a happy new year and that I am still touched by the power of our encounter. She texted me back, full of joy and offering me the same well wishes and said that she was just as touched by our experience too.

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