Posts Tagged With: Love

#Ferguson

I’ve seen that hashtag used a number of different ways in the days that have followed the death of Michael Brown. Some in solidarity as people have grieved the death of an 18 year old. And then some of the more troubling posts across social media.

For the most part, I really neglect my facebook. And when I do peruse it, I mostly read jiu jitsu articles or watch jiu jitsu videos. I’ve turned it into an ADD person’s jiu jitsu news feed. I’m a little obsessed. And I like it that way. 🙂

But since August 9th, when Michael Brown faced his untimely death, it has also shown the multiple viewpoints towards this moment in time. And I have to say that I am horrified. I’ve seen people make comparisons to Trayvon Martin. Both on the side that they were both unarmed kids that were killed and then the more racist driven views. And then I remember that as much as I don’t really gauge people based on the the color of their skin, there are others, many, many others that do. Instantly he is a thug. He obviously did something to deserve to be shot 6 times, twice in the head.

I guess because I spent most of my childhood in Europe, the racism that is so rampant in the United States, I was shielded from. I don’t think I realized that I was even “different”. It wasn’t until I moved to America that I started to realize that my face looked different than others. And it wasn’t because I realized it so much as other people felt so free to bring it up. I didn’t realize there was such an underlying rippling of hatred until I sat in an ex’s mother’s living room, listening to his family spew some of the most vile things I had ever heard. I sat crippled, not knowing how to react. When his mother voiced something about how she hoped her children were never involved in an interracial relationship, I sat slack-jawed. She turned towards me, maybe sensing my horror, and so nonchalantly threw out “Well, you don’t count. I just think of you as white.”  Umm…thanks?? I was 18 years old.

It was and still is strange to me when these nationwide instances of racism rise up. And I am also shocked by what people that I think I know will say during these time. This may be the thing that will drive a wedge between myself and others that I know but I feel that to remain silent is irresponsible. It hurts me to read some of the comments that are out there, for all to see. It hurts me to think that this boy’s parents have to not only grieve the death of their child, they must also read and hear on social media, on the news and in their own community that this 18 year old, their 18 year old was worthless. That he deserved to be gunned down on the street. That he didn’t deserve a fair trial, as others in this country receive everyday.

Because I think that is what we all forget while we sit on our soapbox, whatever our platform. We forget that while we let hate drive our thoughts and comments and news stories, there is a family that sits in their home in Ferguson, MO, grieving for their 18 year old boy that will never see the life the rest of us will enjoy. We can debate for weeks,months and years that he may or may not have committed a crime prior to his death. We can choose to believe the stories that he had drugs in his system and that is another justification for his death. We can scream about the multiple instances where similar stories are not reported and made national news because they were the “wrong” race. But none of that will do any good. None of that erases the fact that an 18 year old boy lost his life. A family grieves a life that ended 18 years after it started. That he will never marry. Never have kids. Never grow old.

In the midst of bad decisions, we as a nation do not also need to make bad decisions. Instead of turning on one another, picking apart a life that sadly we will all forget long before the pain of his family has settled, why do we not choose to turn to others in love? Why do we not realize that life is short and fleeting and embrace those that we still have the honor to enjoy?

I don’t presume to know what actually happened on August 9th. I don’t know what Michael was doing or what the police were thinking. I don’t know why the news channels choose to report one story but neglect another, and please remember, it is the news channel executives that decide which stories air, not the people on the streets, but I can venture a guess. But I do know when we choose to turn on our fellow man (or woman) based solely on the color of their skin, we chose to dishonor not only them but ourselves. So I ask you, before you post a hateful article on either side of this story, before you post an ugly comment, how would you like others to respond to you if you were any part of this horrific incident. This isn’t a movie on HBO, these are real people’s lives. Michael’s family. The police officers’ families. There is a community in upheaval. The last thing that is needed is an entire country of people fanning the flames.

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I suck at this blogging thing…

A-true-relationship-is-having-someone-who-accepts-your-past-supports-your-present-loves-you-and-encourages-your-futureNot that this statement is shocking to anyone that has read this blog with any frequency. 🙂 But I think I finally know why. I started this blog to kinda get outside of myself. I have struggled a long time with allowing people close enough to hurt me. Now, I realize that one’s instinct is to keep themselves safe, but I kept EVERYONE at least arm’s length. But at the same time, I would help anyone that I could, as often as I could. I thought this was being a good friend. Helping them carry their burdens while not burdening them with my own. But that is not true relationship. It’s a give and take. And I found as I began to let people in, that it was frustrating for them to be in relationship with me while I purposely held parts of myself to myself.

And it was a lonely place to be. While I was safe from any emotional harm, I also was no longer living life. I actually don’t know if I had ever lived life. And then I let go this perception of self preservation and began to open up. I started with those that were already my friends. I let them get closer. I shared struggles with them and let them help me, even if the help was nothing more than to listen. And it was difficult! So freaking difficult to do. As I spoke about whatever I was struggling about, I was also worrying on the inside of how they were perceiving me. I mean was I being petty? Did I blow things out of proportion? Was my friend sitting there thinking that I was just a huge loser? Turns out no. Well, most of the time. I am human. And I have honest friends 😉

So I started this blog as an exercise to get out of my comfort zone. It started with the mundane (and often hysterical) training stories of my marathon training and then circuit training. And every once in a while, I put a little something personal on there, and I would just see the numbers skyrocket on views. (Oh, and one secret I’ve kept is that I could see the view count and search terms. Someone out there has been regularly searching out my blog but would never subscribe. I see you! 😉 Ha!!)

And then those posts became more regular. And the more honest I became, the more it seemed to attract people’s attention. And never once did I receive anything negative. And this is the forum to do it. Complete anonymity!! But a fantastic thing seemed to happen in the process. The more I got used to opening up, the more I was not met with judgmental attitudes, the more I opened up.  In real life. I worried less about the opinions of those that didn’t matter. I became transparent to those that I love and love me. I began to live a life with arms wide open. I began to simply live life.

Now I’m not saying that I have not been hurt in the process because I have. Deeply. There have been moments where I was convinced that I would be unable to claw my way back to the surface. But then I remembered that I didn’t have to do it alone. That I had people that were there to help me. That wanted to help me. And then there were moments that I trusted people that weren’t who they presented themselves to be and I just had to let go of those relationships instead of trying to figure out the why of the situation. And as broken as my heart was, I bounced back. Some situations took longer than others, but I bounced back with the help of my friends.

And as I lived more transparently in my real life, I spent less time chronicling my shenanigans on here.  Because I became busy. Busy living the life I was always meant to live. Enjoying the wonderfully genuine people that were placed in my path. Busy living the life I used to write about in this blog.

And in my times of need, I reached out for help. I began to shed this huge ego problem that I held so tightly to before ( <- I attribute this to Jiu Jitsu, btw). And man I’m a lucky girl! Because no matter the situation, the help was abundant. Whether it was deep, big problems or a mini sobfest in the middle of my bed, someone was there to care for me. With absolutely no judgement. Now I’m not perfect. I still struggle with opening up. But those same people that are there to support me also support me by gently reminding me that I am being a stubborn ass. 😉 I’m a work in progress. 🙂

So I think I know why I now suck at this blog thing. It’s because I no longer suck at this thing called life. So like other things in my life that were only meant to be in my life for a season, I am saying goodbye to this blog.

~~Til we meet again (in real life)

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No New Year’s resolutions here…

imagesLife is short. Really short if you think about it. The gray hairs I plan to cover tonight with hair dye are evidence of the years I’ve lived.

And then I think about the sweet girl that lost her life just days before Christmas at the tender age of 17. Life offers no guarantees.

And then there are the several battles of cancer I’ve had to face and have been open about and the multitude of “scares” that I’ve kept to myself. No guarantees.

Maybe that is why I live my life the way I do. I choose a life of passion. Of joy. Of a “human soul on fire”. A life of no regrets. And I also cut out things that do not add to the quality of my life. I do not want to sit on my death bed wishing I had not wasted seconds of my precious life on things that did not add love, passion, and life.

I want to do something? I do it. I want to go somewhere? I go. I want to spend time with someone? I do. Some think me crazy. Some think me bold. But while I have the privilege to experience this simulation we call life, I choose to find those moments meant to bring life and pursue them. I choose to pursue relationships that bring love and light.  I want to be the friend that is energizing and uplifting. I want to be the lover that brings quiet excitement and chaotic peace. I want to be wholly me. 

At the end of my days, I want the movie that plays before my eyes to be filled with the moments I shared with the people I loved, doing the things I loved. And that starts with the everyday. New years resolutions? I don’t make them. I choose to live them.

So what makes you feel alive?? And do you choose to pursue them daily??

~~Til the next time…

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I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours ;)

5-love-languagesOh, yes. I do realize that I’ve skipped waaaaaay ahead. I’ve decided that the world’s longest 30 day challenge no longer followed the rules anyways, so I’m picking what I want to write 🙂 So, day 20: What is your love language?? If you don’t know what this is, or even better, what yours is, click on the pic and it will take you to a short quiz. Trust me, totally worth the time.

I’ve mentioned this in another post sort of, but my biggest love language is physical touch.

Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face–they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.

I’m a toucher. I just am. More so with the people in my life but I’ve been known to disregard a stranger’s personal space a time or two. Mostly with a touch while in conversation. I’ve been accused of being flirty because of this, but I promise you, it is not. AT ALL. That is just another way I communicate.

Another that ranks up there is Quality Time. Time spent together. I love it. So the guy I’m seeing doesn’t own a television and I have to say that it is quite nice. He has Netflix so if we wanted to watch something we could, but so far we haven’t. It’s been nice just laying on the couch talking. Getting to know each other. Talk about one another’s days. Hang out with the kiddos 🙂 Enjoy the silence. I highly recommend it. You don’t have to sell your TVs but maybe turn it off for a bit. 🙂

So there you go 🙂 Just curious, what is yours?

~~Til the next time…

Day 20

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Day 9: Not doing the list

Day 9Day 9: ———-

So today was supposed to be about 10 pet peeves, but I have to say that my heart is heavy given what happened yesterday in Boston. I sat at my desk working with Facebook open on one of my screens, watching as a running group I used to be a part of was calling off members as they crossed the finish line in Boston, liking the posts as they popped up. I said a little “YAY!” as I saw them start rolling in. And then I started to see the reports of an explosion, maybe two at the finish line. Confusion. My brain tried to understand, figure out what could have exploded, hoping that there were no people hurt. I will say in the rainbow and sunshine brain of mine, I imagined that the explosion was no where near people and it was some freak accident. And then I started to hear the reports of planted bombs and my heart broke. The news reports were constant. The numbers of dead and hurt rose quickly. Pictures popped up on the television and all over social media.

I think this hit me a little harder because this happened in my community, within my running family. Lace up your tennis shoes and go running anywhere and when you encounter another runner, you will be met with a raised hand, a nod of the head, a smile, some sort of “hey, I see you.” It’s just what you do. And you don’t have to be a runner to understand this camaraderie. It’s the same with boaters, bikers, Jeep owners, and more I am sure I am not even aware of. We may not know each other but we recognize we still have a relationship and it is one of the things that I love about being in the running community. We share the same heart.

So when I started to hear about the damage done by some evil person, my heart sank. As much as I wanted to understand what happened, I stayed away from the television and internet all together last night. Like I told my very crushed daughter this morning, there is no understanding evil. She too is part of this community. In less then 2 weeks, I will be running in the Music City Marathon and she will be volunteering at the finish line. She will be the one that will put my finisher’s medal around my neck. As we were looking towards that day, we were excited but that was still clouded by the pain we felt for those in Boston.

And so today, my mind and heart is with Boston. And when I run in two weeks, I run for not only my little Newton angel, I will also run for Boston. For an extended family whose beautiful, celebration filled day was stolen by evil.

~~Til the next time…

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Day 6: What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced

Day 6

Note to self: Next time I create one of these, pick light-hearted material. I guess the goal was to not only write but to also stretch myself but stiiiiiiiiill… Alright enough of the whining. 🙂

Day 6: What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced

Honestly, I could pick a number of things to write about, but if I am being completely honest, I know which one it is.

Love is a funny thing sometimes. It is something that can lift you up, carry you through the most difficult of days. It can also rip you to your core. And the worst you will feel will sometimes come from those that you love the most. I guess it is because those are the ones that you open up to the most. You are your most vulnerable and therefore the heartache comes easier.

urlOkay, I’m stalling 🙂 but I guess the hardest thing I’ve experienced is also one of the hardest to write about. So not too long ago, yesterday really in my mind, I walked away from love. It was both the most logical and illogical decision I made. We both loved each other immensely. I had no doubt about that. Not for a second. But lordie were we just poison for one another.

We played this game of back and forth for many years. We lived a life of extremes. I love you. I hate you. You are my everything. You mean nothing to me. Don’t ever leave. Don’t ever come back. It was honestly very exhausting. But love will make you do stupid things. The last time was our longest consecutive time together and was probably the most painful. That time, we finally admitted that we loved each other.

When we met, we were so over relationships. We’d both been burned one too many times. At 32, I’d decided that I didn’t want to deal with relationships anymore. Thoughts of someday marrying someone??? Oh, hell no. I was done! Sad when I think about it, that at 32, I’d already given up. But I was so tired of hurting. My thought was if I just kept my distance, from men, from people in general, then I wouldn’t have to feel the pain of loss ever again.

And then I meet him.

We were like magnets. In every sense. There were times that we were just drawn together. I can’t put my finger on precisely why but if we were anywhere near each other, we would run into each other. Now, I live in a big city. It’s easy to get lost here if you want to. Didn’t seem to work with him. Then there were other times that, just like magnets, being anywhere near each other repelled us, shooting us in opposite directions.

Like I said, we did this for many years. Some of the pain I have chronicled here deal with him. We were together so long that there isn’t much in my life that doesn’t reminds me of him. Movies. Songs. My favorite artist we discovered together at another artist’s concert. I have a lot of good memories from our time together.

I also have a lot of gut-wrenching, pain-filled memories as well. The worst come from our last month together. It finally became too much. I made the decision to leave. It took a couple of tries but in the end, I did. And it honestly was the best decision I made when it came to our relationship. I had become an enabler (<– perfect example at this post) to his bad behavior and bad decisions. I lost all my glitter and sparkle to try to make something work that was never meant to.

So I made one of the hardest decisions in my life. I walked away from the one person outside of my family that I loved the most.

I will say that thanks to that relationship, I am no longer cynical and closed off. I have plenty of reason to but today, I choose walk another path. I’m young. Too young to give up on life and love. I’m not actively seeking it out, but I am no longer sitting in my house, closed off to the world in an attempt to stay safe. I take any opportunity to live and make memories. Right now, they are with the best friends a person can have and with my precious children. And when it happens, I hope I am open enough to recognize it and embrace it. I just have to keep remembering that beautiful flowers do not grow in the absence of rain.

~~Til the next time…

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Out of Brokenness

IMG_2927First off, Happy Valentine’s Day all you lovers of love 😉

I don’t know if I’ve ever said on here that I’m an artist, but I am. I love the creative process. I love sitting in front of a mess of supplies and turning it into something. Often, that is how it starts for me. I just…start. For me, there is nothing more fun than sitting on the porch in the morning with a cup of coffee, music playing, my supplies laid out in front of me, feeling the warmth of the sun as I walk around my piece and create. I can get lost for hours doing this. It centers me when I seem to lose balance. 🙂

Yesterday I had a co-worker ask about other pieces I’ve made since she’s seen the one in my office and I told her about this one. I watched as tears formed in her eyes. Oh the power of art! Its ability to move people to emotion always strikes me. And it is one of my absolute favorites.

So the story behind the piece.

Several years ago, I was part of group of women that was taking a class about relationships and brokenness. I worked with the counselor that led the class and we talked about how she wanted to start the class. She wanted to break two plates. No warning. So I gathered the supplies so that she could do that.

That night as the women sat around chattering with one another, a loud crash was heard as my friend broke the first of the two plates. I watched as startled women, shrieked. I then watched my friend then break the second plate and began the class. As we were cleaning up that night, she handed me the tub that contained the broken pieces of the plates.

“Can you make something out of this?”

Uuuhhh… I grabbed the tub and told her I’d try. The last class, the class I was going to present a completed piece, was 6 weeks away. Dang it! The pressure. For the first two weeks, I just walked past the tub of broken porcelain as disdain crossed my face. What in the hell was I going to do with a million shattered pieces of plates??? As I passed the tub one day, the light bulb switched on and burned bright.  I got very excited. I went to Home Depot that night and bought everything I needed to turn the idea in my head into reality. The end result is pictured above.

Everyone has had a relationship. Romantic. Friendships. Family. And everyone has experienced the brokenness that often comes from those relationships. Some temporary. Some heartbreakingly permanent. But there is a beauty that comes from that. It is often found in retrospect but it is there. Call me glass half full but there is good that can be found in the ugliness of life.

But after the shattering, life looks different. There is no way to get back to the smooth, perfection that was. So what do you do? Rebuild. Put it back together and move on. Take what is new and know its beauty.

I took the two plates and made it one. A reconciled relationship. Two hearts joined in the center, pursuing one goal. Oneness out of the brokenness. And the ugly pieces at the bottom? The ugliness of the relationship. Removed from the whole but still there. A reminder of the daily work that a relationship requires. A reminder of the road traveled. A reminder that the ugliness lurks nearby lest we forget.

As I put the pieces of the broken plates back together, I began to find healing from the broken pieces I carried inside of myself. This truly came from my heart as I created it in the midst of my own brokenness. And it is a reminder to me. I see it everyday and I remember that in the brokenness comes beauty.

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Addiction

“I thought we were a f*cking fairytale. But if you’re careless with something for long enough, you know, it breaks. And that’s how I feel. Broken. Completely and utterly broken.” –Karen

I’m not going to post this on Facebook. Hell, I don’t know if I will even publish this. I know this will automatically go to those that have subscribed to this strange little blog if I do, and that I am okay with, but I feel I should write this. I guess I just need to get it out of my head.

Right now, I am watching the 4th season of Californication. I love this show because first, the writing is fantastic. (If you haven’t seen it and you have delicate sensibilities, I suggest you avoid it. It is one of the more cruder shows out there.) Another reason I watch it tho, is in a way, it feels familiar. I’ve dealt with my Hank Moody’s. Yes, plural. I will say that none to the extent that Showtime shows, at least as far as I know, but the pain was all the same. I connect with Karen, his long time girlfriend. I hurt for her. I get angry with her. And I sit and wonder why.

For those not familiar, David Duchovny’s character, Hank Moody, is a sex addict, among other things. When you watch him, you learn he can’t really say no to anything. Drugs, alcohol, other people’s whims. He just does, as if on autopilot, seemingly oblivious to the pain he causes the people around him. Until that pain interrupts his life, causes him pain as well. And then you get to see a side of him that is broken, empty and screaming for something, a something that can’t be named.

And then I feel for him. My heart breaks for this adolescent trapped in a man’s body. Duchovney plays this character well, most certainly because of his own familiarity, and you get to see this side that people not closely involved rarely get to see. But I did. I know why Karen leaves and comes back. I’ve experienced others see a great guy, my great guy, and wonder why I’m angry and hurting. I’ve experience having to try and explain to my friends why I stay, why I go back when he’s hurt me so much. I’ve gotten to the point of breaking and vowed to never look back and then go running back into the same arms that shattered my heart, to give him “one more try”.

But there is just such a selfishness to addiction that can not be ignored. As many moments as I had of enjoying the kind, sweet person everyone else saw, I had many more where it was a “my way or the highway” kind of thinking. Sometimes I stayed, sometimes I left. Each time, tho, my heart broke a little more. And then I got to the point that I had nothing left to break. I remember those moments of feeling hollow as I said the words “I’m done”. I got to the point of being all “try’d” out.

In the middle of one of these relationships, I decided to start going to counseling. I was a mess. I honestly had no idea who I was. My identity became enmeshed in the battle of being a co-addict. Of hating what was going on and doing nothing to stop it. I sat in self pity and silence. I told no one of my struggles and I just let people assume whatever they wanted about me because I didn’t want anyone to “hate” him. I was just as sick as he was. I eventually left. I realized that you can’t help someone that doesn’t want it, or worse, doesn’t even realize he needs it.There was no magical person I could pretend to be that would make the situation better. His problem was not my problem to fix.

But self discovery is not about perfection. I found myself moving onto a relationship that was better but was still the same. I silenced myself to keep the peace. I walked on eggshells and lied about how bad it really was so that he didn’t feel bad about it. Thankfully, I realized it a lot faster than I had in the past and walked away, but not without scars.

Scars that ache when I watch this show because I am not just a viewer. I know this reality. I was Karen. I had my Hank. We had friends that played the roles like they do in this show.

Why do I watch, then? Because it’s everywhere. I can avoid this one show that screams of a problem that surrounds us, but that is the truth. It surrounds us. Remember Tiger? He wasn’t just a manwhore. He was a broken shell of a man that resembled someone of great confidence and power. And there are millions more like him that will never see their shame displayed on the tabloids for all to see.

I can run from a painful past, but then how do I celebrate the person I am today? That pain shaped me. The pain of my past allows me to fully celebrate the good I have today. It helps me appreciate the great relationships I have right now. It pushes me to appreciate authenticity as opposed to perfection. It gives me a greater sense of what true happiness really feels like.

So, I will watch. I will continue to face my anger and pain while watching a show I genuinely enjoy. And I will heal a little more everyday.

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Friendship and Romance

So, I have these friends. Really, really good friends. Two of my best friends even. And they are married to each other. I’ve had the joy of watching their relationship for the last year and I have to say that these two impress me. Not because they are the perfect couple. I think they’d be the first to tell you that they aren’t. Well, after they feigned shock that I would say such a thing. 🙂 They crack me up.
I’ve gotten to watch this crazy transformation of their relationship over the last 6-8 months which, if I’m honest with myself, has given this cynic some hope. They are high school sweethearts and have been together for more than 20 years, yet I’ve watched them turn into newlyweds almost two decades after they said their “I do”s. I think the biggest thing that has struck me is that I get to witness this sweet friendship between the two of them.
There have been moments where the two of them seem to get so lost in each other, that they have no idea that anyone else is watching them. I was lucky enough to capture this moment on film while we were out one day. The best part was that I was just randomly shooting what was going on around me and took a picture of them. When I was checking out my pictures later, I saw it. It just caught me. It has to be one of my favorite pictures of them.

Obviously the picture is not one that is perfectly shot. The lighting is all wrong. There is that horrendous glow on his face that has nothing to do with the love he has for his wife. But the looks on their faces. That is something that cannot be recreated. They share this bond, this friendship, that is fun to watch.

So why does this strike me so much. Well, it’s one of the things that I am looking for in a partner. I want to be with someone that is also my friend. Actually, that is on the top three of my list and is a deal breaker. If we can’t enjoy each other in the normal, non-romantic everyday, I don’t want it. It’s just that important to me. Harsh I know, but I also know that relationships are hard. It’s not something that comes easy just because you found that perfect person. There are days where you may have to remind yourself that you love the person laying next to you in bed. There are days that the romance just isn’t working and you have to rely on your friendship to get you through. Then there are days, like I said before, you love the person unconditionally, but at that moment you are not very fond of them. For me, I need the balance of both. I need my lover to also be my friend.

So when I get to see these little moments that my friend’s probably aren’t even aware of, it gives me hope for my future. Especially on the days when I doubt that romance and friendship can be found in one relationship.

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Just trust me…

Trust. It’s such a precarious thing. I enjoy people who say to me “just trust me” followed by a casual wave of the hand. I especially like it coming from the ones that I’ve just met. It’s often followed with “have I ever let you down?”. Ummm, why no. No, you haven’t. But then again, I met you 5 minutes ago. 🙂

I think that if you asked most of my friends, they would say that I’m a pretty trusting person. And then they would all be wrong. 🙂 I am the type of person that will give people a chance, some more than others, but I’m far from the trusting type. Actually, what I am thinking on the inside is “you’re going to let me down”. With most relationships, it’s a constant battle for me to stay engaged because I have a cute little devil in disguise, dancing around my head, singing “this will never work. this will never work.” Insert sh*t kickers and a mandolin and I’m all but sold.

But I choose to fight to stay engaged and here’s why.

Some relationships have faded away as our time together just came to a natural end. Some ended in explosive, hurt filled rants that can only be healed with space and the passing of time. Others were an agreement that we just didn’t get along and it was time to move on. While others were a one sided ending of the relationship for whatever reason, but still peaceful. With all these relationships I learned something valuable and I don’t regret any of them.

But the reason I choose to fight the devil inside is because of the relationships I still do have. I consider myself a very lucky person because I have a lot of great friends, some of those I count as best friends. They are not only my best friends, but I think of them as family. I have a couple extra sisters and brothers. How many people can honestly say that? I talk to two of my friends every day. We aren’t just friends, we live life together. And I am grateful for them.

And I trust them wholeheartedly. I TRUST them as defined above. When I am with these friends, I feel like I am at home with family. There are no pretenses. I don’t have to act, look or speak a certain way for them to like me. They like every part of my silly, outspoken, imperfect, broken little self. I don’t feel like I have to be strong and perfect to be with them ‘cuz God knows I am far from either.

I think I mostly knew that but last weekend cemented it for me. I was having a rough couple days. One night I was sitting on the back porch with one of these friends, quietly crying. We would exchange sentences, little thoughts back and forth and we would just sit, me with my wine and her with her tea. I could see the concern on my friend’s face. I know most of it was her wish to make it all better for me. To find the magical combination of actions to make the pain go away. Little did she know that she was doing just that.

I don’t like to cry. Most people that know me have probably never seen me cry. I fight the urge so badly that when I do, it is often followed by a horrible headache from the effort to keep the tears at bay. And it’s all because I don’t trust people. I don’t trust that they will not judge me. I don’t trust that they will not blame me. I don’t trust them to care for me. Honestly, I don’t trust that they care.

But that night, as the tears flowed freely, I trusted. I believed. I had confidence. I knew, in the presence of sweet family, I was safe. Safe to cry. Safe to talk. Safe to be.

So, sweet friend, you know who you are, you did find the magical combination, which turned out not to be so magical after all. What little trust I had for people in general grew that night because of the great trust I have in you. Not because you knew the right things to say or because you figured out just what to do. It was all because you provided the safety and the care that was your back porch to a hurting, needy friend. I left that night knowing, regardless of the outcome of my situation, I was going to be alright because I had people I could trust with my heart. You are a light that shines in the darkest of my thoughts. Thanks for being there to chase away the devil with me.

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