authenticity · healing · letting go · love · maturity · self-care

BFF

My best friend from the east coast is coming in tomorrow to
visit for 5 days. I’m excited and nervous – and I think I’ve written this
before! I tried to write a blog this morning about real and fancied fears (that
i’ll end up pushing a shopping cart: fancied; skin cancer: realish), but I
couldn’t get it going, so I dug around for what’s really on my mind.

So, that’s happening, and part of my nerves are that she and
I haven’t spent such significant time with one another in Years. We’d had a
pretty bad falling out at the end of both our college years, almost 10 years
ago, and didn’t talk for about the next 5 or so. We both had some growing and
changing to do, but as Fate would have it, about 3 years after I moved to
San Francisco, we began to reconnect.
Like any friendship, and especially a reconciliation, it’s
been by degrees. The warming up, getting to know you again phase. And
particularly with reconciliation, the “what’s it going to be like this time”
friendship fear. Will it be the same? Likely not; we’ve both changed our lives & ourselves dramatically. Will it be based on nostalgia? That, is something that a few
of my friendships from New Jersey have faded into, and have thence faded
completely. A friendship based on nostalgia doesn’t really work. It’s great to
reminisce, but that can’t be all there is – if there’s no current common
ground, no interest in pursuing something forward, then there’s really nothing
to bond over. The bond was made, but it’s … in the past. 
Luckily, with my
friend coming out this week, we’ve been able to learn that we have more in
common now and more to talk about and bond over than we had then. We have the
wonderful ability and common shared history to be able to talk about that
ridiculous party in the sand pit – the “pit party” – or the terrible yet funny
nicknames we used to have for people in high school (Money, Teeth, Banana –
because he looked like a monkey… go teenage girls…!). But we’re also finding
now that our lives, despite our separate courses and coasts, have miraculously
similar trajectories.
It’s been a blessing of the highest sort to have this
friendship come back together. There were a few years when I didn’t know if it
would, and I was viciously saddened by that, but it was not my business or my
plan as to whether someone wanted to be in contact with me again. So, when I
would hear a song on the radio that we’d played 10,000 times at the local
diner, I got sad, but wished her well. When that movie we’d loved as children
came on, I felt a twinge, but sent her the blessings for her life that I wanted
for myself. I hope she’s happy.
And then, as luck would have it, we came back together.
Slowly, for sure. We’re still in the slowly part. This visit is part of the
solidification, but also, I have to take my expectations out of it. I want to
make it a “great” time, so that we are friends again. I want it not to rain, so
the weather doesn’t reflect something about myself or my life. I want us to not be awkward or have tension
so that I don’t lose this again. But, none of that is anything within my
control.
All I can chose to do is to be myself. If this is a person
she wants to befriend, then she will. As with romantic relationships, if it’s
meant to be I can’t screw it up, and if it’s not meant to be, then I can’t fix
it.
I had a conversation several years ago with a girl friend of
mine about the power of female friendships. The “best” friend friendships. How,
really, in many ways they are – we said, then – more important and more
complicated than romantic relationships. I still think some of that is true.
However, part of the difference today with me is that I recognize that people
are human (duh), and cannot, simply cannot, fulfill all the things a person I
wish ought to. One person cannot be someone’s all. One person cannot be my only
friend, or my only social connection, my only vessel of personal relations.
Like seeds, you’ve got to spread it around. Part of this is
self-protection, but part of it is simply being realistic. And that is the protective part. If I am realistic about my
expectations of other people, then I won’t be hurt if they don’t live up to my
demands about them. It is simply unfair to anyone to expect them to fulfill my
needs. Firstly and foremostly, I need to ensure that I’m taking care of them
for myself to the best of my ability. Then, I can look outside myself to other
people, and form relationships where my needs are met. Where my realistic needs
are met.
Sorry for the tangent on what I think friendships and
relationships are, but this writing is also a reminder to myself of this as my friend comes to
visit. For someone who’d been labelled your best friend since the age of 3,
that carries a lot of weight – and I’ve recognized, unfair weight. Part of the
reason for the separation all those years ago was that we each had massive
expectations and need put upon one another – or, I’ll speak for myself, I did
that on her. That wasn’t fair, and the friendship burned down painfully.
So, coming to this visit in a spirit of open-mindedness. And
a loose set of expectations and desires will help us both to have a better
time. The weather isn’t a reflection of me. She’ll have a good time if she’s
meant to or wants to. And I can take care of myself, so that I don’t put the
onus on her.
However, those two hot chicks you’ll see blaring STP down the
interstate? Yeah, that’s us. 
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