How to relate and create lifelong friendships
At this particular moment, as I put my fingers to keyboard and flush out this vignette, I am as single as the world is round.
I am not just single and living the notoriously awful dating life of a New Yorker.
I am straight-up single, living my dreams and happy.
I've been told that it's a choice,
it is a matter of time,
good things come to those who wait,
that it is really hard to find a good man,
that it is important to work on my career etc. etc.
...as if I have a sign on my head that says, "I am 33 and single. I think there is something wrong with me. Please, give me your condolences."
I do appreciate people looking out for me.
I am also aware that the high watch is on and that, if it contributes to me expressing and being me, supporting others to choose to be themselves and loving and nurturing myself and the world, he will show up and he will be one of my greatest allies as we fight the good fight.
My contentment in how my life is going in the realm of relationship comes from getting a MAJOR component of what it is to relate - giving and getting support.
As a woman of many aspirations, a fire in my heart and a hyper-speed button towards my joy, I have moved through many spaces in my short 33 years - different professions, experiences, interests and social dynamics.
I'm a part of many communities and groups.
I am well-attended with few.
I know an incredible number of people.
I have chosen a small number with which I will spend the rest of my life considering my closest, dearest friends. They are my chosen family. I have picked them up along the way, all from different parts of my life.
We have some common hobbies and interests, but not many. We live dichotomously different lives.
We have chosen completely different cities, family lives and professional aspirations.
They are my allies because we have a (mostly) unspoken and then occasionally acknowledged agreement to love eachother, support each other and never, ever pass a judgment.
We are committed to each other having the best lives we can create, learning from our experiences and growing.
We have agreed to be madly in love with living and, therefrom, in love with each other.
I think often about the day one of my nearest and dearest called me on mother's day. She acknowledged the elephants all over the room of "normal" and "conventional" lives - that my mother had been gone for a decade and hers was a mile down the road and that I was single, she, 5 years married.
Yep. Acknowledged, we both knew it had no bearing.
She needed the space to share. Acknowledging our differences created that space and on the conversation went. She was beside herself at the display of love and baby pictures and praise other women our age, were receiving for being #1 Mom, oozing with joy over the maternal experience all over social media, TV, the supermarket....everywhere.
She'd been trying. She could not get pregnant.
Here I am sitting on the floor of my 500 square foot Brooklyn studio apartment, picking eyelash glue off of my eyelids from last night's costume party, ready to attend to the pile of paperwork for landlord-tenant court and trying to figure out if the weekly or monthly metro card might be a better choice for my low funds bank situation and she is dealing with feeling incapable, broken and unable to fulfill on what matters most to her.
Outside of us it sounds like the makings of a last conversation. We are too different. We were able to do this when we were both 17 and it was ballet for me and college for her...when it was simpler...when the gap was not so vast.
I get that this is important to her. I don't need a reference point. I just need to listen and let her feel safe to let it out so we can clear the cobwebs and start over, creating a dream that feels good.
I get that someone else's dream is not my dream. I also get that it is. My friend's life is important as my own is. I think about her joy when I imagine mine. I desire for her what she desires for her and I can be big enough to listen even if I do not understand the exact experience.
I get feeling helpless. I get what I need when I do. I can be that for her.
I was. She let it out.
She has since mothered a beautiful funny cute little button of a baby boy and we are all the more close, the further the storylines of our lives grow apart...because we support each other.
You are here to grow, separately and together with the people you hold dear.
You are here to see to it that you and yours experience being heard and loved.
You are here to say what needs to be said so that you can take the next step.
Get whatever is in the way of you saying a word that needs to be said out of the way.
You are not here to make sure we are besties until the end.
You are here to love and be loved.
That's what truly relating is.
That's a friend.
That is someone who is there for you to be you and her to be her, each present to be sure that it goes as such.