June 27, 2012
Some days, I feel the need to ask my “successful” and “do-er” friends to sign a disclaimer that they will still want to be friends with me even if I don’t do anything impressive or noteworthy with my life.
At 33, I battle the fear of loosing my focus on a daily basis, sandwiched between going to work because I need money to live and doing all the normal stuff that needs to be done for our lives to run smoothly (like clean clothes, towels and apartment, food to eat and so on). I have a few friends in my circle that are very busy people, always getting something done and pounding past those milestones like fucking champions. Their stories speak of houses, renovations, trips to the vet, new cars and car payments, refinancing, retirement investing, babies, children, second degrees, job promotions and salary increase negotiations. There are times when I stare at the phone, my faced all screwed and folded into a look of anguish: what will I say if I call them? When they are done filling me in, what will I say? “I made these amazing blood orange muffins the other day, my asshole boss at the job I said I was going to quit three months ago is still an asshole, I’m still working on “the change” we spoke about a year ago and hey, I’ve been posting to a blog no one knows about!”
Ah yes, the conversation of champions.
I mean, don’t get me wrong: I love these girls. They are no joke…good looking, strong, successful and amazing in general. But I do sometimes, in the irritating insecurity that plagues the girl part of me, want to just put it all out on the table: “do you want to talk to me if I don’t have anything impressive to report? Please sign this disclaimer that you will like me even if I don’t find my way. As long as I don’t go dumb and useless, you’ll love me, right?”
But nothing is black and white, and my memory reaches out to put a stop to my nonsense, recalling a certain moment past with one of my “power girls”:
We lay facing each other on a twin bed in her in-laws house with the door closed as I watched tears stream down her face. Her beautiful blue eyes were red and so sad, the injured girl in her breaking my heart. The pain we know from love is like no other, except perhaps for death, and I searched for something to say to make her feel just the tiniest bit better. When the sobbing slowed and we just looked at each other in silence, I told her that even though we couldn’t explain it now, I truly believed that everything happened for a reason. I told her how amazing she was, how proud I was of who she was, that she was part of my life…and that she was strong. Then I joked about myself: I pointed out that at least she wasn’t like me, wandering about life in circles, asking herself questions over and over and never making any progress. She had accomplished so much and had come so far from where she began. It was then that here eyes snapped to attention for just a moment, and sternly she said, “at least you’re happy. At least you laugh and can be silly, you move around in circles but see beautiful things: you’re living.”
That’s why we all need each other, like pieces of a puzzle. If we were all the same shape we could be side-by-side at best, but not united. With that I will go and be on with my day off, letting myself be proud for small things like eating a meal that does not contain cheese, actually putting all of my clothes away, putting the recycle out before midnight and crossing something off my list that has been there since last year.