Friendships are on my mind these days.
My story about friendship was shaped by my early years. Growing up as the daughter of a career military man meant moving around from base to base, continually being uprooted and re-planted in a new environment, being the “new girl.” It was a struggle for me as an introvert, as someone who likes to be on the edges, observing interactions, taking in dynamics, to have to begin again and again. I reread story after story of friendship that lasted through thick and thin, ups and downs and I longed for that kind of constant connection.
Recently, my story of friendship has shifted. A couple of years ago, I chose the word relationship as my word for the year. I had it printed on to a silver disc, placed it on my keyring as a reminder and I promptly forgot about it. Yet now, I look up and am amazed to find myself surrounded by friendships, to find my datebook overflowing with teas and dinner plans, long walks and art dates with this set of amazing women who each light me up in such unique and distinct ways. Somewhere along the way, seemingly without my effort, the word relationship shifted from being a concept, a single word on a silver disc, to being a constant.
There is still a piece of me that holds on to the story of being not good enough. There are the soft remains of the voice that questions who am I to have these brave, dynamic, creative, talented, inspiring and funny people in my life. Who am I to believe that I can keep them entertained and interested through thick and think, ups and downs? What do I have to offer in return? Somewhere along the way I learned that I had to do something or be something in order for others to like me. Imagine my surprise to realize that I don’t have to be anyone other than who I am. What I did not believe before but what I am coming to truly understand now is that what attracts friends, lovers, partners to my side is the pure, unfiltered essence of me. I don’t have to stand on the edges, I don’t have to watch interactions and dynamics to figure out what each person needs. I can drop that part of the story because it has always been untrue.
All I have to do is be me and I can do that with my eyes closed!
So today, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, after a delicious brunch with a lovely new friend, I am just basking with deep gratitude and amazement at how much love this tender heart can hold.