Monday, August 26, 2013

The Things About Friends

The things about friends is that, well, it's complicated.

Family can drive you crazy, but you can't get rid of them. You can say mean, low, evil things, (as can they) and usually, they'll forgive you, at least after while. When it comes down to it, at least in my case, you fight and love with a passion, because as the saying goes, blood is thicker than water.

With friends, there doesn't seem to be the same weight, I suppose. Because you can get rid of them, you can say mean, low, evil things, and they don't have to forgive you (or you them), and friends break apart, grow, and drift away like icebergs from one another. Although friends are the family you get to pick, sometimes it's best to let them go (or them you), because as in a romantic relationship, in order for it to work you both have to make an effort.

I'm blessed with having many great friends in my life, the kind who drink away heartbreaks with you and let you cry till there's no more tears, the kind who bring you soup when you're sick and camp out watching bad T.V. with you for the day, the kind who you share your childhood with and after layers and layers upon years you come together as if distance, work, kids, life has not passed, and the kind that come later and  you build a fast and furious bond over experiences likes trips, moves, and school.

I've also had the painful sting of friendships that have morphed and shifted into something unknown and uncomfortable, the kind where you have trouble meeting their eyes, because after all the time spent together they're not the person you hoped they were, the kind that you care for so much, you don't realize they are sucking you dry of love and energy until you lay wasted and drained,  the kind that leave you without a word, confused and wondering what it was that went wrong and are followed up with awkward "Hello's", the kind that make comments like, "I was with close friends," which leave you confused as the words slap you across the face, leaving a red mark, because you thought you were close friends, and the kind that look at you with envy tinted eyes and taint the love, relationships, and successes you've accomplished, souring them like old milk.

We've all had these friends, they're complicated because relationships are complicated, and like our-- boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives--I suppose we just have to go through them until we find the right ones. Past the break-ups and complications, there is the comfort in knowing you have people, if only a handful, outside your family, who love you, for all your faults and quirks, in a way close to the thickness of blood.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In the Words of David Bowie

This summer has been hard, bumpy, and filled with a kaleidoscope of emotions: tired, grumpy, angry, embarrassed, shame, self-doubt, happy, confident, relief, loved...when everything seems to be shifting, the world feels like the proverbial earthquake, and you feel like you can't find steady ground, it's important to remember change can't be controlled, forced, hurried, slowed down, it comes when it comes and forcing just makes everything along the way a little harder and a lot less sweet, a plump peach with no flavor.

Along the bumpy road it's important to remember:
You can't make everyone happy. Sometimes it's hard enough just making yourself happy.
Running away means you'll just have to deal with it later.
Smiling all the time is tiring; sometimes you just need to be.
The people you have in your life, the ones that matter, won't always be there, enjoy them.
It's okay to be comfortable, sometimes what we need is comfort,

I'm writing this because I forget all these things when I feel like everything is going awry. My ground seems to be leveling and it's easier to have these thoughts when everything isn't upside down. Hopefully I'll remember it next time I'm faced with "Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes...."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Heart of a Writer

Yesterday I submitted a story for a contest. As I typed in my credit card information for the entry fee. I said a prayer over and over in my mind, "Please God let me win something. Please God let me win something."

After the culmination of days and months rolling down a hill and snowballing into years without stepping foot into a church, my Catholic upbringing of spending every Sunday on a hard wooden pew with my grandma Ita, has not left me.

I sat in a noisy coffee shop quickly rereading a story, I've read 100 times, one more time to make sure it was really ready to send out. I attached it quickly to the email, exhaled, let my fingers hover over the keys and finally hit enter, sending a piece of my heart into cyber space for someone to look over, read, and hopefully connect with it.

The heart of a writer is both tender and calloused. We pour pieces of ourselves out onto paper for people to judge. Perhaps I should say the heart of the artist, but I can't think of other professions where one hands out pieces of themselves, gift wrapped with crinkled paper, to strangers.

After I hit send I crossed myself (with a bit of subtly I'm superstitious not crazy) and said a silent thank you then added one more, "Please God let me win something," for good measure and tried to remember the words of Sylvia Plath.