I drove to Santa Barbara to be with my friend who I have known for twenty-five years. We don’t get enough face-to-face time because she no longer lives in California, as I do.
Isn’t it the best knowing you are going to be with someone who gets you, who carries your HISTORY, who could care less if you wear MAKE UP? We know we LOVE each other. We have been able to mend the hurt we caused or the blind spots that kept us from really “SEEING” and “BEING” with each other. Both of us have been through struggles and pain as well as celebrations and joy. LIFE, we share it…
It is fun for me to pack treats for her that she can’t easily access: apricots, peaches, blueberries, sierra gold potatoes, California Rose and Red wine, Los Angeles local yogurt, cheese and crackers. with a side of olives and homemade hummus. Of course, there is always room for desserts, orange zest pound cake; yes, it is full of butter, and macaroon drop cookies.
Our RHYTHMS are so similar. We are early risers who like to chat over coffee at home and then get out the door to explore. NEGOTIATING is effortless; CHANGING the plans doesn’t cause TANTRUMS, and the one listening more than TALKING, doesn’t feel being USED nor self-centered.
We wouldn’t be FRIENDS this long if we DENIED how each of us sees things. “That didn’t happen, that’s not how it came down,” nor do we NAME CALL when sharing feelings, “Oh you are so SENSITIVE.” We don’t feel SUPERIOR to the other and we don’t change the SUBJECT to lead the other off course.
Each of us has learned how to SELF-CARE, “Sorry, I have to go to bed. I’m tired.” “Ugh, I am spinning that disappointment in my head that I told you about yesterday. I can’t stop re playing what happened. I know we talked about it already. Would you remind me, again, what might help me right NOW and wait until I get PAPER and PENCIL to take notes?”
Our EXPECTATIONS are in check. I need to eat more often than she does. I like being outside, so she knows that request is coming her way. I know she likes to have directions ahead of time of exactly where the hike, museum, play, restaurant, etc., is located. Relying on apps isn’t enough security for her.
Laughing and made up words always arrive. The SCHMONGON SISTERS will be there for LOUPINOFFS. Then we get into stories that can turn our FANTASY IDEAS into playful thoughts that the WORLD just has to have. We talk about our past relationships, projects that slid down the drain, not feeling the AGE that shows up in the morning MIRROR, fun experiences we have had, personal and world dreams for tomorrow, and of course, family. We chat about the UNKNOWN and conclude, sometimes, that for now, this is how it is.
Friendships, at any age after COLLEGE and beyond, seem to be more difficult to CULTIVATE, especially if you live in a BIG city or aren’t part of a face-to-face work or INTEREST group community. Have you noticed that too?
For others, it is not that they need MORE friends. It is that they long for deeper more MEANINGFUL conversations and the COURAGE to say STOP IT to the same old conversations and then be able to head in a new direction for connecting.
Maybe it will be helpful to get a view from above yourself and ponder the question, “WHAT WOULD I LIKE IN A FRIENDSHIP? WHAT DO I HAVE TO GIVE and WHAT WOULD I LIKE TO RECEIVE THESE DAYS?”
What I learned when facilitating my workshops about friends is that they want more inclusion, they want to be asked questions that maybe they haven’t thought about, and they want less texting. They feel they have creativity and wisdom to share but everyone is hurried or has agendas and they don’t know how to interject what they want to give the friend.
TAKE GOOD CARE,
Natalie Caine, M.A. firstname.lastname@example.org | 10061 Riverside Dr., Suite 1002 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 | 800-446-3310