I have a friend who genuinely tries to let me in. This person is someone with whom I have a reciprocal friendship with. The kind of friend, who randomly thinks about you, and picks up their phone to see if you have responded to their last text. The kind of friend, who no matter how hectic life gets, reaches out to ask how you are, and actually waits to hear the answer; and, the kind of friend who reaches out again, when time has passed, and there isn't a reply.
I call these friends my lifers. They're around me by design, co-creating lives, and sharing in the human experience. They're committed to us by a force that's far more determined than shear human choice. It's as if there isn't a choice. It just is, and that's that. There's no other story to be written, they're in our lives "by design."
I like to consider myself an open book as well. Anyone close to me, within that tribe of people, can connect with me. Yet, despite that proclamation, I skip with this one friend who genuinely tries to let me in. Meaning, I do this annoying thing of not answering the inquiry with this particular friend. So much so it became down right annoying for both of us, and I had to figure out why I wasn't being my normal self.
I skipped to be a shield.
At first, I would do it because I was trying to protect this kindrid spirit from any additional details of my life. We all have been there, when our own life is already so discombobulated that we simply can't absorb that which is being told to us. And, we sure as hell have no business taking it on. But, we do it anyway, because we love those in our tribe.
Then, I skipped to avoid retelling.
Life has become challenging remembering all of the important lessons my grandfather's passing taught me. Lessons I must remember now as I walk my own father down familiar paths. Between the PTSD of those events a few short years ago, and this marathon of loss we have been running since, it's deflating. I can tell my lifer in TX. I can tell my childhood neighbor over a phone call. Yet, I was skipping in one relationship, and not allowing this person in who wants to be there.
Then, I was skipping because I wasn't the one who normally seeks comfort, wisdom, or laughter. I was Superwoman (not my words), the one everyone else goes to. But, if one person is so much to so many, then who gets to be that person's comfort, wisdom, and laughter? Basically, who is Superwoman/Superman in Superwoman's life? Welllllp, mine are already deceased/home (gulp), or on their way home (sigh). Then it hit me. Like a brick.
Finally, I realized what was really going on! I was continuing to skip because I have walls up. I was skipping to avoid an intimacy and vulnerability that simply put, just felt different. I was skipping to avoid a pull and energy I hadn't felt so fiercely since 8th grade science hallway walk on the way to shop class. Each day that I skip, that I keep the wall up, I am avoiding.
Life is too short damn short for avoiding. Enough.
I am working to bring down my walls, one brick at a time. Oh, and there's a cracked foundation I am rebuilding too. I've spent the last 8 years diligently rediscovering myself, and making peace in the pain of the seasons of life. Change is the one inescapable constant. We flow better through life when we observe those changes, versus reacting to every moment of them. Healing is a course of direction, and not a destination. Going forward, I have made a pact with myself to stop skipping. To stop deflecting. To stop putting up boundaries.
One of my dearest friends and teachers Thomas once said, "you can't fight nature." Meaning, we are what we are, and we are a species built to be driven to survive through the bonds of our tribe. He was reminding me of the Universal Wisdom of life, of letting go, and of being in the now. Remember that. I love you.