Part of my 2016 resolution was to honor my commitments, especially to those I consider close friends and family. This included showing up more, attending important events, art shows and birthday parties. Buying gifts and sending cards, answering the phone and having real conversations. Intentionally listening when they need to download. I feel good about how I have stuck to that commitment….except when I don’t.
As I roll into my early thirties I’m learning things about myself that my twenties couldn’t teach me. Like not to commit to anything before 2pm because by 5 I will woefully regret it and wish I could be surrounded by pillows in my bed. And that if I don’t take time to recharge from energy draining days then I’ll completely melt down and not even wine can save me then. (Picture me floating in a blow up raft in the middle of a wine river with a straw not long enough to reach) Lastly, that you can search a lifetime for hands trusting enough to come undone in and never find them, so now I unravel with caution.
I canceled yet another friend date today and as usual I am riddled with guilt, more than usual because this is the 3rd time I have canceled with this friend and each time she is so gracious and understanding and each time I am so thankful. Often our sadness has an expiration date. We can be sad and tired but not for too long. Soon, the get well wishes stop and people just start to get annoyed with our lack of energy to engage. Sometimes they even get upset. Eventually, we become a burden and who wants to be that? Who wants to feel heavy and hard to love. Not me.
My friends unwavering understanding and flexibility with my need to recharge, her grace and care and compassion with me felt so soft and easy and not hard like how everything else feels hard right now. I told her “Thank you for not judging me.” Seems like a silly thing to have to be thankful for but in this world of measurements and scales it is a luxury not to feel judged. To feel that I can be my whole self, intentionally and someone will hold space for me until I am ready to step back into the world.
I am complex and emotional and full of love and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have learned to be more gracious with myself and I encourage my friends and even some of my clients to check-in with me before they start to download to me about heavy things. I think this is a vital part of self -care. We can’t always carry the emotional weight of others, even if we want to --even if we love them. We are worthy of love and compassion and the flexibility to say “not today” and to also say “not tomorrow either.”
Grown up, adult life is hard. Really hard. Navigating intersections, making ends meet, owning our okayness...all hard. It really takes some super human energy to get through some days. To do the small, life sustaining things daily, and not be rewarded for it. We are so fundamentally human, we tend to forget that. Daily we make mistakes and have to quietly and gently reconcile with ourselves and then repeat that process for our whole lives. It’s overwhelming
Seek out folks will show up for you, hold space for you, make room for you all without making you feel like it's a difficult task. Folks that are willing to walk alongside you without judging you, making you feel inadequate, or trying to fix you. Friends that will understand when you have to cancel a date and not internalize it or make you feel guilty. You shouldn't have to heavily craft a version of yourself for people to like or fall in love with because authentic love and friends won't ever put you in the position to betray yourself. Find your tribe & love them hard