In my last post, I talked about shutting people out because I feel sometimes like I’m unworthy of their time, like I don’t have anything to offer in return for their support, and like I’m just plain damn unlikeable. Well, a friend from my literal childhood (we’ve known each other since we were 15 and 17, or maybe earlier) called last week and said, “I really want to see you before I go back to the other side of the world”. This is not someone I’ve had regular contact with over the years, but she’s always held a special place in my heart, even though she went and got educated and moved away. I sat on her text for a couple of days, being the bad friend that I can be, unsure about taking a night off from parenting, a night off from studying, a night off from mature adult responsibilities. But then I said yes.
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure how it would go. As someone who thinks of myself as fairly intelligent, and someone who keeps my “bless his heart” disdain for stupid people pretty out in the open (it’s a flaw; I’m working on acceptance), I am intimidated by very few people, but this friend intimidates the hell out of me! She has always been one of the smartest people I know, and over the years she’s gained the credentials to back it up. On the other hand, college dropout over here, going to community college in my late 30’s trying to finally achieve the educational potential I know I’m meant for. In any case, it went fantastic. Better than I could have ever expected.
There was no judgment, no looking-down-upon (not that I expected it, but still, we don’t exactly align politically so there’s always a fear that those conversations will be off-putting), just good, free-flowing conversation while we ate, drank, and walked our way among some downtown hotspots (seriously, we walked over 2 miles). During one point, we were “those girls”, the ones crying and hugging in a loud and noisy bar, because we were filling each other’s buckets with love and support (and lots of sarcasm). She told me that she had always looked up to me, something that surprised the hell out of me, frankly. Because even though I’m the older friend, I have always looked up to her. We shared secrets, and hopes, and crappy things from our past that we hope to move on from.
And she gave me the greatest gift: she told me that she knew she could talk about things with me that she didn’t discuss with other people, because I am “candid and honest without being an asshole”. What a wonderful, thrilling complement. What a great thing that I can take and hold on to as proof that I *do* have value to other people, that I *do* have good qualities, and that I *can* make a difference.
Sometimes it takes someone else to convince you that you are not a shitty person after all, and sometimes that can come from the most surprising source (even after years of other people trying to tell you that). Oh, and she also told me that I am one of the funniest people she has ever known. Chalk one up to my Jester archetype. I might give you terrible advice, but I will, without fail, make you laugh.
It was exactly what I needed after the past few months (years? a couple of decades?) of being mired in the dark sides of my psyche, trying to cling to any bits of light I could find. It’s a slow process, but I’m ready to feel “good” again. Or at least, “Good enough”.