She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Swinging Doors

"You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy."-Author Unknown

A friend posted this on her Facebook page this morning and I thought it was very poignant.  Yesterday, I had a phone conversation that solidified the end of a friendship.  Later on in the evening, over hamburgers, another friendship's sturdy foundation was being framed.  I appreciate God's direction and His timing. 

Years ago, when I was about 18 or 19, I overheard a woman mention how years prior she asked God to remove people from her life who meant her harm, were not adding anything good to her life and who were not overall positive people.  She said that after doing this, people started "dropping off like flies".  I thought this was ingenious and followed suit.  I made my request clear to God and tried to verbatum, recite mantra-like, what the woman said.  The funny thing about how God works is He does not always make an announcement that He is going to do something, He just does it.  Almost immediately, both men and women started literally disappearing from my life.  I would have a date with a guy and he would never show, never call.  After stalking him and his family for several months (I was young; this was pre- widespread cellphone usage, so I was calling the house phone) I finally got the message, he was no longer interested.  Years later, after we reconnected, I discovered, he was an all-around semi-loser:  a failed marriage by the age of 30, 3 kids, 2 baby mamas, shitty apartment (not like mine is all that), panties on the floor, etc.  I had dodged a major bullet! 

There was another boy that I was crazy about, I wanted him so bad!  The hopeless romantic in me thought we would be perfect together.  But he would just disappear from time to time.  What seemed at first to be his flaky-ness, I soon discovered was a greater plan.  An exit plan that is.  It took forever for me to make the connection, but it was one of the best things that could have happened.  He, who is great on paper, was an absolute disaster in more ways than one.  Bullet whizzes by ear.

It has not always been guys that have performed disappearing acts.  I have had a series of girlfriends whose friendship did not prove to be as loyal as mine.  There might be that highly audible silence or the sharp sting of a "defriend" on a social media site.  When confronted (and usually that ends up being my role) they wince at my me-ness, i.e. the essence of me being me.  Their faces twist and turn and they, whether on the phone or in person, exhibit absolute discomfort. 

Yesterday's phone call was no different.  After the conversation, I felt a mix of annoyance, irritation and clarity.  I have to giggle sometimes because I totally forget my request to God.  He, as always, has kept His promise.  I, on the other hand, have a short term memory and tend to be heartbroken and confused.  I asked Him to remove those individuals without a positive influence in my life, but I did not specify how He should go about doing it.  While I am staring at a tree trunk, His sight is 10 miles deep into the forrest.  For that I am grateful.

I will admit, I have a bad habit of clinging on.  I want desparately for relationships to work.  I am nostalgic about how things were, or at least how I perceive them to have been.  I spend a lot of time thinking far into the future, about how things might turn out.  I try my best to be a good sport.  And I tend to miss my "exit stage left" cues.  So the fact that God takes time out of His inevitably busy schedule and looks after me is humbling.  It, for so many years now, has been my only defence against a potentially bad situation.  But not for Him, who knows whom I would be married to, or hanging out with. 

But again, that conversation left me clear.  Oh, yes, I was to some regard dumbfounded, but a lot of what was said by this friend, I literally (in speculating with other girlfriends and my mom) had already predicted to be the "issue".  When we disconnected, I felt sorry for her.  But glad for me.  Later, a newer friend and I had dinner and I realized that my friendship glass was not really half empty at all.  In fact, I just needed a smaller cup.  It leaves less room for mis- understandings and interpretations.  Our conversation was genuine and honest.  In between tears, we laughed- hard.  Without me going into details, I mentioned how I would from now on, "just shut the fuck up" because obviously my personality and opinion is a problem (this is what was brought to my attention by my telephone friend).  My dinner friend waved off this and said, "you don't even worry about that".

If ever there is any misconception, please let me clarify:  my blog is about ME.  It is not my commentary on the world, rather commentary on MY life.  The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  I do not use this as a forum to challenge anyone's thought.  You can look at it as an exposed journal.  These are my thoughts and feelings.  If you read something and it makes you say, "I don't want to be friends with MJ."  You missed the point.  As a friend, you could have made this a teaching moment not a time to judge me or my personality missteps. 

What the reactions I get from my blog prove to me?  That I must be writing well.  Well enough that I have ruffled feathers.  My descriptions of individuals are steady and honest enough to evoke irritation.  You can read my blog and know who it is I am talking about.  That, my friends, is good writing.  Which makes me happy!!  I have crossed a threshhold.  Not only with my writing and the blog, but also with my friendships.  On this Thanksgiving eve, I am thankful for a creative outlet.  I am also thankful for friends, in my life, and those God and circumstances pushed out.  I fondly look at life as a series of swinging doors.  When one door closes (my friend coming clean about how she really feels about me) another one opens (me having a free-flowing conversation with a newer friend).  May God continue to let the door swing. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wildly Composed

Shoshoni believed the Coyote as an indication of an ending. The sighting of the Coyote was said to bring natural shifts in balance, causing an end (which, of course, simply makes way for new beginnings, and so on). Essentially, the Coyote is like a "way-maker" of new direction as it went about its symbolic role of representing the cycle of life/death in nature.

Yesterday morning, while on the #6 bus heading downtown, I saw a coyote standing on the Columbus/Museum Campus bus stop.  A real, live coyote looking at us as the bus drove past.  In typical MJ fashion, I automatically attributed it to me.  I figured God had a sign for me and me alone.  Yep, that's how I think.  Anyway, all day, I was trying to figure out how that sighting could tie into my current life.  Was the coyote symbolic of me:  wild, free, threatening?...

It took the whole day, and even until this morning before I settled on what I should take from this- if anything at all.  Last night, I had a really good time.  The kind of good time that is not spilling over with drunken dance parties and gut-busting cackles, but rather an outright affirming evening where you understand that contrary to even some of your own beliefs, you are not crazy.  I felt comfortable and even tickled last night.  I am going through a transition, or rather others are moving me towards a transition that they themselves are orchestrating.  My lesson:  just pick up your instrument, shut up and play your part. 

There is no need to go into detail about the individual situations that brought me to this enlightened place.  I mean in the long run, it's my handling and processing of tests that make up my true testimony.  What is important to remember is, there is no need to have an ignominious outburst or outcome to prove my point.  In a grad school counseling course, we were taught that no response, is a response.  Like the coyote, in both instances, I stood quietly and watched the bus go by. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

To Antoine

As I type this blog at 3:44pm on a Friday afternoon, all I can think about is how much I want a cocktail- a really good cocktail.  A really good dirty martini, just the way I like it:  extra dirty, large olives, with ice cold vodka.  I want it served up by a friendly, knowledgeable barkeep who knows the importance of letting a girl drink in silence.  I want this drink served up, no later than 5:30pm today.  My intention is to feel that giggly warmth within before 7pm.  So that by 8 o'clock tonight, I already feel as though my weekend has started on the right foot.  But what made me type this post, had less to do with my desire for that drink, and more about my need for the company I wanted to share that drink with.  Antoine.  Sometimes, on a Friday like today, when my workplace is quiet and time is moving extremely slow, I get a strong desire to have afterwork cocktails with Antoine- my best friend.  The realization of how impossible this is, makes me (as I did today) come close to tears.  I feel so sad.  To have a friend, your best friend, so far away is depressing.  There are just some events that are best with a "bestie".  I love cocktails with anyone, don't get me wrong, but there is something celestial about afterwork cocktails with a good friend.  As much as I would like to throw out a message on Facebook or via text to see who would be game, I know it's no use.  I will only be disappointed at the "subpar" replacement.  Today, I want my best friend.  He will be home for Thanksgiving, but it's never enough.  There are days when you just need your friend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Simply Simpatico

I had a refreshing conversation the other day.  It was with a girlfriend that I have known for 14 years.  As on far too many occasions, I woke up with my mind racing.  I was second guessing myself about an issue and needed a bit of advice.  I called my uncle. I called my best friend Antoine.  Neither one answered.  It was 6:30AM.  But I figured since they are both on the East Coast, they might be up and at 'em.  No such luck.  So I called my girl.  She was fixing  her lunch and getting herself and the baby ready to leave for the morning.  God bless working moms!  We chatted off and on until 8AM (hanging up when necessary) as she dropped the baby off at school, pumped gas and drove herself to work.

I gave her the scenario which had me concerned and she gave me an honest answer.  More importantly, she gave me an answer that best suited me.  I have learned the importance of having people who are like you around.  Now, obviously, if you have serious issues, you may want to upgrade your friend list.  But if that is not the case, it is good to have someone who can see things from your angle.  Yes, you want people to tell you the truth, but if it comes served with you and your behavior in mind, it tends to resonate more.  My girl is very similar to me.  She and I have had a long lasting relationship because we have similar values and ideas about life and love.  We have the same taste in clothes (the majority of my hand-me-down wardrobe comes from her), we are about the same size (though not now, she is pregnant with her second child) and enjoy the same foods, outings and entertainment.  In a nutshell, if anybody can see things from my perspective, it is her. 

Having someone around to give you the sobering 'devil's advocate' truth is nice and all, but it is good to have someone who actually gets you.  I have a friend who is quite the opposite.  She gives good advice, but there are times when I think her approach is stinging and sharp.  I almost have to explain myself, to explain my point of view.  But with a friend whom I share a more congenial relationship with, they already know.  So the advice is more tailored toward me.  I do not need anyone to hold punches, but after ending the phone conversation, it felt comforting to know that I was not only understood, but validated.  It was divine order that I spoke to her and no one else.  In advising me, and because she knows me so well, she presented a detailed portrait of how she saw the situation and the role I played within it.  Demonstrating how my decision was a direct result of the type of person I am; she confirmed that there was no need to worry about the issue that hung over my head, because in the end, I was right.