How far we come

Strapped for something to post about today but wanting to post *something,* I was perusing old Caterwauling archives and alternating between feeling annoyed with how much life seemed to suck at the time but also being really pleased with how well I captured it. Sometimes I look back on the past few years of my life like they were so surreal — like, I HAD to have imagined some of that crap. But no, the emotions were as raw and exposed as could be — earnest and unscripted.

I don’t know when the change took place in me, but I really put my foot down on a lot of things. I raised my standards in every level of my life. I saw a number of posts about a then-friend who had nothing but nasty things to say to me under the guise of supposedly telling me the truth (“tough love”), but it really (in retrospect, and even something I seemed to have grasped then) was a way of putting me down and stripping me of wanting to find different, better people to hang out with. That I should be chastised for having a limited number of good friends because it meant I was pathetic, but GAWD forbid I make friends, because there was a list of criticisms about them a mile long, not to mention complete jealousy when I chose to share myself elsewhere.

Ah, I could go on and on (and ON), but I was talking to my best friend for a few hours tonight, and her husband gives her the same crap about keeping a super-small circle. I said, you know, you can have a circle around you a mile wide, but if the lot of them don’t measure up to one single, quality person, then you shouldn’t brag about your own supposed popularity.

The thing is, I think the change in me started with her becoming my best friend. It was instantaneous — with some people, you just *know* from the first conversation that they are not to be let go of. That they are to be cultivated and nurtured and cherished. That if you respect them so damned much, you know you are one lucky person that they respect you and want you in their lives as well.

One thing with us is that we tell it like it is, straight up, 100% of the time. But the thing is, we don’t resort to supposed tough love. There is no tough. There is no “I’m telling you this for your own good” prefacing tirades of “this is why you suck,” as I saw so much of in my blog archive. Ours is in the vein of, “I am going to remind you of this because you are forgetting how fabulous you are, and I am going to continue holding you to this high standard because I know you can meet it because you HAVE met it and you can EXCEED it.”

I saw a lot of “I love this person BUT” in my archives. And I don’t deal with that anymore. There is no “but.” Nobody’s perfect but it’s kind of like how I envision love, in that if said significant other’s faults exist, you’re too enamored to really be distracted by them. You know they exist but you don’t love them “anyway” — you love them more and you learn to love those less-appealing things (it’s only your view. And your opinion really doesn’t matter, does it now? Because who has the right to critique you?) until they become just another of their charms.

Translated back to my friend — and any friend in my circle, really, as damn it, it IS an honor to be important to me! — I can’t let her for a moment feel bad about anything. I have a million things I can remind her of to build her right back where she belongs. And likewise. God, there are so many times when I flounder, wondering if I’m good enough or if I’m ready for certain things or if maybe I aim too high sometimes. She’s the first one to not stroke my ego in any way but instead give me almost like a resume of things she’s witnessed me achieve to ensure that I go into battle with my confidence at full speed.

I’ve gotten a lot of hateful e-mails from the “I love them BUT” person, mostly in the form of snotty blog comments, one of the nicer ones being the March 26 missive of how happy he is to supposedly watch me implode when I happen to write about a bad day on the blog.

I can’t imagine my good friend (or anyone with half a conscience) ever enjoying me having a bad day — most normal friends, if they can’t outright prevent a meltdown moment, at the very least do everything in their power to assuage the boo-boos. And not to mention, but also cheer for the successes. Because those are what count — those successive, small moments of triumph that add up to culminate in true victories when that’s what you’ve busted your ass to earn.

Today I give thanks for all I’ve earned. Even though they’ve been a long time in coming, I’m still so grateful to have good things in my life and people to share them with. For small moments as well as big ones — they’re all equally memorable. For unexpected connections and hoped-for recognition. For times of uncertainty that become increasingly distant memories. For sighs of relief that never seemed like they would happen again.

And while it’s sad that there’s always the fear that someone might try to do something to take all of it away, it just emphasizes the importance of living in these moments and not for some future time that might or might not come in the way we thought it would.

Life’s never come easily for me. And that’s not to say that it’s going to start doing that anytime soon. But it’s coming in spurts and gushes and renews my faith in greater things every single day. The best days are still yet to come, but these days? Not bad. Not bad at all.

6 Responses to How far we come

  1. Lachlan :

    Some people, like this “friend” of yours, have a lot to learn. Deep inside they’re miserable, insecure little morons with over-inflated sense of entitlement. As Common says in “The Corner”: “Karma’s a bitch/And I heard that she bites.”

  2. Sabre :

    Lachlan hit the nail on the head, it’s an over-inflated sense of entitlement. People like that are small and unhappy, and they just want everyone else to be as miserable as them. Who better to tear down, in an attempt to make themselves feel better, than someone who struggles but still has hope, is accomplished in her own right, and a bright beacon of hope?

  3. Mel :

    Amen! The good thing is she is gone. Good riddance!

  4. The Goddess :

    First off, y’all are freaking brilliant, let me just say that. No. 2, it’s sad, really. I also saw a conversation in which said person expressed deep fear and sadness that my solution to dealing with him is to walk away — that my frustration gets so intense that I can’t even fight. And I have always gone back (at his request) and tried again. But after I’ve walked away now — what — five times — now I’m just the target of hatred. The thing is, I don’t want that. I don’t want anything. I gave at the office. I have nothing left to give. I can’t hear the same old songs and expect them to end differently. Friendships are supposed to be easy. They take hard work, but the good times are supposed to feel good. When they don’t, they’re never going to. And I know he’s probably trying to figure out how to get back at me for this post (or for simply moving on with my life) but I can’t go back to where things were because if you really examine it, they were kind of effed up from the beginning. And to the point where I’ve got an arsenal of hateful comments, well, if he thinks I deserve them, then he doesn’t deserve me anymore.

  5. Old Freind :


  6. The Goddess :