Friendship is a scary thing if you think about it.
You open yourself up to someone and tell them things that nobody else is allowed to know. Tell them things that you shouldn’t. Things you’ve done, thought, almost done, said, shouldn’t have said, places you went, places you shouldn’t have gone, places you should have. Dreams you’ve had, dreams you’ve achieved, dreams you’ve let go of. Failures, successes and all the complicated messes that make up the inbetween.
It can come back to you tenfold. Hopefully it won’t, and it’s a risk we all take for the sake of companionship and unconditional love. We need our friends, just like they need us.
Each friendship has a unique dynamic…….inexplicable, but there all the same. It’s just ‘known’ between the two who’s better at what, who’s responsibility it is to do certain things, to clean up certain messes, to deal with certain sticky situations. Who’s the stronger one in each case. In a real friendship, this is obvious from the get-go. It just IS. It always will be with a true friend, since you are being genuinely you and they are being genuinely them.
There is a woman in my life who’s friendship means the world to me. The world plus all the planets……..even Pluto, the little planet that couldn’t.
I’ve rarely mentioned her on here, but when I have I’ve referred to her as my Guardian Angel. She is that. She was put into my life at a time where I needed serious help. Her help, her listening, her support, her wisdom, her ability to never judge and to never expect and to never ask for anything……..she’s truly incredible. Without her, I do not know where I would be. And that includes wondering if I would even be alive.
In our relationship, the dynamic is that she’s the strong one. She’s the listener. She’s the one who knows what to do, who has the experience, who leads the way. She is 25 years my senior and in some ways, my mentor.
I got a call from her today, with bad news.
I listened to her break down. I listened to her deepest thoughts, her hidden secrets, the truths she’s now willing to acknowledge.
It killed me.
The worst thing, the thing that killed me the most…….I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. I knew that anything I said would pale in comparison to what she was going through. Anything I said wasn’t going to matter. But I had to say something. So I stuttered and stumbled around words that just didn’t cut it. I laid out the cliche sayings that you do when you’re at a loss. I felt awful.
What do you do when the dynamic is flipped so suddenly and so completely? When you are suddenly trying to help and give advice to the one who is always so strong? I can’t give advice to a woman who knows so much more than me.
All I can do is listen. I can’t help. It’s awful.
And since, for once, I couldn’t go to her with my worries, I place them here. To get them out of my head, so it is clear for her when she needs me. So that hopefully I have space in there that I can use to think of how I can make this easier for her.
I hate feeling helpless. I hate feeling useless. I feel both of those things right now. I cannot even offer her a simple hug or a cup of tea, she is two hours away from me.
And as a cruel joke from the cosmos, I was knitting her Christmas present when the phone rang, thinking of how amazing she is to me. Thinking of how lucky I am to have her. And now? I feel like I failed her. Le sigh.
Thanks for letting me vent.