For years I’ve gotten to know myself as the leather belt that holds together the belt loops of other people’s emotions.
I carry bandaids with me.
A sewing kit.
It seems that in years past, I’ve found my identity in helping others. In being there for them. In having something to give them.
I’ve gotten up early and stood with people on days that scared them, watching for the tell-tale signs in their faces that I was needed – insecurity, doubt, panic. I momentarily carried situations, minimized details, and laughed to ease tension.
I got good at it, and pretty soon it became unconscious. Perhaps it was always unconscious.
One day I grew tired of the song and dance that I’d happily signed up for. It wasn’t such a happy thing for me anymore. I found that I had little identity outside of helping others, and didn’t feel valuable otherwise.
Time has passed, and I’ve been able to ruminate on my needs and desires. I’ve discovered that giving of yourself is a great thing, so long as you have enough to give.
There’s so much more to who I am than what I can give to people.
And it’s okay for me to be a bit selfish from time to time. It’s really the only way that I find rest.
She lives life without trying to.
Sure, she struggles. She’s human – her hair does that “imma fly off your head” thing. But she’s as real as they come.
She’s got sass that’ll transport you back to the days of Fresh Prince. Maybe it’s her Italian ancestry, maybe it’s that she’s figured out the Z snap, but I gotta say it – I like that I’ve got her in my corner.
Sitting with her tonight, overheating from all those bodies in that small space, she gently schooled me. I knew she had it in her, but I was still pleasantly surprised none the less.
Being wrong makes me happy. Change excites me. Learning and growing fuel the fire inside me. And tonight, she built my fire – carefully placing each log, allowing for air, and prodding when necessary.
Red wine cheeks, garlic olive oil, and black leather.
Voices swirled around us like thunder clouds ready to break.
She gives me security. She lets me in and isn’t afraid. She loves hard because that’s who she is.
We’re like the poster girls for old-school friendship bracelets. Getchyo’ orders in now people.
People are fascinating creatures.
Having recently started a new job, I have to say that I’m quite baffled at the level of contact that I’m receiving from my “friends.” I understand that life gets busy. I hear you. I’m busy. I’m tired. I have to schedule time with myself to do laundry.
Less than a month ago, I used to come home to at least two messages from solid “good” friends each day. Now, I hear crickets. I hear silence and I hear wind.
I suppose there are just those that make an effort, and those that don’t. If I was always the one to make an effort, and I’m hearing nothing now, what does that say about the people whom I saw as my friends?
What was it? Did you even like me at all? Or was it you? Were you the one who allowed us to get here? To this place of uncertainty and tumble weeds.
I can almost hear the sound of your spurs as you walk away from me, head downcast.
All I can say is that I miss you. And my fingers smell like tacos.