This applies to you if any of these things make sense. Even if they don’t make sense, they probably still apply to you.
I don’t have millions of friends. It’s a very large internal brawl for me to really have the few I have. Getting to know each other, having our first (or ninth) fights, learning your favorite things and how you like your coffee- these are all very tricky mazes that sometimes I just can’t navigate. Over time and seasons, our roots grow a little deeper and the friendship plant officially gets a spot in my garden. As mentioned in my last post- I’m not the best gardener. So with a little patience and a few reminders to water the dang plant- the friendships continue to bloom. These friendships are literally my life. I haven’t gone through a single traumatic experience without a friend by my side. I’ve been shaped into the person I am, love it or leave it, with help from my pals. I am still a novice at being a supportive friend though. Let me explain…
I’m always more than ready to lend extra hands- whether it’s to pack up your old home for a big move or help clean out your shoe closet or even just to sit around and keep you company while your husband is gone for the weekend. But there’s something I’m really awful at- like really, really god awful at. Talk to me about your feelings and I listen to every word, but then… I can’t help but try to fix it. I try to break it down into the causes of the issue and steps we need to start taking to correct it. Tell me you are having a hard day because your little one is super cranky and isn’t feeling well, I’ll probably be over here playing Dr. Rachel- walking through all their symptoms and suggesting to tuck onions in their socks while they sleep. I don’t know why I have a compulsive need to have a solution, I’ve done this for as long as I can remember. But it hasn’t been until recently that reality tapped me on the shoulder and said, “shut the hell up! She just wants you to listen.”
Ask Bryan- I do not do sympathy well. Lord help me when my future offspring scrapes their knee for the first time. I shouldn’t say that I don’t feel sympathy- because I definitely do. I just don’t express sympathy without doing something to help. Got a cold? I’m bringing soup. Headache? Peppermint oil and coffee on its way. Feeling lazy? This size three shoe can give a real good butt kick to get things moving. There are very few things in the world that happen that you cannot get up and do something about. But I realize that isn’t everyone’s support language and I want to learn how to speak other languages other than my own.
I appreciate all the patience you have shown me through our friendship. I appreciate your honesty when you don’t agree. I am thankful for every text you’ve answered and especially every ridiculous picture, video and meme you’ve sent. All the adventures, inside jokes and knee slapping laughs are irreplaceable. But most of all, over all of these other things, I am thankful for you trusting me enough to be you. You each need different things when you are venting or upset, so I am asking one small favor. Help me learn what your support language is- spell it out or teach me little by little, but know that no matter how I handle my own situations, I am ALWAYS here to help you handle yours in your own way. Sometimes I just might need you to tell me to shush up and stop trying to fix all the things. But I appreciate you all to the ends of the earth and want to be supportive in any way I can. So to all my friends, here is an awkward blog post explaining why I sometimes suck as a friend and an open permission slip to shake me out of my own head when you need me to just listen and not fix life.