it seems appropriate, particularly in November, to say that I’m more keenly aware of how fortunate I am these days. everyone knows I’m certainly not mature in a thousand other ways (I complain too much and I can be a total and complete wretch sometimes), but I do think that I have more perspective now, that I simply did not have before. whether it’s life or age, or a mixture of both, it has been such a welcome lesson in my world. that even on my shittiest days it’s somewhere tucked in there and I can usually bring it to the forefront, “Becca, you really are so fortunate.” it’s a game-changer.
so, I’ve been sitting here trying to write this post for a while. I think about things like this often, so I struggled for a bit with how to share what I’m feeling without sounding like I’m all-knowing and righteous (like I can sometimes do). and it’s hard to put “let’s be weird” in an eloquent way, but here it is: all I want is to be a safe place for the people I love. I want them to know that I will always love them just the way they are, just as I know they love and accept me. quite simply: be who you are, be that person loudly. I’m weird, you’re weird…let’s be weird together.
this past weekend I spent a fun night out with some of my favorite people, and I’ve thought so much about the idea of friendship and how it has changed for me over the years. I find it so interesting to look back and remember the kind of friends I gravitated towards, and how that has shifted over time. at different stages I required different things. but no matter what the circumstances, I was always of the mindset that if I made you a person in my life, I was going all in and you would get 100%, which always meant that I never had more than a few really close friends, because hello exhausting.
one time Ben and I had a conversation about friendship and it was very apparent that our views differed on the idea. he calls everyone a friend, and at first I couldn’t comprehend how you can call someone a friend that you haven’t seen for 10 years. or someone who you talk to every five years. but as I grow to understand Ben more and more every day, I understand why he still calls these people his friends, and it’s not just because he has so much good to give everyone, or that he’s so likable and easygoing (two things that I have to remind myself to be a lot of the time). it’s because he’s had more years to understand that in order for someone to be a friend, you just have to be real with each other.
seriously. that’s all you need. I want to be able to be myself. my sometimes (a lot) neurotic, always chatty, incredibly emotional, occasionally moody, weird self. and I want the people I call my closest friends to be able to feel like they can be exactly who they are too, all the time.
for the most part I’ve had the same people around for a long time, and although I do love meeting new friends, at this stage in my life I’m really enjoying getting to know the people already here in new ways as we get older together. this isn’t to say that I haven’t always wanted “real” in my friendships, but I think as I have experienced more and more in life, parts of this outer shell I’ve put up (without even realizing it was there…) have come down. and you know what? as scary as it is to be you, 100% you, it feels good to let people see that person and let them into who you truly are. and in return, you allow your friends to be on that same level, and what you get is a whole bunch of really awesome real-ness. are you still with me?
I just want to cut the bullshit out of life and get right down to it. here’s a story to put this into perspective. when Ben and I were cleaning his old place, and packing to move into our new place, I remember that weekend being a defining moment in our relationship for me (Ben probably doesn’t remember that weekend. wink smiley.), not just because we were going to move into a place that was going to be both of ours, but because it was the first time I realized I could just be me. that isn’t to say I hadn’t been myself around him, but it felt different. it felt right. and as I wiped down the blinds in the bedroom, I have never felt so sure about something in my entire life.
and fortunately for me, Ben embraces my weird, or deals with it…whichever. he may “give me a hard time” for barely making it to 10pm every night, and I often feel bad that he has to put up with my dramatics more than anyone else, but I’ve never felt more me. so insert the overused, misquoted line about finding weirdness compatible with ours and calling it love here, because that’s how I feel about it.
anyway, the point of this post is that we don’t need to see people or talk to them every day to care about them. we just have to be real (and maybe a little weird) with each other and know that we have enough in us to care more about everyone and everything.
yesterday I almost cried twice at work (shocking, I know). once because I was so happy thinking about waking up on Thanksgiving morning and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with Ben and Lucy (I’m sure they’re just as excited), and the second time was because I became overwhelmed by this desire to give to people less fortunate than me. people who maybe have never had the opportunity to wake up in a cozy bed the morning of a holiday and watch a parade with their loved ones.
do I think we should care about everyone and everything more throughout the entire year? duh. but are the holidays a good time to remind us how fortunate we are and to put things into perspective? absolutely. maybe make traditions that include watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and donating to a local food bank. spend time with loved ones and send positive vibes to those that are not as fortunate. just do what you can and let your gratitude flow freely.
be thankful, be yourself, and be weird.