This is a picture I took last night as I watched the fireworks from inside my car during the rain. Pretty cool, huh?
Ok, so one of the “gifts” I’ve been blessed (cursed?) with in my life is that I can never just see something on the surface. I always look deeper, see beneath the layer of obvious. And this is one of those times.
So, yes, it was raining. And yes, sitting inside the car kept me from getting wet. But I was sitting there alone. My daughter and her friend had gotten out of the car, rain be darned, and were watching the fireworks close by while looking for other friends and not caring whether they got soaked or not. They were having fun. Me? I was sitting in the safe, warm, dry, lonely car.
And that reminded me of something.
That’s how I am with friendships.
Alright, let me back up a little.
Earlier in the day, I had taken my daughter and her friend to the Independence Day parade. While she and her friend met up with other friends and had a good time watching the parade, I stood off to the side. Again, alone. (My boyfriend Richard had to work.) And standing there alone watching the parade, I noticed that my eyes kept getting drawn to a group of women to my right. While I was supposed to be watching the marching band, the ambulances, and the classic cars roll by, instead I caught myself watching the spectators. Especially these particular ones. There were this group of five older ladies, and they were just about the cutest things I’d ever seen. They were decked out in Independence Day attire – complete with little headbands with fake fireworks and their matching flag-sporting t-shirts and red capris. And let me tell ya – these women were having a blast. They were hooting and hollering and thought each and every float that went by was the best one of all. I know, because I heard them say so. They were clapping along with the music and stopping every so often to put their arms around each other and bask in the glory of the day.
I was in awe.
I mean, yes, they were a sight to behold so I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose attention they caught. But aside from that, seeing them struck a chord in me that I couldn’t quite explain. I didn’t know why it made me a little sad to see them, but it did. I didn’t give it much thought – just went back to my business. But later that night, sitting there alone in the car watching the fireworks through my sunroof, it finally dawned on me where that sadness came from.
I don’t have that.
And it’s my own fault.
You hear talk all the time of people holding back from relationships because of trust issues and fear, etc. That seems to be a common topic of discussion amongst our psychology-driven fellow citizens. But I wonder if there maybe shouldn’t be a little talk about how that might apply to friendships sometimes too? Am I the only one that holds back from becoming close to friends? That has trouble relating and depending on others? Especially women?
Now, granted, I do have one good friend from high school that I turn to when things go wrong. And I’d like to think she does the same with me. Her name is Iman (but we always called her MiMi in high school, so that’s how I’ll refer to her from her on). But Mimi is far away and most of our talks are by computer or text (my fault, not hers). I can’t help but see the psychology behind that. The only female friend that I really rely on is still kept at a safe distance through not only actual physical distance, but also through the ways that I choose to communicate with her. She would love to chat on the phone sometimes, and we have a few times, but somehow I tend to shy away from it. Too personal, maybe? The times we have talked by phone were the times when I was at my most vulnerable – when I was extremely upset and was finally forced into letting a friend “in.” But other than those times? I don’t know, I just tend to stay guarded. Alone.
(Note: “Far away” Mimi is not going to be so far away very soon. She’s moving close to where I am in about a month. I guess it’s time to start figuring out what the heck is wrong with me, huh?)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried. I have started to make close girlfriends (ones that are actually physically nearby). But like MiMi says, “Girl friendships take time. They are just like guy relationships, but there’s no initial attraction or hormone release that feel good like with the opposite sex. So, it just takes time to bond.”
Well there ya go. Therein lies part of my problem, I suppose. To put your time and effort into something requires trust that it’s going to be worth it in the end. And “trust?” Yeah, I’m not so good at that. When the going gets tough, this tough girl gets going. Right on out the door.
I don’t really have a point to this blog, I don’t suppose. I guess it’s just one of those times when I felt like writing about something that was really bothering me – the things that I sometimes try to keep to myself, but that my writer’s brain can’t ignore. I guess I also would like some feedback. Are you like this? Any idea why I am? Got any good drugs I can borrow?
Ok, that last one was a joke.
But seriously – I guess it’s time for me to start getting out of the car, ya know? Time to get out there and watch the fireworks on the big screen of life, instead of through the tiny little sunroof of safety. Yes, I may get a little wet from the rain at times, but oh what a sight I will behold.
Time to realize that it might be worth a few raindrops in order to fully experience the performance, right?
“Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire”
– Garth Brooks lyrics, Standing Outside the Fire