The Best in Friends

For the past 2+ years, I have hosted a couple of online women’s groups. Friendship circles, actually. And, in those spaces, grace showed up and taught me how to navigate the somewhat tricky terrain of connection.

I’ll admit, I struggle with the whole idea of friendship in general. You know, that whole letting “my guard down, opening my heart, and truly letting people in” thing. It’s defInitely been hard for me.

You see, a million moons ago, around the high school time frame, I had a “best” friend. And, I mean “attached at the hip, did every-single-thing as a team, if one was faint in breath, the other one would pick up the breathing slack, type of friend. We celebrated together, cried together, lifted others up together, supported each other together, dreamed big together. We had tremendous life goals and were going to accomplish amazing things! Game plan? Check. Grand ideas? Check. Gonna rock the world? Double check.

It was all sooooo great, until it wasn’t and we didn’t. The friendship ended painfully and abruptly and with that, I think half of my heart fell out.

Eeks!! Wouldn’t it be easy to just sum it up to lessons of an impressionable youth? Just slap a “that happens sometimes” sticker on and move along. For me, though, the loss ran much deeper and stayed around for so many years.

Honestly, I haven’t had a “super gigantic, all inclusive, complete trust-filled, laugh “til you both wet your pants, open your heart ALL the way up, singular, best friend” since.

Scars do that, you know? Scars crust things over. Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t completely give up, I tried again. If you’ve been through it, you may understand that draw, that craving, that quest almost to try to fill in that gaping hole. For me all of those things equaled the perfect pathway directly into settling. As in, settling for friends. Boy, has that been a bumpy trail.

The other day, I told you that I’ve been working through the book, “The Artist’s Way.” Basically, it is a tool to help unblock limited beliefs and things that can slam on the brakes to creativity. During my work, interestingly, I discovered that I have some kind of attachment to the word ‘one.’ Like, if I get one of something, I hang onto it for dear life. One pair of shoes, one towel, one purse, one pen, one way of doing things. I hang onto things until they are completely worn out, barely functioning, and actually, right now, in this moment, I’m wondering if it stems from that huge, heartbreaking friend loss all those years ago… Makes sense. Fear of something ending badly sure can sway the trajectory of things.

Call it life lessons or perhaps just some wisdom plus maturity, but my grand adventurous journey of finding and essentially replacing that one best friend has ceased. Instead, I have opened my heart space up to the notion that friendship isn’t a one size fits all venture and for me, maybe it never was.

In fact, an amazing soul sister I know recently shared something so cool with me! It was along the lines of: different people can make up whoever it is we need. So, in my thinking, one person could be the “laugh ‘til tears run-er.” Another could be the “talk openly to-er”. The next one is maybe a “sure, I’ll help you feed a family, let me go grab a meal-er.” And, another may be the “having something at your house, I’m going to show up-er.” And, another could be the “cry if you want, I understand-er.” And, a whole bunch of them all put together could be the “cheer-ers, celebrate-ers, let’s dream big-ers.”

Wow! What a cool concept!

So, wherever you are in your quest for best friendship, let’s honor that. If you have one fabulous bestie- bravo!! If you’re more like me and have an ever expanding **value pack** of friends- bravo!! Or, if you’re still on the quest to find best friends, bravo!! Keep trying!!

What a lesson! Who knew that some thing from so long ago could have such a hold? And, that maybe in my lifelong mission of trying to find the best of friends, I actually found the best IN friends.

P.S. I think today I may do something I’ve never done before!!! Go buy TWO pairs of shoes! ❤️

Thank you for reading, I hope you have an glorious day!

The Middle

Where to start writing after a six plus month period of not writing. Tricky. The beginning sounds sort of reasonable maybe, but some ‘begin to now’ timeline feels a bit more linear today than I’d like. My last post was a self invented challenge of sorts to not post any photographs and simply write, words. To essentially get back to the roots of why I started this blog in the first place.

From May to now, I have a whopping zero posts done. None. I suppose I could chalk it up to all the normal stuff that comes into play: busy with other things, life, this and that, the days tic by and before I knew it, half a year had passed. Those certainly are a huge chunk of it. But, also intertwined in the mix was a combo of blocks. Maybe you know them? Writer’s Block, Artist Block, Creativity Block. Seems like they can sneak in when we are preoccupied with various things and they can make themselves right at home. Soon, staring at a blank screen or blank notebook can lose its appeal and become an avenue of “I should write/ draw/ create, but I can’t. Nothing is coming out.”

Which, really, is not the coolest thing ever. It’s like sitting on the edge of some grand-to-me idea but not being able to pinpoint what exactly it is. Last spring that is where I was. I had a feeling I was meant to be doing some ‘thing’, but couldn’t figure it out what it was.

Until I did. An amazing tool showed up. Enter the book called, “The Artist’s Way.” I love that, don’t you? How tools show up? Especially those times when they really, truly resonate. As I did the tasks, the blocks started becoming clear. Where they came from, how they got there, why they stuck. Things I had totally forgotten about such as: comments made to me in my youth, getting yelled at by the art teacher in sixth grade in front of everyone, competitiveness carried over from many years, and more. As I continued to do the work, more things unraveled.

What a gift it is to let all that stuff go, even now. To open up and let my authentic in like I have never been able to do before. It’s been a somewhat hard, but beautiful adventure. I saw old patterns and even figured out why I’ve never had the confidence to stand up for myself or on my own. Enlightening, to say the least. Anyway, tonight I had a draw to the blog, to write some post about whatever came to mind. This is it, ha ha. It feels really nice to sit down and write something again. So instead of starting at point A and going to Z, I believe I’ll keep writing from right where I am, in the middle.

Simply Words

This poor blog, forever faithful, just waiting for me to write something. Anything. Seven months have pasted since my last post, which seems quite unreal. We all know how quickly the months parade on by, without even blinking, but, dang time can slow down already.

Here it is, almost summertime. My peonies are bursting with petals and color. All our trees are long past blooms and are wearing their lovely greens. This week has been crazy with storms. Two days in a row it got very dark and the wind unleashed itself and whipped about. Lots of damage in areas around us, but we were spared.

I’ve tried to blog recently using my phone. I’d like to think that I am pretty technology savvy.  I mean, for eleven months last year, I was taking a super hard computer IT class. It was amazingly difficult and I did pretty well. I learned about figuring out what’s wrong with a computer, the Linux operating system, Windows, administrative tools, working on the command line, how networking works, internet security and more.

So, here is the funny thing. I used to blog from my phone, which is essentially a computer of sorts. I could upload my pictures to my blog page right from my phone. Easy. Convenient. Loved it. But, now, I can’t. Enter two words: parental controls.

My gosh, that makes me laugh. There is some setting on my phone that won’t allow me to share my photos with WordPress. No luck. I have googled it. I have tried resetting the settings. Nothin’.

What’s a girl to do? A girl that is born to write?

I decided that maybe this is a test of sorts. Honestly, I started this blog to write and as it progressed, I got rather distracted by photograph sharing instead. Which is fabulous, I LOVE taking pictures, it’s one of the best things I know how to do. But, I notice looking back at old posts, there’s lots of pictures and little words.

I’m going to challenge myself to get creative with words again. To get my keyboard clicking and letters to appear on the screen. If any of you are still here, I guess we will see where this leads. It used to be when I would publish a post, the sweet folks on my email list would be notified. Not sure if that still happens when a blog has become quite stagnant for months on end. Guess we will see.

Maybe I will eventually figure out how to upload my pictures here. I’d really love for you to see my flowers and my chickens, who are new. We got three hens a few days ago and I love them! Kittens are next on the list of things we’d like to have. So, hopefully, pictures will show up here again. For now, though, it’s simply words.

Swim Beach

Yesterday we went to a super cool place called Crowley’s Ridge State Park in Arkansas. It was built by the CCC in the 1930’s.

There is a 31 acre fishing lake and a smaller lake that is so awesome. It’s a swim beach, complete with water slide, steps leading into the lake, and there’s even paddle boat rentals.

We missed the swimming season by about a month and I love summer, but on this early fall day, we had the place to ourselves.

If you’re traveling through Arkansas, north of Jonesboro, Crowley’s Ridge State Park is definitely worth a stop.