12 January 2010

Girlfriends Are Essential

Lots of blogs I follow...wait, I follow lots of blogs. I am a collector, ney, hoarder of blogs. I often compulsively collect things. The nice thing about collecting blogs is they are free and take up little space. Except from an anxiety standpoint. I have actually had to start treating my blog list like I treat my closet. One in. one out. At a certain point many years ago I felt like my closet was choking me. It had become that big Venus fly trap, Audrey II, in the musical. So I went through all the clothes with a machete so to speak and pruned. Honestly, this takes a few times to get it all clean. There are unnatural attachments to clothes. I also have a cure for that. If there is something in your closet that you just can't get rid of, but also do not wear, try this: put it on and wear it. Trust me, a day at work in a sweater with shoulder pads and beading will make it quite it easy to part with that garment.

This was not the point of this post initially, but I will get around to the point. Or not. I am under a great amount of stress and have a hard time staying on topic.

The rule for my closet is 'one in one out' and you probably can understand it immediately. For each new garment entering, one garment must leave my closet. They do not have to be equal, two new sweaters may push out a purse and a pair of sandals. It helps maintain a constant number of garments. I really like to challenge myself to 'one in, two out' but frankly that second item may just be a pair of socks or a tank top. Don't forget about underwear. Please realize it is time to let go of the pair of period panties with hippos on them.

So I am a blog collector and when that list of blogs I follow hit 100, I instigated the 'one in one, out rule.' It is really hard to cut a blog. What if they only have 8 followers? They will know I have abandoned them. Number of followers is a bit like a grade, right? It is important to know if your grade is an F. Either step it up or drop out. Currently with 25 Blogspot followers I have a grade of D. I feel like I have stepped it up, and maybe I am also a D blogger. I still get so much out of this blog. I just hope my followers don't cut me. I also hope I don't cut myself.

So I started this post by saying 'lots of blogs I follow' then went on about following. That really is my point. I am a follower here on the internet. I have a whole life here. Blog friends. I also have some real friends. Quite a few. I do not however, collect real friends. I develop real friends. Real friendships are an entity like a marriage and almost all that implies. Commitment, intimacy, gifts, surprises, cards, looks, dirty looks, rolling eyeballs, snarky comebacks, fights, rage, tears, disappointments, ad nausem.

I have always felt friendships are so important. Really I have always put friendships first in my life. I am extremely loyal, to a fault, as they say. I was always far more hurt at a break up with a friend than with a boyfriend.

No idea why I developed this. I think as a little kid I realized I couldn't really count on siblings so I turned with a near obsession to my friends.

All that compulsion and obsession has really paid off. I have unbelievable, really, epic friendships. I also have some neofriendships here in Blogville that are amazing, an otherwise over used word that fits here well.

My original sentence was about many of the blogs I follow...well, many of the blogs I follow are defining a word or phrase for the year. I have been thinking about this and realized with my aforementioned low slope learning curve, I need far more than a year. I worked on forgiveness and shame for, uh, decades, but quite intensely for about four years.

I will not name a word for the year but for the horizon, the new frontier. I have rip roaring rage. Do I really want to chose RAGE as my word? I don't have to, it chooses me. It explodes out and holds me over the edge of a cliff. It erupts and lava floes form burning and scalding loved ones in their wake.

What I realize is, of course, rage is just a symptom. It is a childish, impulsive, reaction to a deep fear. That fear is probably, most of the time, the fear of feeling alone. Ergo my intense need for deep connections with people. Oh look, I am human.

I love my time alone. I need loads of it. But feeling alone is different. I have felt alone my whole life. Alone. Also, I have always felt loved. Paradox? Hmmmmmm. It is not enough to be loved. For me is about bonding. I have a bonding issue. I never realized that until this recent stress of my mother's illness, frailty and end of her life, which I am watching in my own home.

However, I really do not feel alone. For the first time.

So having close friendships and a wonderfully loyal husband wasn't enough. I needed to open myself a little further and receive that love and connection. Wanting it, and having it is not the same thing as receiving it.

So there. My new thing, my defining word, the new frontier is...receive. I will honor not just friendships, but the essential, powerful, quality of friendships in 2010 like never before.

Girlfriends are essential.


  1. I enjoyed this post about you and about friends. I have made some of my best friends, and my most solid relationships through blogging!! I can't cut my list- it keeps getting bigger and I had to even add an additional page to accomodate it!
    ox Maija

  2. Whew! I feel lucky to have retained my place on your blogroll. Yay!
    I think friendships are so important. I'm one to prefer quality over quantity. There's just something so nice about having a gal pal to go to. There's only so much bitching and whining a husband will listen to, right? ;)

  3. You know that I follow a lot of blogs, but, they don't know it b/c I use my mail server on my computer, and I dislike Blogger so much. I am sure that this comment will have a weird username when I post.

    Anyhow, I don't ever want to see you in pads, in any area, beads or not.

  4. Beautiful word, receive!

    I need some of your will power... my blog roll just grows and grows and I can't keep up.

  5. Receive. That's a good one. To get you started, receive this wish for peace--peace and strength as you keep getting out of bed every morning, because it's what you have to do and you will make it through to the other side, eventually.

  6. This is a very realistic ,good post !!! You are clearly overwhelmed and I am so sorry about the stress ...me too . I follow lots of blogs but have decided that" Hey I have to let go of the fact that I cannot comment and all I follow and maybe I cannot even stop by once a week More like every other week. I had thought this was wrong blog manners !! But I have a new a new credo this year "it is better to be happy then right" . Trying to do the Right blogging "manners thing was making me disappointed in myself therefor unhappy so now I am just going with the flow comment when I have the time and enjoy it !!!! As I do on rainy mornings with coffee i bed like today !!!. Hugs Julie

  7. Your description of rage, the cliff and the lava is some seriously introspective damn good writing my friend. Love the photos, love the words, LOVING your blog to death and love being one of your epic friends.

  8. Very thoughtful post. I just found your blog, via Maija. I, too, was in Rebecca Sower's class and was entranced by her grace.

    Female friendships are critically important to me. Always have been. I have one important friendship outside of that, which I consider fairly unusual, and that is my brother. We lost my mom at a young age and he has always been able to be emotionally vulnerable with me. I consider it an honor that he will share with me.

    That being said, I love my girlfriends. Without the support of them, I am not sure my marriage would be quite so good.

    Now you have me thinking!


    P. S. You do look like Rebecca and you don't look puffy to me. Very pretty. In your own way.


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