The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
SPECIAL EDITION: What’s Your Comfort Level?
We all have different levels of comfort.
Some people can take the world on their shoulders and ask for more while others can’t grasp a pebble in their hand without shouting for help.
And we have moments we shift from one to the other. There are days we can take on all enemies with swords swinging and there are days where we can’t bear to open our eyes to another day.
Especially when we’re alone…
Good friends help in our lives when days seemed barbed and prick us at every turn. We need somebody to be there to give us a shoulder, a helping hand, a reassuring word, or even a pat on the back when we make it through some hectic day that had us pulling our hair out.
But what is a good friend?
We think we have them. In the world of ‘social’ media, we think we have hundreds or thousands of friends. If we make a statement, sweet or sad, or some snip of wisdom or wit and it’s liked by a few dozen or a few hundred people, we think we are the star in our ‘friends’ sky.
But we are not. No matter how we will it, we are just a blip in their scroll through Facebook or Twitter land. Then you are forgotten and they go about their day.
I have recently thought about what real friendship is due to a situation that happened to me not too long ago from this writing… and I’ll get to that in a few moments. Because of that particular situation, I wondered what might be a sign of real friendship. After pondering it for a while, I came up with this.
Real friendship is when you can sit down on the couch with someone and be completely comfortable. Even though you may have not actually seen that person in the flesh for a long time, you can open yourself and be honest with that person. This person shares your feelings but has enough differences that you can learn from and vice versa. When you speak with this person, all walls fall that you built up and you can stand naked ( I don’t mean that literally unless that’s how you guys roll) and be the REAL YOU when you are alone.
If you think about friendship that way and think about the friends you have, you might decide you have fewer REAL friends than you thought you did. Real friends aren’t just cheap jewelry you keep in your jewelry box that you wear day to day. They are expensive gems you hold and admire and have real worth. And odds are, you have very few of those, so precious few.
OK. I had a friend that I thought was one of those and maybe that person thought I was the same. We spend time with each other and created things together. Then we started to slip further from each other and eventually I had a hard time being around this person. I felt uncomfortable and I started to see things in this person that urked me. And odds are, this person felt the same way. Finally, we didn’t speak and didn’t make plans and just occasionally LIKED each other’s posts or pictures on social media. Then there was an ultimatum made by this person. And I believe you should not make ultimatums in friendships unless it’s a life and death situation.
And that was that. A friendship down the drain. Was I tore up about it? Yes and no. It sucks when you have to let somebody go that you called a friend but deep down I knew it was a long time coming. I never truly found myself completely open to this person. This wasn’t this person’s fault. It was we were just two different pieces of a puzzle that didn’t fit as much as we turned and turned to try and fit.
It doesn’t help that as I have got older, I have developed social anxiety. I have found it harder to meet up with friends in a social gathering without my stomach churning with nervousness. Even talking on the phone with somebody that I’m not married to or help bring into this world, gets me finding excuses not to do it. I have found myself talking through social media OR this blog to connect with others.
Now, let me give you an example of what a comfortable friendship is in my life. I had a friend that lives in another state want to call me and ask me a question. They didn’t just want to type it but to actually TALK to me. I agreed. As time got closer when I expected this person to call, I got nervous but only the tiniest bit. It was like a faraway whine of a bratty child that lives inside my head. Then the phone rang and that little child became quiet. And as I spoke with this person on the phone, I felt comfortable. Though they were states away, I felt as if I was sitting with this person on the couch and in a relaxing atmosphere.
I can tell you how often it is when I feel like that.
It’s rare. Other than my wife and my daughter (the two people I feel the most comfortable with), it’s rare. It’s as rare as one of those precious gems I mentioned earlier.
There are a very small handful of people that I feel that comfortable with. Maybe it’s something in their DNA or maybe I knew them or they were actually related to me in a past life (if you believe in that kind of thing). Or maybe we found each other in other dimensions and it echoes in this one (again, if you believe in that kind of thing). Regardless, you just KNOW when you connect with another. There is a spark. And what’s funny is sometimes, it takes time. This person I spoke with on the phone is somebody I knew in high school but we didn’t run in the same circles. It wasn’t until many years later when we really connected. I just suppose when we were younger, it wasn’t the right time.
In the way I see it, a real friendship is somebody you look forward to seeing and spending time. Not just having to plan to attend a particular event but just sit on a couch, maybe have a coffee or a glass of wine, and talk. No matter what bad things are going on around you or how bad the weather is outside or inside your mind, you feel comfortable on that couch baring your soul with your good friend. In that moment, the weather clears and the sun is shining.
I’m lucky to have a few friends that are perfect for my comfort level.
I hope you have some, too.
– Loyd Elmore Jr
February 23rd, 2018
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.