True Friendship

This weekend was exactly what I needed.  A good mix between social and anti-social, incorporating a little bit of everything that I love and need. 

I got the news that my piece had been accepted and spent time with Sophia on Friday evening.  Saturday dawned, and I allowed myself to sleep in.  I got up and did some stuff around the house.  Matt woke up with a horrible head cold and a low fever, so I opted to spend the day at home to keep an eye on him.  He assured me he was capable of staying home by himself, but I always feel better knowing I am home with my children when they are under the weather.  I pulled out chicken to thaw so I could make him chicken noodle soup, and spent some time browsing Amazon for items for my evolving desk area.  I even took some time to take a nap.  Despite having slept in, I felt drained.  No doubt from the emotional and mental turmoil I have recently been experiencing.  I took time to talk with Andy and then with Noah.  I further organized the cabinets that are part of the entertainment stand that I converted so I could better utilize them for desk storage.  I got rid of some books that I had extra copies of or just didn’t feel a need to keep.  I talked with Grandma when she got home, and read through some of the Yahoo Style Guide – this is a book recommended by the editors for the site that I write for that is supposed to increase the readability of my pieces.  I looked over another piece that I have written and contemplated where to submit it to.  It was getting on towards 11pm though, and I gave up for the night and crashed.

730am had my alarm going off.  I wanted to get up and actually be productive today, but instead I laid there and enjoyed the comfort of my bed for a little bit, dozing in and out of sleep.  I finally got up at 830 and had the urge to go out and attack the massive amount of weeds that have taken over my gardens.  So, I spent the next two hours doing that.  My peppers and tomatoes were overtaken by tall grasses and weeds, and I successfully cleared the smaller beds and the larger bed where I had planted the tomatoes.  I hate weeding when it’s little tedious weeds.  But when it’s big massive things, there is a certain satisfaction in yanking them out by the roots.  It was overcast, and while I could feel that it was going to be a warm day in the extremely near future, I wasn’t uncomfortable in my tank top and capri leggings.  Fire from the Gods accompanied me, as they have for the last two days.  I enjoyed my time with the dirt and music.  We have several volunteer sunflowers from last year’s batch, but one had fallen over so I cut it down and pulled the stump before it could create any issues. I noted that they were already just a little taller than me, and felt a little dread at their removal in the fall.  I pulled the lettuce that I had neglected and had gone to seed.  I could feel the exertion in my legs and shoulders though, and just as I felt like I was about done, the sun came out and blasted me with heat.  I didn’t feel like staying out there and sweating, I was covered in dirt, and I didn’t want to make myself painfully sore. I called it a day in the garden.

After a long bath, I sat out on my back deck and called Sophia.  It was odd that I had not heard from her yet today, as we usually talk early in the mornings on the weekends.  I soon found my friend to be in a less than stellar mood.  It was like we had flip flopped.  Now that I was at a more even keel, she was grumpy.  I had intended on staying home and writing some today, but when she asked me to go shopping with her I immediately agreed.  I wanted to shop for desk stuff, and more importantly I knew my friend needed my company.  So, I changed out of my lounging clothes, did my hair and make-up, and left the house to meet her at a local bookstore.

Out of the two of us, I am the reader.  I’m the word oriented one, she’s the more artistic type.  She had another purpose beyond book shopping for going to the bookstore. As we walked towards check out she stopped and picked up a book, flipping it over to read the description on the back.  “This sounds really good,” she said.  “I’m not sure why I was drawn to it. . .”  I took the book from her and read the back cover.  “It does sound good.” I told her.  I have not picked up a book in over six months.  It’s one of the things that I love that I have lost in all of this, and I expressed this to her.  “You were drawn to it because I wasn’t looking to pick up a book, and I need to.” 

“Well when you’re finished, let me borrow it,” she said.

“We should see if they have another copy.  We can read it together.  If we read it together it will drive me to read again, I think.”  She agreed readily, so I requested another copy and we purchased the books.

We went to a couple craft stores, and to a department store and a dollar store afterwards, finishing our shopping trip eating an early dinner of salads and chit chatting.  I found some neat lighting for my desk, and a new supply caddy that fits the color scheme better.  I also found a throw blanket for my chair because I sit right next to the vent in my room, which even though I keep it closed, it blasts me with freezing air while I write.  Through it all we bounced ideas off of each other for her projects and my own and laughed and joked.  There wasn’t an overly large amount of conversation really.  We just shopped and enjoyed each other’s company.

And sometimes, this is what friends do.  They don’t have to have long conversations about what’s bothering them.  Sometimes it’s just that other persons presence that helps.  Sometimes it’s the camaraderie, sometimes it’s just knowing that person is there for you.  Sometimes you wake up in a shit mood for no reason and knowing you have even just one person who loves you regardless of your mood is enough to pull you through it.  I like to hope that I did that for her today.  I like to hope that she knows that I appreciate all the times she’s done this for me.  I have more of these days than she does, and so I knew that it was the least I could do for her. To spend part of my day bouncing around stores and helping her shop for a rug for her sunroom and vinyl for her current project.  I did get a book and some items for my desk, too.  But even if I had walked out of those stores with nothing, being there for her was more important.  Friendship is give and take.  I knew that my writing would wait for me to get home.  My friend needed me today.  So, I was there.  Period point fucking blank.

We got home to our respective homes and put our new items to use, each sending the other photos of how the areas turned out.  She called and we discussed how things had turned out, and she thanked me for my company.  I tried to explain to her what I said above – that I appreciate all the times she has been there for me, and this was kind of my repayment for that.  I’m not good at expressing myself verbally though, I’m better at writing it out. Hopefully, she got what I was trying to say to her though.

I spent this weekend on self-reflection and doing the things I love.  I spent parts of it with Sophia and am extremely grateful for her friendship.  We are very different people but understand each other on levels that can only come from helping each other come through bad moods and stressful situations, through good times and bad times.  I do not think I could have gotten through the last four years without her by my side.  She’s taught me what real friendship is, after a whole slew of people who were only there because they saw some benefit or another. They weren’t there because they genuinely cared about me or my wellbeing.  Real friendship is dropping what you’re doing to help the other person.  Real friendship is staying up late talking about your demons and dreams and never holding those confessions over their head or against them.  Real friendship is listening to the other person cry and allowing them to do so because you know they need the release – even when it hurts you to hear them broken.  Real friendship is giving an honest opinion and knowing that the other person isn’t going to be mad about your opinion, instead they will take it into consideration as a viewpoint they didn’t know about before.

Real friendship is an impromptu concert or shopping trip because you know the other person needs it, even if you had other plans for your day.

I hope you have this kind of friendship in your life.  It is something beyond words, and one of the truest blessings this world can offer you.

Happy Sunday.  Take a moment to be grateful for the people who may not be your blood but are there for you as if they are.

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