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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Day 77: London Memories.

In Friends, Friendship, Happiness, Humanity, life, Teaching, UK, Wales on January 8, 2013 at 4:42 am

The UK was wonderful.

It’s amazing to me how different the lifestyle is just an ocean skip away.  It’s also amazing how calm I felt while on the farm in Wales and, I believe, I was anxiety/stress free.  I spent 10 days building fires [more like watching fires be built], juicing, tea-ing, drying clothes on the aga stove [with the accent I thought they were saying arga but only now did google correct me], taking fresh-air walks, reading poetry by Simon, enjoying fresh farm bacon and custard.

The list goes on.

The first night as I was lying in bed in the old farmhouse, I peeked out the window only to see complete darkness and the sky lit up with thousands of tiny stars.  It was there that my heart sank and, for me, the journey of my unspoken friendship came full circle. I believed, no I knew, at that moment, that we met for a reason and here it became clear to me.

Years ago now, I made this post about my friend [now one of my best friends].  It was an unlikely friendship, but here we are years later and I began to see the bigger picture.  This special friend met her husband while working in Tiffany’s, he had come in to buy a silver platter as a thank you gift for some friends he was staying with while visiting New York, he was British. They met and love ensued, she moved to London with him and they had their little boy.  I’m sure there was a night where she lie in bed, staring out the window, at the British stars just like me.  While I gazed my mind wandered to this thought.  She was young when she met him, probably my same age that I am now, in love with a Brit, and now here I am in love with one too.  I find it no coincidence that her dying husband arrived back from his very last trip to London on the same exact plane that Konk and I departed on to London, only one hour later. A trip, for us, that would commence a life, on the same exact plane where an end-of-life trip was coming to a close.

I once wrote, “why would she want to be friends with me?”  As I journeyed to London this holiday season I felt the answer deep within my heart.

It’s funny how the answers come, sometimes.  It’s funny how we write, speak, or feel questions not knowing if or when the answers will come.  In a lot of ways, this friend has taught me some of the most meaningful lessons on friendship–those lessons are part of the answer too.

These last couple of days it has been hard to hear of her “Brit’s” rapid decline, almost heartbreaking, my heart aches to think of her London story coming to a close.  She said to me the other day, I wish I was in the UK.  It’s so great, the best.

I thought, yes, you’re right, it is the best. I thought, let’s go there together.  Let’s make another London memory together.  It won’t be the the close of the book, only the chapter.  Could we?

Some questions, well, you know.

a whit who has thought a lot.

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Christmas Decorations: Day 73

In Christmas, Friends, Friendship, Happiness, Home Decor, life, Love, Thoughts on November 30, 2012 at 5:37 am

It’s been a long time since I’ve logged on.  I suppose there has been a reason for that, and a lot of good has happened in my life.

We put up the Christmas decorations this weekend, and I still stand in awe of it all.  I love the holiday, but what really surprises me is the life that is emerging amidst all of those decorations.  They represent something for me.

I remember a few years  back when I sat wondering what I would adorn the walls with, and how I would possibly drag in and set up a christmas tree on my own.

but it happened. i figured it out.

Each year I pluck away at it a little more and it seems this life is coming together nicely now. It feels comfortable, like it fits.

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This holiday season, as with every other, I have so much to be thankful for.  As I sat thinking of all of these blessings tonight I couldn’t help but smile.  There have been several holidays now that I have spent alone, and I think back on those.  They are bittersweet, but I know why they were necessary now–to illuminate the joy that was to come.

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I’d like to end with one request for this holiday season,

One of my best friend’s husband is dying of terminal cancer. I love her very much, and I would ask that anyone who reads my blog please pray for a miracle. A christmas miracle that will give their family a holiday together, one filled with joy and love, not pain and death. She and her young son deserve this season to be happy and filled with joy–a memory they can hold in their hearts each year as the decorations find themselves adorn the walls.  I suspect, just like me, they too will have to make a new life as the seasons go on.  It is my prayer that their experience will evolve into one wherein the bittersweet dissipates and illuminates a new joy, not better, just different.

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Happy Christmas. a whit.

Unspoken Friendship: Day 64

In Blogging, Friends, Friendship, God, Thoughts on August 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Today I am thinking a lot about friendship.

This morning my friend called me, I think I’ve mentioned her on this blog before, her husband is dying of cancer.

As I got off the phone, my mind thought of this post.  I can remember it as if it was just yesterday, it’s hard to believe it has been over two years now since we met.

It was the third day of school (for little e), I was distant and very careful. I had just been through a terrible divorce, I was coming out the other end, but I was scared. I was different, and I was closed off. I was just finding my way through single mothering, and I was surrounded by beautiful, whole families. Intimidated.  So, I dropped off my e and walked out of the school toward my car (quickly and looking down to avoid conversations), she stopped me, she was just so beautiful, so put together, and I remember thinking she must have the perfect life.  In her bubbly way, that I now know is so her, she told me we were having a play date. We were going to the park, she hadn’t even introduced herself yet. She knew my e though, she said I’ve decided e is such a wonderful boy and he is the perfect friend for my son. I thanked her and said we’d have to get together, just so I could hurry on my way. She didn’t give up though, she found me in the class directory the next week and I got the call. After much hesitation on my part, I agreed to meet her at the park. I wondered why she’d want to be my friend–she was happily married, living in a great house in a great location, established, everything.

When we went to the park, it was there that she told me.  She told me her husband was sick, and with fear in her eyes she said, “It’s bad.” That’s all she had to say, and I knew.

Time passed.

Her predication proved true, our sons have grown to be great friends–the kind of friendship that will last a lifetime. Something else happened too, she became my friend. My first real friend after my divorce.

She’s helped me over these past couple years in ways I can never repay her for.

She’s let me help her and, it has meant the world to me. It has helped to rebuild me.

So when she called me today and told me the “it’s bad” is coming to an even worse spot. and end–for now…

I remembered.

She wondered how life would be OK. How would her son be OK. How would he live without a Dad.

I told her, I am always…

She stopped me, “I know. You don’t even have to say it.” Then I realized this, those are the beautiful friendships, the unspoken ones.

Like a friend has said on her blog,

Losing someone changes everything. But if you have faith, God will create a miracle out of your life that would have otherwise been ordinary.

My friend was never ordinary, ever, so now, in light of this, she’ll be extraordinary.

Perhaps fate brought us together. Perhaps she knew I could be a friend she needed throughout this trial. But I like to think that she has served a much greater purpose in my life than I could ever serve in hers. She means so much to me, thank you for saying hi and letting me be your friend. I’ll always…

dedicated to my special friend whom I love very much. ~ a whit.

Day 58: thankful.

In Family, Friends, God, Happiness, Health, Humanity, Laughter, life, Love, Mother, Parenting, Thoughts on July 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the following:

patience. and

loving what you have/what you are given.

It’s so easy for me, or you, or anyone, really, to get caught up in wanting things beyond what one has or is given. I have, and sometimes I throw myself a pity party about it, but the reality is that there is always someone who has it worse or is embedded within circumstances that are less fixable.

One of my best friend’s husband is dying of cancer. He only has a year to live, at best.

I think about her situation quite often, and it makes everything in my life seem so manageable despite the hardship that I face within my own circumstances. I am thankful this week that I have those that I care about close to me and healthy. I am thankful that there was and will be the laughter of little kids in my house–I’ve been missing that.

I’m so thankful–for the little things.

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Day 47: Running Through Life

In Exercise, Friends, Friendship, Happiness, life, Running, Thoughts on June 30, 2012 at 1:32 am

It’s summer again, and I finally have time to reevaluate my life and my goals (my New Year’s Resolutions are always made around this of the year).  Anyway, my primary goal has been to get in the best shape of my life.  Today I almost cried at the highlights of my workout: 20 girl push-ups, 70 lunges, and 2- 1 minute wall squats.  I couldn’t even do 2 girl push-ups two months ago (pathetic I know)!

Anyway, that said, I have been running about 4 miles a day with a time range of anywhere from 8-9:00 minutes per mile, not spectacular, but freaking fantastic for me.  Today I decided to go running with a friend who just began her running regimen 3 days ago.  As we circled the park, I could tell I was pacing her way too fast and she was burning out by mile 1, so we decided on two miles with a few 1:00 minute walk intervals. We ended up averaging a 12:24 mile, but I couldn’t help but feel so proud of her and her accomplishment.  I can remember just a couple months back when I was in that very boat, and I told her this, where I couldn’t even make it to the mile mark without tuckering out.  It’s amazing, though, how fast your body (and your lungs) acclimate, and I assured her that in two weeks time she’ll likely make that whole two miles without any walk rest periods.  She commented on how thankful she was that I was willing to ask her how she was doing along the way, stop for her, and encourage her onward toward our running endpoint.  Afterward we walked another 4 miles to a coffee shop wherein we talked and enjoyed ourselves for the first time in a long time.  When we finally made it back to the cars it seemed so clear to me, life is just like running.  It’s not always about being the fastest, sometimes you need to take breaks, oftentimes it’s about enjoying who you’re running with, and most importantly it’s about encouraging one another onward.  Throughout she kept urging me to leave her behind and just run ahead, “Nope, I am here to pace you.  I am here to do this with you,” I told her.  If I would have run ahead, I would have missed out on so much during our run today.  I’m glad I didn’t.

signed

arunningwhit

Daily Cupcake: Saying Hi

In Friends, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, life, Thoughts, Women on September 19, 2011 at 4:26 am

Today’s daily cupcake is just a bit of advice: talk to a stranger every once in awhile.  You might surprise yourself.

Today I randomly questioned a girl about her North Face backpack because I’d never seen one like it.  I figured she got it abroad.  It spurred an entire conversation about her recent arrival in the States as a Korean exchange student.  She told me, “you are the person I admire the most–the person who can speak the perfect English.”  While not always true, and her English was quite fantastic, it was a compliment that made my somewhat difficult day a little more cheerful.  We ended up exchanging emails and have become facebook friends.  She has offered to help me with anything I would like to know about Asian culture.

You just never know who you will meet by reaching out a little beyond “your zone.”  You might even make a lifelong friend and those are hard to come by.

Conversations Among Twenty Somethings: Day 28

In Friends, Love, Men, Romance on June 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

It’s always a fine line between happiness and despair for a woman approaching her thirties, single.  Happy–she’s free like a breeze floating lazily through the window on a summer day, independent of mens underwear grazing her bedroom floor and  yellow pee-stained toilet rims that never seem to clean themselves.  Despairing in the gifts of–someone to share a Friday evening, and tickle her till she pees her pants while listening to the melodies of Coldplay in the background.  No, a twenty something single woman doesn’t long for a man to put bread on the table, or do her bloody laundry, she of course has those things figured out.  She’s choreographed the inner workings of her life, not by mere chance of course, but because she’s had to in order to survive, so that they play like a fine tuned piano but the ballad isn’t always sweet.  She knows when to unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, vacuum the floors, run the water in the tub for a nice long bath–by herself.  But then again, amidst all of this “figured-out-ness” she converses,

I think I’m done trying to meet you, or get you, or whatever. It’s too much work, and I’m not that crafty. I don’t like all the plotting that seems to be involved in finding you. I talk to you. I smile. I try to look nice. I like baseball, politics and a variety of music that doesn’t suck. I’ve pretended to care about Resident Evil and other video games, I’ve watched stupid movies for you, I’ve overlooked various bad habits (i.e. smoking pot, cigarettes, etc.), and I’ve put myself out there for you despite my own discomfort. But what for?

Suddenly she realizes her mistakes. The tweeking that brings such discomfort.  How did the happy couple in the coffee shop, the one that finishes each others’ sentences, construct themselves.  Do they lie together?  He laughs, staring into her eyes, noses inches apart, quickly kissing her brow.  If this is a lie then it’s the cruelest kind.

What else can I do within reason? Going to church doesn’t work because you are notoriously awkward there and going to bars doesn’t work because the you that’s real isn’t there.

So, she resorts to placing a pink sticky on note on your door with her phone number.  A leap, that’s what she’s told, “you have to take chances.”  She only hopes it was the right door.  She’s also told to smile, but what differentiates a genuine smirk from a lustful one?  And why do you always interpret the later.  So she fumbles, tearing bits of a coffee cup, and looks at her fingers, are they manicured?  They are, in vain, for you. She walks the condiments aisle in the market buying her tenth bottle of ketchup and eleventh of mustard.  You walk by, you’re purchasing some relish because you ran out.  You push along with your cart of frozen corndogs.  She knows how to cook you know, but you didn’t ask her.  Instead she says,

People get dates. It’s one of those things that happens. It just doesn’t happen to me. Maybe I’m supposed to be single right now. Maybe God’s angry with me.  Maybe  the stars are not aligned properly. Maybe I should have thrown the salt over my right shoulder when it spilled out onto the counter instead of brushing it onto the floor. Who the hell knows.

You who found the pink sticky note.  You text elusively as your kind does.  Quick answers, always, long passages of time, sometimes months, before your responses surface.  She converses again,

I think I’m just going to be single for now. They say that you’ll meet somebody when you least expect it. Hopefully that’s true.

(a revised excerpt from the converse of three twenty something singles)

A Mom’s Lesson: Day Twenty

In Friends, Happiness, Humanity, Love, Parenting on November 19, 2010 at 7:12 am

When it hurts to be a parent, that’s the worst.  I guess it’s one of those things you never really can prepare yourself for because it’s nothing you’d want to imagine happening to your child in an idealistic world.

Little e came home from school the other night adorned with an elbow bandage and a very lengthy story to tell.  Rather than summarize I’ll just do a narrative style besides I think it will capture the situation:

“mommy, why did the kids laugh at me when I tripped today?”

“Really, how did you trip?”

“Well this really really big nine year-old boy stuck his leg out in front of me, and then I fell really hard.  I looked around and everyone was laughing at me.”

(short intermission) attempting to decipher whether it was an intentional “trip” or a mere accident I deviate:

“Now how did the actual trip occur?  Was it on purpose?  Was it intentional?”

“Mommy, what does intentional mean?”

“Did he stick his leg out in front of you on purpose in order to make you trip?”

“Yes, yes, that’s what he did and everyone was laughing even my friends.”

The conversation actually continued our entire car ride home.  Five miles from our destination, after a long day at work, silent tears began to stream.  This is one of those moments where you realize the statement: “you’ll never truly know what it’s like to be a parent until you are one,” really solidifies itself.  Then I remembered being tripped myself as a child.  It hurt then but even more so this time (and to think I wasn’t even there).

I shielded my tears from little e, regaining composure, and just in time because he had another question for me…

“Mama, why are people mean?”

I’d much prefer the obligatory, “where do babies come from?” over this one.  I struggled, thinking how do you explain the cruelty of this world to a five year-old?  Why would I want to? Then the remembrance of another event, only a few weeks prior, surfaced, and my answer came:

Another incident had occurred where a child told e his clothes “sucked.”  Then the next day this same child indicated how much he loved e’s watch, and wished he could steal it from him.  e related both of these events to me.

“Mommy, I just don’t know how to handle a situation like this.  No on has ever told me things like that before.”

Returning a few hours later e exclaimed he really wanted to go get this little boy a watch just like his and that would diffuse the entire situation and make the little boy happy.  Easily done (since the watch was from a Taco Bell kids meal–don’t judge) we picked one up and e presented it to him the next day at school.

Through that situation, and now this tripping incident, little e is learning how to navigate his way through relationships.  He is learning empathy and kindness toward others, and for that I need not shed any tears whatsoever.

After some talking and answering of his question,

The conversation in the car ended with one final statement (from e of course), “Next time I will tell him that is not appropriate!”

I’d like to end this post with a little bit more information, which I think might help give meaning as to why I even wrote about all this in the first place.

I met with that little boy’s mom, the one e insisted on giving the watch to, and learned his Dad is dying of cancer.  So, I’ll end, “you just never know what may be the cause to a certain effect (good or bad).”  The effect may seem hurtful, but what’s causing it may be even worse.  I’m so proud of my little boy for having the intuition to know the right way to handle a tough situation.  Turns out he knew what was going on all along (I believe somehow) because yesterday he told me the little boy sings about his Daddy dying while they’re at recess.

So, if I could backtrack and answer little e’s question, concerning the world’s occasional cruelty, differently, then I’d say, “turns out you knew the answer all along e–to teach us to be kind, understanding, and to love others.”

Ms. whit.

Should I get Divorced?: Day Eighteen

In Articles, Blogging, Blogs, Dating, Education, Esteem, Family, Fiction, Friends, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, life, literature, Love, Men, Men, Mother, Musings, Parenting, Politics, Romance, Sex, Stories, Thoughts, wit, Women, Work, Writing on November 16, 2010 at 6:51 am

It seems to me that after you experience divorce, that is, become a divorcee, you also become a magnet for those seeking “friendly” relationship advice.  Since my divorce, I have never had so many married friends approach me expressing their own personal marital woes.  Can we say smoke and mirrors?

So, what do you say to these helpless worshippers?  Their eyes pining upwards toward yours, in dismay, you (well I) certainly cannot leave them hanging.

So, I tell them what my mother told me almost four years ago–

“It’s time to evaluate.  There are thirty days in a month and if over half of those thirty days are spent in argument/fighting/retribution, then you seriously need to consider your life.”

So, I did the addition and I recommend it to my pleading friends as well.  If you’re in the negative then…

I guess this doesn’t necessarily mean divorce, it didn’t for me, marriage counseling can always be the next step but most I find have already given that a fair shot.  So, then I move to my next bit of advice.

It isn’t easy (divorce that is).  So, consider wisely.  This isn’t a life and death situation, in any sense of physicality, but it may be with regard to the soul, your soul.  If he doesn’t pick up his dirty underwear, empty the dishwasher, or clean off the toilet seat–you may want to hire a maid and get a good job with long work hours, instead.  No, but seriously, divorce isn’t easy and making that jump will most certainly change you in every way possible, good and bad.  It will also present a little addition to your life.  Something I like to call the “what if factor.”

What if he had been different?

What if I had been different?

What if the timing had been different?

What if that whore from the Nordstrom shoe department had never been working that Wednesday afternoon when my husband, on a whim, decided to go peruse for a new pair of penny loafers?

You’ll always wonder, what might have been?  What dreams might have come AND could things have worked?  This is what you sacrifice when you choose divorce.  You sacrifice ever knowing.  However, consider this, whose to say things wouldn’t have been different anyway because with every circumstance, every change, there comes a differing outcome.  So, maybe the Nordstrom girl wasn’t there that Wednesday, instead, five years later your hubby gets run over by a truck crossing the street–either way, you’re alone with accompanying heartache.  It’s all a matter of relativity and the passage of time, leading you this way and that, all dependent on varying occurences.  I think Robert Frost put it nicely, “And both [roads] that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black / Yet knowing how way leads on to way / I doubted if I should ever come back.”

So, finally when I have exhausted all the aforementioned then I end with this, “secure your finances before ever mentioning the word divorce.”  Trust me, it’s not being deceitful…it’s being smart.  If you have to, stick it out, until you have what you need to leave.  I’ve encountered many friends, with young children, no assets, no education, their husband(s) owning everything; having reduced them to the life of: housewife.  Just make sure you leave when the time is ripe, oops, I mean right. 😉  It never hurts to get a little legal advice prior.

A good friend from back when I was married emailed me the other day concerning a matter similar to this post’s topic.  I thought it funny, she, after all these years, my divorce from her husband’s friend, had returned to me for some semblance of hope.  My final words to her, “I’ll be praying for you and your little family.”

That’s how my advice column will always end, always.

A divorced whit.

Day Seventeen: “Gender is a Performance:” Play Your Own Part.

In Articles, Blogging, Blogs, English Major, Esteem, Family, Friends, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, life, literature, Love, Men, Men, Mother, Parenting, Politics, Romance, Sex, Stories, Thoughts, Women, Work, Writing on November 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I recently stumbled upon this blog post, which I found to be slightly disturbing but not for the reason you might be inclined to think.

Our society has transitioned into a new wave of discrimination and this time the target seems gender related.  Since the beginning of time, and even currently, differing cultural groups, religious groups, varying ethnicities, have been the product of discriminatory practices but now we’re venturing into a whole new sphere.  I think the important thing to remember is this is nothing new.  As many of you know, my educational background is focused in the area of literature.  Throughout the years I have explored a variety of texts, poetry, fiction, essays, etc, where gender/sexuality issues exist.

Yes, there were homosexuals in the fifteenth century. Big shocker.

However, gender and sexuality, in the past, were presented mostly through allusions, satirical jest, etc.  We’re entering a new era and in this one people are opening up.  Finally, individuals are facing the blatant reality that gender is not so easily defined nor is sexuality.  How wonderful that we are transitioning towards this way of life, writing, living the obvious, the real, why hinder such?

But it’s happening, people are impeding this miraculous feat and, yet again, lives are being lost, ruined, and hurt because of differences.

A professor once said,

“gender is a performance, a fabrication.”

You could think of it like this, each one of us is playing a role in a play, acting the part, being the person that very role assigns.  Unfortunately, life, sexuality, gender, is far more complicated than a role so strictly designated.  Individuals may choose different performances or they may be living a biological performance different from that of yours or mine.  That doesn’t make their performance any less real or vital; however, your assumption or judgment of it may be detrimental to their life. If we continue with the theatrical allegory, the world of theatre, is quite obviously designed and encouraging of creativity, why not then in our own societal structures as well?

Individuals, children, adults, PEOPLE, should be allowed to live their lives. They should be allowed to perform the way they choose and most importantly our children need to know that those choices are okay because inevitably they will grow up and act a part of their own.

The holocaust, the chinese exclusion act, black slavery, native american discrimination, and the list goes on and on.  All of these historical events have one thing in common–injustice.  People being forced into roles they were never meant to inhabit.

So, play your part the way you want to.  Don’t try to perform the role necessarily assigned to you by socially constructed gender terms.  Little Boo played his part (the one he chose) and I think he did a great job of it.

Whit.

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