This is how I've been spending a lot of my nights lately. Two friends driving around wherever to get tea and talking for hours at a time. (Our record right now is 6. But we will probably beat that soon.) Our conversations are about anything & everything. Talking is therapeutic, and I think we are both pretty good at it.
When people show different sides of themselves and they start revealing more and more, I really take that to heart. Anyone that has the power to mention something that could chip their polished image in the mind's of friends and strangers is someone that I admire so much. I find these people all throughout my life, and they share little bits about themselves in moments that don't seem like a very big deal.
There is a friend of mine that is, essentially, a fearless powerhouse. She knows what she wants, she knows that she deserves to be treated with respect, and she is always the one to go to when you need a pep talk. When I'm in doubt, I go to her. The past few weeks have been full of long talks over cake and dinner, watching movies and talking about the future. She's been someone that has always had a hand out for me to grab when I need it.
That's what friendship is - hands reaching out when you need to get picked up off the ground sometimes.
When this someone that I hold very near & dear to my heart told me of an insecurity she has, it didn't chip her powerhouse image that I've had of her for the 2 years of our friendship. To show vulnerability is an incredible thing. When she shared this with me, it made me think about all of these inner demons people are facing, even though people are always reaching out to help others. Little moments of people showing vulnerability are moments that I choose to remember, because it reminds me that I don't always have to seem composed, I don't need to have it all together 24/7. She told me how she was feeling, and she even declared that sometimes she feels silly about feeling this way.
We sat in a dimly lit kitchen with two cups of Dublin morning tea and talked for hours about anything and everything. Mistakes we've made when we weren't in the right frame of mind, boys we've kissed just for fun, books we've read when we were sad and now we can never open up those pages again, and friends we've made and lost throughout the years. We spoke about a lot about feelings and how, in a way, we are all kinda taught to bottle up our emotions and keep our thoughts to ourselves. Saying how we feel? Crazy. Being too happy or too angry or too sad or too enthusiastic can be put others off. But to be seen as being "too" anything is ridiculous. Being seen as "too" anything is not the fault of yours; you are simply feeling things, and letting those emotions come and go as they happen.
I have no interest in being less of anything to make others more comfortable. I have no interest in shrinking down my feelings, regardless of how strong they are or not.
A few days ago, I did something that was a huge step; a huge step in this whole cliché process of figuring myself out while I'm in my 20s. It was something that had to be done in order for me to move forward and grow, in order for me to continue writing the story that is me. This step meant that I had to have my guard down; it meant I had to show openness and vulnerability and that was something that terrified me. This unspoken feeling that we all shared made me quiver. Even in a setting that was filled with friends, the thought of being open was scary. I texted this friend about it - about how uncomfortable I was, how weird it all felt. She simply replied "Enjoy the elbow room. Think positive." Those 6 words hit me like a ton of bricks; it's literally all about perspective. There are always different ways to look at bad/sad things happening in our lives, and that is something to remember. That text comforted me throughout the rest of the night, and in that moment of vulnerability, I was reminded that it was okay to feel whatever it is I'm feeling. In that moment of vulnerability, I had a hand to grab when I wasn't feeling the best.
Growing up is such a process. You don't know whether you are coming or going, if you're making the right decision, or if you are ever on the right path at all. Sometimes you're the one reaching out for a hand to hold to help you; sometimes you are the person who is so vulnerable that they don't have anything left to lose. Sometimes you are the one helping another person up when they desperately need it. I've been in both places before; I know what it feels like to help, and I know what it feels like to need help. I know the feeling of wanting to help others and what it feels like for them to open up with their problems, and I know the feeling of being afraid to ask for help when you need it. So much vulnerability, but we are willing to be like that for our friends - and that is such a wonderful thing.
I want to be known as someone who has always had her hands reached out to help. I want to be known for the hands that I reach for from people that just need a help up.
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