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“…nobody would fall because everyone would be each others’ crutches.” –Jay Z, “Feelin’ It”

Hi.

Let me start by saying this…I’m not going to promise to post more often. I’m not going to say that I’ll do this and this or that and that. I’m not going to offer excuses or explanations. I’ve been living. When I feel inspired and life slows down enough for me to write, I’ll write. If it doesn’t, I won’t. I’m going to stop making that promise.

Now, on with the show.

I’m happy.

I could end there, but that wouldn’t be much of a post would it. Let me start again, 30 owes me nothing. If everyday from here on out until 31 was filled with bologna sandwiches and Scandal-less tv, I wouldn’t complain (well…hopefully. I shouldn’t complain. That would be more honest). I’ve had some wonderful things happening in my career (which I’m not at liberty to share), I’m honestly happy with myself as a person, and I’m in a relationship that feels nothing like I’ve ever felt, and I feel blessed by it all. God has kept his eye on me, and I am forever thankful. 

But this isn’t what is making me ultimately happy.

I mean sure…it’s 90%. But what is making me happy is that my friends are finding their happy too. We have seen each other at some interesting lows, and seen glimpses of what highs look like. It’s awesome that I have a friend making waves in her dream, another who is a semester away from hers, another who can probably kick through a door legitimately if need-be, several bosses in their careers, and more awesome mommies and talented chicks than I can count. I’m happiest that the people I’ve chosen to be my family – my friends – are coming up too. Even if some are still climbing their mountain, they should know someone else has got lemonade on chill for them, right?

Even though I won’t tie this to a specific episode of Sex and the City, this is ultimately what the entire show is about: being there for your friends through it all. Happy in their happies, and wiping tears in their sads. Seeing in them what life has blinded them to in themselves, and throwing the confetti when that picture comes in HD. So I could talk about love and have a laundry list of things I’ve learned about myself and why he’s the best ever, but this moment is not the time for that particular revelation. I’m happy. I’m happy for me. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for us. And this “us” is my friends.

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Love you ladies.

–V

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Butterflies… Stomach Flips… All used to describe the happy anxiousness that is the crossroads of something you’re looking forward to with the unknown. Carrie called is Zsa Zsa Zsu at the end of Season 5 (“I Love a Charade”). She describes it as the feeling you get when you meet someone you really really like. That sort of lovey, butterflies feeling when you just want to be with someone. Her actual quote was:

zsa-zsa-zsu-carrie“‘How do you sustain a relationship without the zsa zsa zsu?’
‘The what?’
‘That butterflies-in-your-stomach thing that happens when you not only love the person, but you gotta have them. Isn’t that what gets you through the years? Even if it fades, at least you have the memory of the zsa zsa zsu…'”

Interesting concept. But I’m finding as I’m zeroing in on thirty during this #31WriteNow challenge that Zsa Zsa Zu doesn’t always have to be romantically linked even though that’s usually what is being discussed. As I come to know myself more and am clearer about the things I want, the things I need, and the things that are non-negotiable, I realize Carrie has a point. A lot of relationships may last for a long time without a butterflies feeling, but do you want that? Would you have an issue knowing that someone you love didn’t mind being with you, but didn’t necessarily want you? (How many relationships do you know of that fit that description? I can think of several.) In fact, how many relationships have you been in for that EXACT REASON?

I’m finding Zsa Zsa Zsu moments everywhere. Teaching isn’t glamorous (at all), but have my Zsa Zsa Zsu/Mr. Feeny moments every time I see the light bulb go off. When a child sees enlightenment in a concept I’ve taught them (in or out of the textbook), I get the butterflies. Those butterflies stop me from leaving the profession at particularly low moments. My friends provide Zsa Zsa Zsu moments over the years when I’ve felt particularly lonely in a new and bigger city than the one in which I grew up. The rest of that episode was interesting…truly one of my favorites. Miranda realized how important Steve was to her while Charlotte stopped with her ideal man list to realize an ideal man was in front of her.

Carrie had some truly poetic dialogue in this show. My favorite lines were at the end …

pregnant carrie

“When it comes to relationships, maybe we’re all in glass houses and shouldn’t throw stones. Because you can never really know. Some people are settling down. Some people are settling. And some people refuse to settle for anything less…than butterflies.”

Word.

I’m deciding that’s true for anything that truly matters to me. And I truly feel blessed that those things are coming into fruition in my job potential, my friendship circle, my family, my faith, and the man in my life. The things I hold close to me are important to me because I want them…not just because they are there and available. Settling was a true possibility. When you settle, you’re always hoping for something different while being indifferent in the now. So as I get ready for my birthday dinner party…I’m truly happy for butterflies. 🙂

Where have you experienced (or at least hope to experience) your Zsa Zsa Zu?

Love,

-V

Happy Holidays!

(I decided to go with Happy Holidays because I missed Thanksgiving but it’s not Christmas. Happy Holidays is a happy medium 🙂 )

So today, I have been thinking all day about putting up my Christmas tree, but it made me a little sad to think about putting it up alone. Let me give you a little background. Christmas is my favorite holiday. Besides the fact that it acknowledges the birth of my Lord and Saviour, the general time around Christmas makes me happy. There is a built-in “make me smile” factor that surrounds the Christmas season…twinkling lights, cinnamon-y smells, hot chocolate, beautiful decorations. I have happy memories related to Christmas though. Besides the fact that it was a time that I got to see most of my extended family (until we were all too old to stay in one house, so everyone would have to get hotels, lol), I remember a memory that always makes me happy.

My friend loved Christmas. I always liked the lights, but my mom was the kind of procrastinator that we’d be lucky if the tree was up by the 23rd. And since we normally went to another part of Louisiana for Christmas, so at best, we put cards up around the house and got a poinsettia. I didn’t have decorating memories. So during my sophomore year of college, he started sharing with me around Thanksgiving how excited he was about being able to decorate his (then, brand new) home for Christmas. He asked me to come with him to buy a tree and ornaments. I went, and he was like a big kid. He asked my opinion on which ornaments were nice, but not girly; If the tree was large enough (considering he was 6’4″…he didn’t want to be taller than the tree); if he needed two or three boxes of lights. He told me to go get cocoa while he grabbed Christmas mugs. We went back to his home and he found the 6 Christmas songs on his computer and put them on repeat. I remember that I sat on the couch to watch him “do his thing”. He said, “What are you doing??” I said, “Um…nothing.” He said, “Nooooo, you have to help. I’ll do the lights, and you decide which pretty ornaments go where, and then I’ll do all the fill-in ornaments.” He wanted me involved. And after it was done, he baked cookies (let me choose which ones I wanted first before he got his), made us hot chocolate in the new Christmas mugs, and then turned out the lights so he could light up the tree. He was so happy, lol. It was a good, dorky kind of happy that was infectious. He then thanked me for obliging him and sharing in his first home tree-trimming. And, I loved it just as much as he did. The event itself was nice, but I liked that he wanted me involved. And I ended up making him a cd with more than 6 songs, lol.

That next year, after doing the same thing, we went to the downtown display of Christmas lights. The streets were roped off, and you could walk block after block, stop at little shops, buy apple cider, etc… He wanted to do a little of everything. He was sad because he had just had shoulder surgery (he was a pitcher for my university’s baseball team) so he could only operate one arm, but he still enjoyed himself. He bought cider for us, and we walked all night until it closed, laughing at things (and people), and again, he thanked me for sharing the memories with him. It was that Christmas that we exchanged gifts. He got me a stuffed cocker spaniel puppy (I still love that thing, lol) and I got him a print of Muhammad Ali knocking out Frazier (which he loved).

Things between us changed after that, but we were always friends. I had relationships after that, and with each one I always wanted to cultivate something special. Something distinctly ours. Except…they were never interested. My five-year-relationship guy always seemed mildly annoyed when I wanted him to help me put up my tree, so I tried other things. None of them worked, and he never offered any suggestions. The only thing we did on a regular was visit his mom on Sundays, but nothing explicitly ours. He would say things like, “I thought about taking you to the jazz club.” “I thought about us driving to little cities around here to try whatever they were known for.” I literally begged for almost two years to go to Stone Mountain to see the laser show. I was so excited when I finally went, but he still had a mild indifference. I wanted to hold hands and share a blanket, but he brought a (single) folding chair, saying he thought the ground would be too hard (He said, “I know you have one…I thought you would’ve brought yours too. My bad”). I’m pretty sure that this constant (what I saw as) rejection created a layer that I started to stop asking or expecting moments that were “special”.

charlotte - harry - breakupSo when I say Un-tradition-al…I mean that the most meaningful experiences that set standards for things I’ve wanted were/are with people whom I could only call friends. It is with these people that I have the happiest memories. But the relationships I’ve had, they were all missing that something special. Even now, …well…nevermind. Just know that I have had more special moments recently that I have had in a long time … and it’s a friend. So I can imagine Charlotte’s dismay with Harry when he wanted to watch the baseball game after she had converted to Judaism and cooked a Shabbat meal. To him, he appreciated what she did, but it was another dinner during a game. To her, she was starting to create traditions with someone she cared about. Now, I can’t condone the statements she made to him afterwards, but I can understand (Season 6, “Pick a Little, Talk a Little”).

So, whether it was figuring out how to staple Christmas lights around your window without electrocuting anyone, or inadvertently creating a special language that only two people understand, traditions are nice. I hope that one day, I’ll have them with someone who’ll actually be with me.

Do you have any traditions you’d like to share? It’s the holidays, after all 😉

Love,

–V

P.S. No, my Christmas tree isn’t up. Not yet.

“Today, I had a thought: what if I had never met you?” –Carrie Bradshaw

I have always loved the “American Girl in Paris, Part Une” episode. Not just because of her big, “Big-you-can-suck-it” speech (which is awesome by the way…although I didn’t think she should’ve started running around the corner. Keeping the same pace would have had a better effect, but that could be just me), but because of the simple and real emotion that came from the “Last Supper” with her friends. All of them were visibly connected, and you could almost see them working out their emotions from having to adjust to not having a close friend physically near them.

Carrie asked the question quoted above, and that was all that was said. All of the women went on their own personal walk down memory lane, with no words. The eye contact between Carrie and each of her friends told the story. I can honestly say that I understand that now.

My friend is moving away. Do you know how long it takes to make a friend who you are finally comfortable enough to call and just say, “What ‘chu doing? Let’s watch tv.”? 2 years. Exactly two years. I met her last June during an educator’s conference that my church was holding, and saw her later at church with a Delta T-Shirt on. We began talking, more comfortable as Sorors, but then bonded as a part of a small knit group of friends. We ultimately became very close. One of my favorite pictures is of us parasailing (in the shades she stole from me…but that’s another issue, lol), and she is always the person ready to stop someone from doing something in anger that will have us on “The CNN”. She was one of the people ready to fight when I was hurt and hug when I was sad. I have two other single, close friends in Atlanta, and we are all equally as sad.

At the end of June, she got a job that will move her to Florida, and yesterday we held a going away party. My goal has been not to cry…especially not in public. I cried in public last month; this means that it cannot happen again until at least the end the September (I’m a G like that, lol). It was a great party, and I asked people to bring things that will remind her of them, or that remind them of her. My friends and I had to run from each other every time the emotions started to run high, because I refused to cry. Near the end of the night, while everyone was dispersing, either going home or playing games at D&B’s, one of the four said, “Let’s go to Pinkberry.” We said our goodbyes, and relocated.

As we sat down, I said, “This seems like Carrie’s last night, before she went to Paris.” Everyone agreed, and we locked eyes, and one person’s bottom lip started quivering. I said, “HEY! I’m not looking at you…but you better pull it together!” We kind of started laughing, with everyone looking away and trying to quell tears.Then the night just went on as normal, with us laughing and talking.

I will say this. I have never been so sad and happy…well, sort of. I’m not going to lie, more sad than happy. She is one of the first friends I made all on my own after all of my friends were based on my ex-boyfriend’s friends. Looking at Pinterest last night though, I found this:

I love my friends…no matter where they are. 🙂

Love,

–V

Happy New Year (24 days in)!

I sincerely hope that your 2011 was made of awesome, chocolate chips, and blessings. 🙂

It’s taken me awhile to write because I was so focused on what I wouldn’t write about. Life has been a bit rough, and I am uncomfortable with writing about it in it’s rawness. I know it will make an awesome testimony at some point in some way, but right now……. :\

However, I decided that I would write about what I will write about. All of my favorite moments in Sex and the City have to do with the girls being there for each other in rough times…Miranda forcing everyone to talk about Samantha’s cancer during her wedding reception; Carrie stepping in with Miranda in her mother’s funeral possession; Charlotte’s sitting with Carrie when she read Big’s marriage announcement; Samantha forcing Carrie to eat in Mexico; I could continue.

My 2011 ended in a not so great way. While I won’t get into that, I will discuss my friends. When I tell you that there is no better thing in the world (or as a fashion accessory…yes I’m talking to you, lady who insists on wearing leggings as pants) than friends who are not too afraid to be real, not too hard to be compassionate, not t0o cynical to be optimistic, and not too realistic to be faith full. In all of the aforementioned Sex and the City moments, one that stands out to me most is this one:

Only a friend leaves the house dressed this way.

 

<– You see that? That’s real.

Carrie was going through her own stuff. She’d been unceremoniously jilted. She was embarrassed, sad, and still dealing. But, her friend needed her. Her friend didn’t even state that she needed her…she just knew. And she was ready to throw on a coat, sparkly hat, and boots to brave Manhattan’s winter and subway system to be there for her friend (Sex and the City Movie).

According to Wikipedia, Auld Lang Syne “may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago”,[4] “days gone by” or “old times”. Consequently “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as “for (the sake of) old times”. While I can’t control old times, I can celebrate the positives that has come from it.

I have to thank God for the friends He’s given me at the time He’s given them. Only they can affirm you when you feel like breaking down. Only they are willing to stand with you when the rest of the world thinks you’re crazy…even when they think you’re crazy. They’re ready to be on the CNN because someone has harmed you in any way. They’re ready to give snot-nosed (yet cute-faced) prayers to God on your behalf.

Although I don’t believe in stories like “The Notebook”…I do believe in friendships like the girls on Sex and the City. Not necessarily the value systems that they hold, but for the value they see in each other. And no matter what, that crosses all lines. So whether it’s a Louisiana-bred, Kentucky raised chicken judger, a fairly new face who happens to be a jet-setter, a “different than day and night” pair from the heart of the D, someone whose friendship has lasted over a decade, a co-worker who has moved out of that box into other boxes, or the friend you never thought you’d make but has provided consistent God-filled spiritual advice…and she likes shoes like you do…they are important.

Trust me…I’d put on pearls with my pajamas, a sparkly hat, and boots for any of you……..but I ain’t taking MARTA…me and the Camry will ride out though 🙂

I want those friendships for everyone. In 2012, I hope you get it. 🙂

Love,

–V

FYI (since I talked about it last week)…today would’ve been my six year anniversary. Um…in the words of Jay-Z, that “only gets half a bar…” (I only really remember this because I have a great memory. I found a girl I went to elementary school with in the checkout line at Kroger the other day. I literally have not seen her, or a picture of her since 1993.)

Anyway, this past weekend I took a mini-vacation with my friends. We went to Panama City Beach and truly had a wonderful time. The lack of posting was due to all the schoolwork I needed to do during the week to be able to take off the weekend. It was wonderful. We jet-skiied. We parasailed (which was made of awesome). We went to the beach at the crack of dawn (yeah, I wasn’t happy about that one), played The Michael Jackson Experience on Wii, and came back playing Phase 10.

Sunset after Parasailing...God is the best artist.

Anyway, we do what we do best: talk. We have conversation after conversation. Some of it is silly yet profound, like using Finding Nemo as the basis to why women aren’t submissive, and why some parents seem to baby or attempt to enable their kids instead of preparing them for the future (Yeah, this conversation really happened). Sometimes it’s Pinky and the Brain – our attempt to take over the world (for the better…improve it and whatnot). Often it’s about our faith, but a lot of the time it is about relationships.

We had this conversation about attitudes and relationships. One of my friends is of the opinion that women, people in general but mostly women, only have their hard-edged attitudes because they are not with their 11. I, at least currently, think that my mindset shapes my attitude or lack thereof. Do all of our theories on relationships only apply because we haven’t met a person to supersede our ideals, or would they be there regardless because of mentality? Is it the man, or the mirror? Hmm…

Remember this convo?

Carrie: Do you remember how Big used to keep me away from his mother, like I was some kind of leper?
Miranda: I remember.
Carrie: And how pissed it used to make me?
Miranda: I remember!
Carrie: Well now, Aidan’s offering up both his parents on a silver platter, and I’m not sure I want to meet them.

Carrie did this in her first go round with Aidan (Season 3, “Drama Queens). She was very weird with him for a time, and it’s mostly because the mentality created by Big and a bevy of other failed relationships conditioned her to be used to “the chase”. With him, at that time, it’s was nothing but calm seas and not a cloud in sight. He wanted her to meet his parents, and she thought that it was too much, too soon. Is this really her inner self telling her that he was not “The One”, or her conditioning that if she tries for this, she’ll only end up hurt like she was with Big (who was completely uncomfortable with the thought of her and his mother sharing the same air).

It’s a crapshoot for me, but I’m leaning towards mental conditioning rather than the man. What say you?

Love,

–V

So, I was talking to my best friend today who I generally talk to about once a week because of the craziness of our schedules, and we talked about my last blog post. As I relayed the details of that event, as well as the details of my weekend, she said something that I found hilarious.

I told her that my friend had worked my nerves over the weekend, which he promptly followed up with the ability to quickly make me laugh. Jokingly, I said, “Yeah, I started laughing and he knew I was mad, but moreso because he broke me out of my madness. *giggle*…I hate him.” She said, “Got it, me too.” I told her that another friend believes that my feelings are running much deeper, but I am refusing to acknowledge such. She said, “Hey, I’m only willing to admit what you’re willing to admit. You’ll get there on your own time. So, right now, you hate him. Cool. We hate him.”

Those are ride-or-die friends, lol! I immediately started cracking up and told her that I would turn this into a blog. That’s one of the things that’s great about friends…those whom you speak with on a daily, or once a week, or once a month or three: They’re willing to back you up. They’ll tell you the truth, but they’ll be saying it from your corner. It reminds me of when Miranda held Carrie’s hair when she threw up after seeing Big in the Hampton’s with Natasha (Season 2, “Twenty-Something Girls vs Thirty-Something Women”). Matter of fact…there are several Miranda and Carrie instances like this. A favorite of mine is when Carrie made Miranda back away from the icing when she accidentally volunteered to finish birthday cupcakes for Steve’s then girlfriend Debbie (Season 6, “Lights, Camera, Relationship!”)

Don’t you love those friends who will tell you that you need to stop shopping, but still accompany you to the mall? I’m just saying…they’re priceless 🙂

I hope you have a few…or 6 😉

Love,

–V

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