My best friend has been feeling a bit off kilter. She has taken on more responsibility at work, balancing her love and social life, new job in September… these are all important things. So why are they pulling her every which way?
The work role was involuntary. There was no conversation. Sometimes that is good (example: Everyone gets a pocket sized pig! No excuses!)(good, no, FUCKING AWESOME!). Sometimes that is not so good (example: Everyone must wear Hawaiian shirts and Tevas with socks. No excuses.) And sometimes that is awful (example: everyone must slam their heads against the wall for 7 hours. No excuses.) It is hard to say no, especially at work. It is difficult to advocate for yourself and be candid when your employer has the power to kick your pancake butt to the curb. Being a 20 something in the work place isn’t that easy. Sure we have the energy and naiveté that make us perfect pawns for some big picture. But we have feelings, too. We do have a tiny clue as to what is fair and what is ridiculous. My best friend’s new role will only be for 5 weeks. So that is a plus. But can you imagine slamming your head against a wall for 7 hours a day for 5 days a week? Ouch.
The see-saw of love and social life is tough. It is even tougher when you have a kickass man friend. My best friend expressed that she feels like we haven’t been doing stuff together. It makes her feel badly for not making it all work. We are present in tough times (which is awesome, because everybody needs a rock) but what about the good times? What about forming new memories? She seemed to have forgotten that we recently went to Brooklyn to have a fabulous weekend with our other lady friends. And that we just spent time together in the lot of the DCU center before Phish. You would think that we would be attached at the hip… living 1.7 miles apart, working in the same school… but we are not. And that is good. We are growing up. We need each other differently. 2 years ago I was a mess. I was exiting a relationship. When it was finally over, I really needed my best friend. Kettle One. I mean, my hetero-life mate. And she was there. She was there on the phone. And she was there, in her living room trying not to judge me for being a hot mess of disaster. She knew how to coddle me and kick my ass at the same time. That entire episode of my life reminds me how thankful I am to have her around. As for the balancing… how do you do it? And how do you still factor in the most important person, me?! I love me-time. So we have friend time, man friend time and me time… that sounds weird, but you understand. Normally I say, fuck it, go with the flow. But that is how people get neglected. I hate that I had to use Google calendar to plan out my vacation (my iPhone makes me seem organized and efficient so I’m keeping that illusion alive). But I woke up to a reminder saying: “Hetero Life Mate play date tomorrow”. And that made me smile. Sure we haven’t lived together, or driven across the country or slept with twin brothers… but that’s okay.
My best friend has done a lot this past year. She should feel invincible. She defeated the MTELs, got her Masters, created a classroom from scratch and survived two Phish shows. Oh, and she also landed her dream job in a public school. She has worked so hard to make all of these things happen and I could not be prouder. I’m not that upset by our lack of cross country driving because she was working so hard to achieve her goals. The new additions to her plate are from accomplishments, not defeat. She refused to give up, even when that math MTEL was being a stubborn bitch. I admire her tenacity in kicking its ass.
I wish I had some wise words about balance. I bet there are a million quotes on the interwebs that could tie this altogether. Or a good Liz Lemon gif. I think friendships are fluid. We want things to stay the same but that just means you aren’t growing. If you aren’t growing than you aren’t learning. (And I was really stupid at 18/19). Mistakes are good. And exploring who you are is fun. You have to try on different hats to realize that you don’t look good in hats at all and you’re really more of a headscarf person.
Balance is… challenging? Balance is… umm…I can worry about balance when I am 80 and I’m trying not fall on my face at Narragansett Beach after happy hour. It’s a good thing I will have my best friend there to laugh at me when I tumble into sand dune.