Quote

It takes a lot of guts to “tell it like it is” right from the beginning, but nothing can contribute more to knowing where you stand than being honest all the way. If a new and tentative relationship cannot stand the truth it will not survive the same truth later on.

James Ramey (Intimate Friendships, p. 74)

Unexpected

Some people fear spontaneity and the unexpected.

In my experience, however, sometimes the unexpected things are the ones that make you smile the most, the ones that build great connections, and the ones that create amazing memories.

Meeting New People

It’s not easy making new friends as an adult, shocking though that may seem (haven’t we all learned how to talk to people by now?). But, seriously, it’s actually pretty damn difficult to go out and make new connections that develop into anything deeper than a new name in your Facebook feed.

(The good Doctor recently wrote an article on this very problem: How to Make Friends)

At this point in my life, I don’t have a geographically convenient, close-knit group of friends that I see regularly, as my close-knit group has gone and scattered themselves across the state and/or country (myself included – I live at least an hour away from everyone I know!).  What this means is that most of my social interactions are in the one-on-one setting and that my choices for regular (or spontaneous) socialization are a bit limited at the moment.

Now, as my friends can attest, I’ve spent the last six months or so tackling this problem through a strategy that I lovingly refer to as “Meeting Boys on the Internet” (read: sifting through emails on OKCupid), and I’ve actually managed to meet a handful of really stellar guys this way. However, the majority of these interactions are, again, strictly one-on-one. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some one-on-one time, but there are certainly times that I also miss the group dynamic.

Well, color me delighted when I was introduced to the adorable WF. She’s just lovely, through and through. We hit it off like, well, some metaphorical thing that hits other things off explosively.

Color me tentative and shy when she invited me to an event at a friend’s place comprised almost entirely of people I’d never met (all but two), including the host. But, hey, if my friends say that they’re great folks, then they must be, right? So I took a (very minimal) risk and went, still expecting the evening to be mostly awkward (at least on my end), and was quite pleasantly surprised to find that everyone was warm and welcoming and fantastic. And I mean everyone.

If you’ve ever met a new acquaintance’s group of friends and felt like you were either A) not welcome, or B) expected to complete some Herculean feats to gain acceptance into the clique, then you probably understand just how refreshing it was to just be accepted with friendly enthusiasm, no questions asked.

I stayed hours later than intended, and it was worth every minute.

Girl Talk

There are few things in this world quite so cathartic as girl talk.

I had the luxury of enjoying some girl talk with my good friend JB this evening, and my were we overdue for that. In fact, this evening just proved that she and I really need to get together more often, regularly even, since I’m pretty sure that we both left the evening feeling a little bit lighter.

Baggage

Everyone has baggage.

I’m talking emotional baggage here, not actual physical luggage.

Personally, I try to make sure that my own baggage doesn’t have a negative impact on my friends and relationships. I think that most people have this goal.

But it’s a remarkably small world out there sometimes and emotional baggage has this way of leaping in from left field and throwing a wrench in things at the weirdest of times.

Take this past week (or so) for example: a big, messy chunk of my personal baggage opted to jump out and smack right into one of my close friends, making what should have been a delightful situation into something a little bit… weird.

Needless to say, that was one of the stranger conversations I’ve had.

And, while mildly uncomfortable, this situation is bound to resolve itself shortly, likely without incident, and leaving neither my friend, myself, nor our relationship any worse for wear.

I suppose it just goes to show that it’s better to face these things head-on, because it’s probably not nearly as bad as it appears at first glance.

Quote

The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think, the way they see themselves, the way they see the world – you can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.

Chuck Palahniuk

Only Lovers Left Alive

Went out for a movie last night with AC.
The Mayan, as always, added character to the movie-going experience.

The evening’s selection: Only Lovers Left Alive.

Directed by Jim Jarmusch, it was an artsy, modern, witty vampire story (don’t worry, no one sparkled), and it was, in a word: excellent.

Tom Hiddleston was marvelous as tortured musician Adam.
Tilda Swinton was mesmerizing as optimistic Eve.
John Hurt, as always, was simply a delight.

Watch the trailer, and then do yourself a favor and catch this one while it’s still in theatres.

All Shapes & Sizes

If there’s one thing I have learned over the years, it is this: good friends are hard to find, harder still if you expect them to fit into some specific idealized box.

One of these boxes that I find people wanting to cling to is religion – Christians like to hang out with Christians; non-Christians prefer the company of other non-Christians; some folks are even pickier than that. I don’t identify with any organized religion, but I have friends and social connections spanning a wide variety of belief systems, and I believe that the election to follow any particular religion does not, in and of itself, define one’s value as a person  or the values that one holds.

That said, while I don’t actively seek out connections from among the Christian communities (as I have  a lot of trouble finding common ground with members of the mainstream Christian groups), sometimes they happen nonetheless. Most often at work.

Here’s the thing though, while there are many Christians out there who are angry, overbearing, closed-minded, judgmental people, who feel entitled to shove their beliefs down the throats of anyone with a differing opinion (including other Christians), there are plenty of folks out there who, in addition to be kind, open-minded, generous people, happen to also be Christian.

These are the ones I get along with. And sometimes, when these connections happen, it really surprises me.

Take my friend DB, for example, here is a woman who is dedicated to her Christian faith – it is an active part of her every day life. She is devout in her beliefs and takes an active role in her church and faith community. This is not typically the type of Christian that I grok with. This is the type of Christian that, in my personal experience, are the ones who stereotypically push their beliefs on others and judge harshly those who don’t agree. With that in mind, even though we get along famously, I’ve tended to avoid topics of a philosophical or religious nature in discussions with DB.

Color me pleasantly surprised to find out, after an unexpected, yet delightfully open-minded, discussion of philosophy and life goals, that D is very much on the same page that I am when it comes to connecting with people: what matters is a person’s values and intentions, regardless of their religious perspectives.

There’s just something so refreshing about encountering that perspective, about being valued for one’s actual merits, not because one picked the correct deity out of the Magic Religion Box.

Besides, there are few things I value more that having a stereotype that I fell into believing shatter before me, forcing me to reevaluate my perspective and to remember that people don’t fit into boxes and that everyone deserves to be seen as an individual, unique person, not as an archetype.

This Week’s Color…

… is Tentacles!

Because “tentacles” is totally a color.

Ok, fine, it’s not a color, but it should be.

Manicure done tonight with these darling nail wraps (link to come):

Tentacles

The best part of nail wraps? They come in sets of 7 per hand, so there were spares to do my big toes!