The Friendship Exhale (Shoop, shoop)

In Encouragement, Somewhat disjointed rant... on October 6, 2012 at 4:41 am

I haven’t really listened to Whitney’s songs since she passed–the closest I could come was Robin Thicke’s cover of “Exhale.” Today, I watched Whitney’s video. I was immediately transported back to my early teens–a time in my life when I was addicted to chocolate brown lipstick because it looked so awesome on Whitney in this video. My early teens were also a time in my life during which friendship (if not make-up) was fairly simple and easy. High school decided who your friends were; I was a nerd, a maggot (a magnet student), non-band, non-sports, and square (I didn’t wear stylish gear). These facts alone whittled down the crowd of people with whom friendship would be developed.

Adult friendships have not proved as easy for me (though my sense of make-up has definitely improved). I have struggled, fought, triumphed, shared, cried, laughed, and been to therapy (yes, Black women need therapy sometimes, too). Mostly, I wanted to know why I couldn’t seem to maintain healthy and long-term friendships with….anyone. I thought that one day the light bulb would go on, I would have a Sherlock Holmes moment, get to the root of the issue, tambourines and bells would sound, and I’d find a bosom buddy. Thaaaaat didn’t happen.

But, today, I realized that with the help of many people near and dear to me, I have (you knew it was coming) exhaled. I’ve stopped holding my breath and waiting for me to “get better.” Maybe my understanding of friendship and the friendships I need are different from another person’s understanding and needs.  I have people who I think about, who I care about, who I pray for, who I check on, who I e-mail, who I laugh with, who I instant message, who I tweet. Maybe what I need right now isn’t a 25 year bosom buddy. Maybe what I need is what I have: a collection of people in my life who are living their lives while I’m living mine; our paths sometimes run parallel and sometimes perpendicular; we don’t fight the tide of life that pulls us because we appreciate that we are in the same ocean and when we are swirled closed enough together we reach out and love on each other and are grateful for the moment; we realize that friendship is but a name for congruence of time, purpose, place, emotion, circumstance or some combination of those. I am thankful for each of them. I am thankful for you.


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