Argh. I apologize for being so flaky. There have been a lot of things going on in my personal life that just shunt me a step or two off my groove. Things are looking up now, though, and I’m trying!
I’ve talked before about trust, and I think today will be related. The world is beautiful and amazing, but it’s often actually just complete shit. Like, really, just absolute, undiluted buttholery. But we’re social creatures, and we know that to counteract that we need our people. I’m going to call this “family,” but I don’t mean biological family necessarily.
To me, family is the person or persons who share a cultural understanding with you, who can look at what you’re doing and know why; who has seen you at your absolute worst and did what they could to make it better. You’ll notice a lot of that is kind of loaded, but family isn’t perfect, it’s just essential. Sometimes you know why someone is acting the way they are and you still want to scream at them. Sometimes you see someone is at their lowest, and the best thing you can do is leave. It’s complicated, but it’s necessary to survival.
Whoever the hell they are–your friends, coworkers, church, miraculously your actual flesh and blood–keep ’em. Listen to their stories even when you don’t really care about the topic. Laugh at their bad jokes. Give them pep talks. Forgive ’em. Make them pancakes just because they’re here and you like how happy they are when they have pancakes. They are the Febreze in the public restroom of life, the two-ply in your stall. Cherish them.
It takes work, but it’s worth it. Practicing supportiveness, deep breathing, judicious comments and listening means that you’ll have someone there when you fall and can’t get up, or when the dark times are so dark you forget what light looks like. It means you’ll occasionally get pancakes just because they make you happy, and pep talks. And it means you’ll get to be there to do the same, which is just as important a part of life as receiving them. Vulnerability is a two way street–having someone who will reward your faith is a circular thing that gives as you take. It’s like when toilet paper is hung tissue side out. Just beautiful.
With Mother’s Day coming up, please feel free to quote me on a card! Buying flowers will mean a lot more when we know they’re meant to symbolize how the recipient sweetens the open sewer that is commuting on I-95 and the start of spider season. You’re welcome.