Posted by: Kate | March 28, 2011

Recharged Soul

I spent the evening with one of my very favorite people in the whole world tonight. We hadn’t been able to get together much, just recently, as school and work have swamped her and I’ve alternated between hibernation/depression and the stress/busy-ness of moving… to the point that I started to wonder, had she discovered some unforgivable flaw in me, too?

I just lost what I thought was an incredibly close friend due to an error in judgment and incorrect assumptions from skewed observations, and it damn near took me out at the knees. Was I just fundamentally unlikeable now, permanently flawed or damaged to such a degree that people just want to be away from me now? Are my loved ones all watching me carefully for a slip-up or suspicious act just to give themselves any old excuse to escape from my presence?

Yeah… not so much. Turns out, sometimes one person is wrong and lots of other people are busy at a bad time, leading to a long, lonely time without much help or support… but they’re all still there, feeling guilty about not being able to be more involved in my life and wondering if maybe I’m getting mad at them for their absence, and generally swimming through the chaos and self-doubt that life throws at all of us sometimes. The reality is, we’re all far harder on ourselves than we should be, and if we don’t reach out and make firm, unbreakable plans to get together, as soon as possible, then we’re just too likely to start believing in our worst fears.

Tonight, though, I was able to escape from under those fears for a while, and reconfirm that I’m not entirely broken and unlikeable. I was assured that some friendships are stronger than a mistake, too deep to simply switch off, more important than a moment of doubt. I was able to smile, and see my friend smile back, and feel something inside my soul just stretch and relax. It was a big, desperately needed sense of relief, and at the same time a reality check: we’re all just wandering alone on the planet, alternating screw-ups with successes, mistakes with progress, self-doubt with confidence. I’m not alone in my aloneness, as existential as that may sound.

And however you want to look at it, the important thing is that I feel better in my friend’s presence, in the moment and for hours after we stop sharing the same room. And I am so very grateful to know that I have people that beautiful, that strong, in my life.

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