One of the hardest things I’ve dealt with while trying to start this new blog is this: Where do I begin? To me, our conversation has already begun. It started over 10 years ago when I hit publish on my very first blog post. It has continued this whole time, even though there has been time and space between exchanging words. You see, to me, that’s how relationships work. It’s impossible to be constantly involved in someone else’s life, even if you love them, so, it’s more of a frequency of encounters. Some people you meet with very frequently, others not as much, and some even once in a blue moon. All are valuable. All are worthy of some form of upkeep. But, this is a new chapter, a new story. How do I bridge the two?
People in our lives come and go. Even family. We need to be flexible to the ever changing variables in each of our relationships, willing to ebb and flow with them, wherever they may lead us. Whether it’s to new heights or even if it’s to a dead end (which is a really real reality). I think both are normal, though the dead end side of things isn’t very pleasant, it does happen. So, I must be realistic as to what kind of friend will come across my musings. New friends, old friends, lurkers, hecklers…trolls? Being able to welcome newcomers while not boring or rehashing things old friends already know is a skill worth honing. This is my challenge.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how and to decide what my first post should be. Do I “go big”, and make a statement? Do I quietly reintroduce myself? Do I pick up where I left off, hoping new friends would be able to follow along? There are so many things to consider! So many people to be aware of! ALL. THE. VARIABLES!! (insert “deer in headlights” emoji here)
Honestly, it makes me shut down. I completely lose my “even”. It overwhelms me to the point of meltdown and I become paralyzed and I walk away. The inner record begins to play that same old melody: “See? I told you you can’t handle this. This is too big of a responsibility. Too big of a thing to let you go messing around with and ruin and be a failure at. Besides, you aren’t even talented enough to write all the things you keep thinking you should write. All your dreams are delusions of grandeur. No one wants to hear about all of your troubles and simplistic, uneducated ways. You are not qualified, so just sit down, be quiet and keep your head down. Your only job is to keep trying to make it through each day without messing anything up…”, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…
Today, I am choosing to sit down at my computer and plunk out these words for you. For us. For our relationship. The one that continues because we have learned to survive the ebbs and flows of our lives. When our paths cross, we choose to connect and enjoy one another for a time. To sit awhile and be a part of each other’s life journey. Oh, how the mere thought of it makes my heart soar!
I choose to hush the lies, silence the accusations, the nonsense really, and quietly find myself, and what I would do. This is what I came up with:
To my old friends: “Hello, my dear friend. It has been awhile, hasn’t it? Yes, I know. And I’m sorry. BUT, you must know, and I must tell you, even in the silence, you have been in my thoughts. Indeed, you have. You see, when I’m quiet it doesn’t mean I’m idle. Oh no, in fact, it means I’m thinking of you, praying for you, wondering about you and caring about you. I just happen to do it from a distance sometimes. That’s just how I am made. Although, despite that, you can rest assured and always trust that you are precious to me, very valuable actually, and that there is always someone thinking of you. And it’s me. Because we’re friends. And friendship to me includes unwavering loyalty and gripping commitment, even though it may not always look like it on my part. I have things about me that interfere sometimes, things that hinder me from being the perfect friend that you deserve. But know this: I will always, always try my hardest to honor our relationship. Ok? Now then, how are you doing? Tell me everything!”
To my new friends: “Hello! Are you new here? Well, WELCOME!! Please, come in, have a seat, there are plenty! I always have room for one more. Always! Yes, yes, it’s quite alright. No trouble at all. I am so excited you stopped by! There are so many things we can talk about and I am so curious to find out more about you and how I can be a friend to you. Here, take my spot, I’ll just scoot over a bit, it’s really my pleasure. So, how are you doing? Tell me everything!”
To my lurkers: “Hi. I do see you. I understand and respect your space. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and I’m ok if you don’t come in. I completely understand. Please know, I am honored to have you here, even if it’s outside my window. I am a window lurker, too. It can be scary to actually come to the door, let alone knock and enter! Yikes! I want you to feel free to do whatever you need to to feel safe. You are always, ALWAYS welcome to this space. Whether you ever come to the door or not. Thank you for trusting me enough to come to my window. I will try to make sure there is a soft spot for you to sit and that the window is clean enough for you to see into. I hope you are doing well, and in time, maybe we can share some things, together? I’d sure like that. Whenever you’re ready, I’m here.”
To any hecklers/trolls: “Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your visit however, I must tell you, this is not a place for any of that kind of stuff or behavior. As protector of this domain I simply must enforce the boundaries here, and while I am up for a calm, sensible, mature debate, this isn’t the place for hate, cruelty, bullying, bigotry, insensitivity, or the like. There are plenty of other spaces that are ok with that so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a spot to be mean. I kindly and firmly ask you to please, go away, and show the respect to me that you wish me to bestow upon you, which I will gladly do. Ok, thanks, BYE!”
How’s that for a start? 😉