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What Love Is

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I am that friend. The one that wants to know all the gritty details when something has gone horribly wrong. The one that wants to analyze every text message, what was said, and more importantly, what wasn’t said. This is not because I revel in the misery of my female compadres, but rather, because when I’m in crisis, I want my gal pals in crime to do this with ME. To ache with me. To break it all down. To tell me I’m better than whoever broke my heart, pissed me off, or screwed me. There’s strength in numbers. But what do you do when your friends aren’t like you? They won’t spew venom, they don’t want to rehash the nitty gritty details, they refuse to talk about it. What then? A game of Hurry Up and Wait. That’s what.

The friendship roller coaster is one that never ceases to surprise me. I am in constant awe of how much I learn from the women in my life. No matter the length of time we’ve been friends, I am surrounded by a steady flow of growth. There are twists, turns, and unexpected surprises all the time. Just when I think I have it figured out, down to a science, then, just like death, constant change rears its head. So what do we do with this? How do we keep people in our lives when we are always changing, evolving, learning? I’m not sure I have the answer to that all figured out and wrapped in a neat bow just yet, but a few things I know are for sure. 1) You can’t make someone stay when all they really want to do is go. 2) You can’t force a person to be someone they aren’t. 3)You can’t make someone share a story they aren’t ready to tell. This is where the test of friendship comes into play – you’re ability to be OK with all of that. I’m talking truly at peace with being on the outside, knocking on the door, and getting no answer. Being left on the doorstep after the bell has been rung. Being honestly content in the space of not knowing, of being out of the loop, of not being in on someone’s secret. For a girl like me (a borderline Nosy Rosy) it’s a sucky place and frankly, I don’t like it.

Just waiting for the phone to ring

Just waiting for the phone to ring

On the flip side of that, it is possible to be in two emotional places at once. Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean you can’t be OK with it. I’m good sitting on the doorstep because you know what? As much as I want in, sometimes it’s more important for a friend to know there’s someone standing at the door, waiting for them when they’re ready to open it. This is what unconditional love is people! This is what being real friends means. It means showing up and hanging out and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For as long as it takes. It means being OK with the stipulations. Accepting who your friends are when they’re feeling whole, and more importantly, when they’re feeling broken. The Hubs always tells me, “You judge the quality of a person’s character when they are at their worst, because almost everyone is great when they’re at their best.” So what does your character look like when your friends are at their worst? Will you be at your best? When you really want in and there’s a no trespassing sign on the door? Will you be there waiting, with open arms, ready for everything…or maybe nothing? Will you?

These boots were made for pacing.

These boots were made for pacing.

It’s time to step up to the door, to settle in, and know that it might be a while. It’s time to be an “I’m gonna sit through the eye of this storm with you” kind of friend. Because that’s what love is. It’s finding happiness in the differences that divide us and bind us. It’s being strong when your compadre can’t be. Today’s Motivation Monday is about loving big, loving hard, loving unconditionally. It’s about giving all you got, and doing it selflessly.

XoXo,

Summer

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