Today is the halfway mark of my summer vacation and the kids are driving me bananas. I made the mistake of not waking them up at 6 and everyone is completely off-kilter now.
One of the hardest parts of raising kids in a second language is helping them with their homework. Language arts and word problems are the worst. Think about how hard it is to do algebra and geometry in your first language. Now trying doing it hanging upside down from a set of rusty monkey bars. Barrels of fun.
Lately I have felt frustrated by long distance friendships. During these past few months it feels like I am flowing towards these particular friends, these people whom I love and cherish, but they have put up walls to protect themselves, from me, maybe, or from other more likely culprits such as the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. All the same, it does sting, especially since I love them unconditionally and worry about them. I know they need their time and space but all the same, eventually something will happen and one of us will be left without the other on this planet, leaving the abandoned one to bemoan lost opportunities.
I feel like a petulant child, stomping my foot because my friends won’t even open a window, despite the pebbles I lob against the panes. I will continue to show up, day and night, because that is what I do, but all the same, can these relationships still be defined as friendships? Or even as relationships? There are days when I wish I could forsake them but I am relentlessly, compulsively loyal. It makes me sad to think of them looking out the window and seeing my absence, feeling that even I too, their odd but stalwart attendant, has given up on them.
Of course, that is just a projection of my own feelings, how I would feel to be forsaken. After all, don’t I know that feeling all too well since they are the ones who decided that they were too busy or too whatever to open that window? When was the last time they lobbed pebbles at my pane?
But then there is the answer: they did show up, when I was sinking beneath myself, and so now that I am buoyant, I must return the favor.
Did it suck this much for them as well, to be worried about me, to hear nothing from me? And why was I silent then, besides for the occasional outburst? Because the shit I was dealing with was so heavy, I could barely lift my head let alone reach out to take hold of the hand that they offered.
It is okay to prioritize people who don’t prioritize you. It doesn’t feel good but sometimes life doesn’t feel good and yet it doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Life is not linear and while you might prioritize some people, they are prioritizing others who in turn probably prioritize others. It is a web of care and attention and once you allow yourself to love without expectation of direct return, then you can look around and see just how loved you truly are.
Sometimes friendship has nothing to do with equality or communication or companionship. Sometimes friendship is simply about showing up, day and night, with a fistful of pebbles.