As I gaze at the photo taken of my parents the week of their deaths, I imagine they’re in a Harry-Potter-esque animated photo. They’re happy and waving from the bow of the whale-watching ship. “The weather is beautiful! I saw a humpback before you! See ya soon!” Continue reading
Can you be them all? It’s a question I’ve struggled with for quite a while.
Perhaps my wondering started when a drunken Romanian woman, free of polite inhibitions, declared that the reason American women need more psychologists is because their American friendships are too superficial. According to her, we restrict ourselves to niceties, avoiding blunt or painful truths. As a result, we need outside help to deal with our problems.
In her home village, friends were resigned to each other. Friendships endured over generations, through rifts and spats. Good advice was always given, even when it made the giver massively unpopular.
She might have a point. When a friend asked me if she was right to get a divorce, I demurred. I wasn’t at all sure she was right. I told her that it was too big of a personal decision for me to weigh in with my opinion. I would (and did) support her, whatever she decided.
In that case, I was perhaps a supportive friend, a loyal friend. I wasn’t a totally honest friend. In the end, I’m not sure where that leaves me on the “good friend” scale.
We often don’t “speak our truths,” to our friends. Sometimes we are simply chicken. Many times, it’s because we are sure that they don’t want to hear it. Honesty, even tactful, loving honesty, can cut and hurt. It can feel judgmental. It can end relationships. If we’re the “honest” one, chances are we’re not going to be around (or welcome) to be the supportive one.
My truths: I want everyone to like me—all the time. I’m slow on the uptake. I miss opportunities to say something meaningful. Instead of “Are you sure that’s how you want to handle the situation?” I say, “uh-huh….” I want to do it all—be honest, loving, supportive, forgiving, and good.
My bigger truth: I don’t know where or when to draw the line when honest and supportive are mutually exclusive.
What do you think? Please comment, I’d love to cogitate on others’ points of view.
© Laura Hedgecock 2013
Want to write about your memories and reflections? Check out my memory-sharing website Treasure Chest of Memories.
Yesterday, during lunch with friends, I decided to use the Google app on my iPhone to look for a picture. The Google app features helpful suggested searches by Google, based on common search results with the keyword used. This gave us a look at the top searches in Google for “Pictures …”
What does this say about our society or at least the 4G society?
How did herpes beat out Jesus? Hopefully, it’s that more people know what Jesus looks like than know what herpes looks like.
Most surprising, for me, is blue ivy’s appearance; or is there some correlation between herpes, ringworm, shingles and blue ivy that I don’t know about?
© Laura Hedgecock 2013
Sorry, I’m waxing philosophical today—a side benefit of a head cold.
As I go through my days, I’m repeatedly making incidental contact with people. I try, at least on my good days, to give them a smile, say thanks, even to inquire about their day. If I have any impact on their lives at all, I hope it’s a positive one.
I can think of more than a few times when a random interaction influenced my life. Continue reading
Yesterday was the first day of spring here in Michigan (and elsewhere, if I’m not mistaken).
It was ushered in with 28° temps, snow flurries, and high winds. Looking out the window, I realized that I wasn’t the only one unimpressed by spring’s arrival.
Once, during a psych class, we were asked to describe each other as an automobile and a flower, among other things. I was dismayed to find my classmates overwhelmingly categorized me as a station wagon and a daisy.
Of course, their choices were framed in what they considered flattering terms. I was practical, able to carry a load, and not easily stopped. (I wanted to be seen as having speed, elegance, and cornering.) As far as flowers went, I loved daisies, but wanted others to see me as something a little more unusual—or at least less omnipresent and smelling good.
This wasn’t how I saw myself. Though I wouldn’t have picked something expensive as a Porsche, I didn’t see myself as the very thing parked in the majority of suburban neighborhood driveways. I saw myself and hoped others saw me as a trailblazer—perhaps a Range Rover—practical, but ready to handle even the most daunting of landscapes and adventures.
Thirty years later, I’m ok with being a daisy. I like being the one to bring a smile to the face of casual passersby. I don’t want to be inaccessible or even less accessible.
I still struggle, though, with the station wagon moniker. I rest uneasily under the mantle of average and practical. In middle age, I still yearn to make a statement, to turn heads, and to foster admiration.
But, alas, you can’t hide from who you are. Friends don’t see us as we want to be seen. They see us—and love us—as we are. Whatever else I’ve achieved in my lifetime, I’ve been blessed with friends. If they choose to include a station wagon in their livery, I’m happy to drive it over.
© Laura Hedgecock 2013