I can count on one hand the number of close girlfriends I've had in my twenty-nine years. In fact, in my adult years, I've had only one. Most times the friendship ends in a catastrophic disagreement about something trivial or otherwise petty in the grand scheme of things, but it's prevented me from jumping into other deep friendships with women.
I'm the chick that passes the booth collecting donations for those affected by the most recent hurricane and tosses in a twenty dollar bill even though it's excessive. Then I spend the duration of my visit to the store thinking about what the families are going through, and how measly my twenty-dollars seems. I'll buy two bags of dog food and a gift card to a restaurant for the homeless man with two dogs in Williamsville, and I'll fill your gas tank when you approach me in Southgate Plaza in tears because you don't have the money to get yourself home. The point I'm trying to make is that when I befriend someone, I love with my whole heart. I'll drive six hours by myself to help you if you ask me too. I'll come to your house in the wee hours of the morning to take you to school only to turn around and go home because I'm sick. I'll write a letter to your landlord begging them to allow you to have a cat even though your lease says 'no animals' because I know how much you wanted a furry friend. I am by no means perfect, not even close, but I do the best I can.
I'm not bitter. I'm not. I'm just excessively cautious now-and-days. I don't let many people in, not like I used to. I have friends, but I don't have a "person" (Grays Anatomy reference for those that don't understand), and I'm okay with that.
The point of all this rambling: I have an ex-friend who lives in North Carolina. I haven't talked to her in close to a year, but I couldn't help but wonder how she and her husband were fairing with hurricane Florence. I finally gave in and sent a message on Facebook. She replied letting me know they now live in Connecticut and asked how I was doing. My reply was brief, a picture of Shelby and a few words letting her know we're all doing great and I finally got out of the office that was causing me such misery. She informed me that both she and her husband received promotions and that's why they relocated to Connecticut. All I could think was, "here we go with the pissing contest, again." I ended the conversation right there by saying I was happy they were doing well, that I would always care about her but that as friends we are too toxic for each other. No response, which is aye-okay-with me.
I spent the next day or so thinking about our short conversation, and I got to feeling a bit guilty. Whether or not she was trying to make me feel like I was failing at life, or not, I was the one who interpreted her comment as a means to start an "I'm better than you war," and that's on me. She genuinely could have been trying to start fresh, but I'm not at a point where I think that's a good idea. We've had an on-again, off-again friendship since we graduated high school and I'm over the drama. But looking back on our conversation got me thinking about where I am in my life and where she is in hers. We've both reached a point where our goals are more attainable than they were just a few short years ago. She loves the fast-paced, business world whereas I preferred a career that's more relaxed, laid-back and allows me to spend as much time as possible with my daughter. We crave two very different worlds, and that's perfectly okay.
Our interpretation of others success is based, in part, on what our views of success are. Sure, someone who's a CEO of a fortune 500 company is likely considered successful by the majority of people, but that can't be everyone's definition of success. I for sure would not enjoy that life. I envy the well published, well-read author who lives a quiet life working when they please and riding horses whenever they want.
My short, two-minute conversation with an ex-best friend led me to the "ah-ha" moment that I may not be everyone's version of a success story, but I am MY version of success. Do I still have work to do, absolutely, but I'm okay with where I am right now and I feel good about the decision to reach out and make sure she was okay.