I woke up in a major cloud this morning. It was bad. I was dreading the day - figuring I was in for another hard one.
Well, I had plans with an old friend. I thought about canceling but it was a really good reason to shower and dress and leave the house - all things that can become seemingly impossible these days.
We met up in this cool neighborhood halfway between the both of us. The place we planned to meet was closed due to a kitchen fire. This was funny to us because every time we have tried meeting in this neighborhood our plans go awry. After grabbing a smoothie at a coffee shop nearby, waiting for another place to open only to find that it didn't have the kind of food we were craving, and finally getting a heads up on a good 'breakfast place" and walking several blocks to get there - we sat down to "breakfast" at noon. We had originally met at 10:30.
My friend is single and in her early 40s. I found during the years we were struggling with all the unknowns of infertility that my single friends could best identify with what I was feeling. We would sit and talk about our longing for something that felt so out of our control, the feelings of being judged by others around us as if us not having the thing we most desired was somehow our faults....there was a lot of common ground.
But now, I am pregnant. And I still love spending time with my single friends, but I worry and wonder if for them I represent one more person who has finally got what she was waiting for - while they still wait. And I feel so frustrated on their behalf. Some of my friends who are single long to be married and have families, some just want a committed companion. Whatever they want, there is so much uncertainty in their journey to find it, so much self-blame, doubt, loneliness, and feeling as if the rest of the world is moving on without them. Sounds so much like infertility doesn't it? Except....there are no specialists, no clinics, no adoption agencies to help them realize this dream. Sure, they can try online dating, matchmaking services, blind dates.....but in some ways it feels like it is still just a total crap shoot. Which I guess IF can be at times too, but at least I felt we had options, very real options, with percentages of success even. You can't really get that when you are looking for a partner. Heck, even when you find one....
Anyway.....spending time with this friend was so so good. As different as our situations are right now, there were still so many emotional places we could find common ground in. And being with her - being able to say all that I was thinking, being able to hear her, connecting - it completely changed my whole day. Being understood, being heard, it is seriously undervalued. This is the best medicine I could have asked for today. And I think it was probably really good for her as well. We both seemed lighter as we walked back to our cars and went on with our days.
I have always felt I could handle anything on my own if given enough time. I always approach stress and sadness in my life by hiding out and fighting it out on my own. And even though I have had amazing friends, amazing people in my life who have encouraged me to ask for help, to reach out, to need them - I have always always struggled to do this. Lately, I am consistently surprised how much it helps to connect with a friend, even just for a short conversation by phone. I am realizing I need these people, I need my community to keep me afloat.
But I still suck at reaching out, calling, and making plans. So - I had this idea today to set up regular times with several different friends, once a week or once every other week, to just go take a walk together. We can meet in the morning before they go to work, or on a lunch break, or whenever. But just knowing I have these times planned and getting out and moving while spending time with someone I care about seems like it would be really good for me right now. And, I love the idea of having "walked" through my pregnancy week by week, with people at my side who I love and care about. Rather than "walking" through it all on my own.
So....we'll see how it goes....it's a simple idea....but I think it could be huge for me.
I am really grateful today for my friends, for those kind souls who continue to care about me, to hold me up, to celebrate with me, and to believe in me - even when I kind of suck.
And ohhhh it feels so good to feel GOOD today!!!!