FEAR (Face Everything And Rise...The Choice Is Yours)
If you’ve been listening to our podcast, you know I share stories about my girlfriendships®—how much I value them and all the things I’ve learned. (If you haven’t listened to our podcast, what on earth are you thinking [wink wink]?! I’ll make it convenient for you: click here to access our first season.)
This Week’s Girlfriendships Story
I have a friend I’ll call Sue, though I gave her the nickname Milly.
Milly is one of the friends I made when I moved to Minnesota back in 2015. She works 40+ hours a week and is also a single mom. She is a wonder woman.
Early on in our friendship, I learned that her ex husband had visitation with their son every other weekend, so this gave her a few days on her own. As you know, I am a gatherer, and I wanted to give her a chance to relax and have some fun, so asked if she wanted to go out to dinner and then do some dancin’. I watched a big smile light up her face as she said, “I’d love to! I haven’t been out at all in two years!”
The Night of the Big Night Out
That Saturday, Milly came over to my house. I wasn’t quite ready to go (shocker, I know), so I invited her to come up to my dressing area while I finished my hair and make up. It was like we were in high school! Remember those days? When your group of friends would get ready at one girl’s house? A lot of times that was the best part about going out!
I was almost ready, and I realized that it was almost sunset. I personally love sunsets, so I asked Milly if she wanted to go outside to watch it. She agreed but said, “They’re beautiful, but they can make me sad because it means the day is done.”
I had never thought of it that way.
Here’s How I Feel About Sunsets
I have seen many sunsets in my life, and I am always in awe. Yet for her, they made her sad.
I love how the glow of the sun is almost dreamlike. Sometimes it seems as if I can reach out and touch it. Then the color can be so bright orange, it looks like a melted popsicle—shiny and almost drippy. I sometimes think of the sun like one of those canned peaches that come with cottage cheese that you get when you're in the hospital. Yuck to eat, but beautiful to look at.
Back to Milly
So there we were, intently gazing at this ball that also looked like a peach, and the two of us dressed and were ready for dinner and a fun night out. But where to go?
I knew that Milly was a burger gal and I love fish, so I suggested a restaurant that was within walking distance (did I mention that we also both love tequila?), and satisfied both of our palates.
We had an easy, relaxed conversation throughout dinner. Then the live music started just as we were finishing our meal, and it became too loud to talk. So what does a couple of don’t-wanna-be-hit-on chicks do? Of course! Get on the dance floor and dance and dance until our feet hurt.
Back to the Story
As all things do, the night came to an end. We started walking the few blocks back to the house, but our feet were killing us so we decided to take a break. We laid down on the boulevard grass and just stared up at the stars. (I hadn’t done that in over 25 years. If you’ve never done that, or if it’s been a while, give it a shot. It’s cheaper than any therapist!)
That's when Milly divulged to me that she is fearful.
“Fearful of what?” I said.
“I fear that you will leave me someday. You are a gatherer and you have so many friends, but you will probably move on, and I won’t have you as my friend anymore.”
Yes, part of that is true. I am definitely a gatherer. I do have many friends. Meeting people is truly one of my great passions. I love learning about others and spending time with them. And, Milly was correct, I do move on. Physically mostly, but on occasion, mentally as well. So I could very much understand and respect her thoughts.
Thing is, I know from spending time with Milly that her fear comes from circumstances in her childhood, and she has learned not to trust. I also know that without trust, there’s fear. Living with fear has to be exhausting!
It made me sad that because of how I live my life—gathering, connecting, leaving, and moving on—some of my friends will not trust me. And now that Pete and I have this beach home in Florida, it very much looks like I am going to leave, at least physically, to be there more often.
The Lesson. There’s Always a Lesson
I think about Milly’s words a lot. It’s unfortunate how I feel I need to reassure her that I’m not going to leave by telling her that, yet it won’t matter. She won’t believe me. I will do my part to stay connected, but it will be up to her to decide how to manage her fear.
Do you have any friends like this? Or are you like this? For me, it’s the last thing I want Milly to experience in our girlfriendship. I want to make her feel secure. I don’t want to leave, and she shouldn’t compare any of my other girlfriendships to ours.
I think I will tell Milly this: You can give FEAR any meaning that you want, but I would like to suggest you Face Everything And Rise. There are many things I would like to say to Milly, but really, all I can do is show her. I just have to show her.
After all, I am the silver lining chick who thinks sunsets are peaches dripping like popsicles!
Lisa A.K.A Loopie