I’m still feeling like rubbish, perhaps a bit worse, but I’m still working my way down my comfort list. Another list item is nostalgia. I like to remember good things, or good times in life. I need to remind myself that I’ve had them once, so I will have them again, no matter how bleak the future looks. Today I am thinking about my friends, my forever friends.
There are four of us who have been friends since elementary school. We’re close, like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, despite them living in Toronto and me in Montreal. I see them a few times a year. Part of me looks forward to seeing them while part of me dreads it. I get anxious about seeing people I haven’t seen in a while. Once we get together, everything is fine and we pick up right where we left off, but until we meet, I’m nervous.
I had one of those experiences recently. Before seeing them, I was nervous and wanted to back out. I was in Toronto and had forgotten to bring my meds. Brilliant! It had been four days without them and I was starting to feel like hell. Would I be able to muster up enough enthusiasm? Would they notice the weight I’ve gained? Would they see through my “I’m fine.” exterior and feel sorry for me? Would they see that I’m no further along in life, that I’m stagnating?
Robin is the one I’m closest to, which is a little funny because our lives are quite different from one another. I guess it’s because I admire her. She is the single mom of a seven year old. It hasn’t been easy for her, but she has handled everything remarkable well. Her daughter is really sweet and bright and Robin is a great mom. Being a mom terrifies me and she does it like she was born to. Robin is well established in life. She has a good job, a home, lots of friends and is dating a nice man. I feel like I’m still trying to get my life started.
Melissa just had a baby boy and she is over the moon to be starting a family. Melissa has always known what she wanted and went for it. She went to school to be a physiotherapist and got a job right out of school. She married her first boyfriend and they live in a nice big house in the same neighbourhood she grew up in.
Natasha and I are probably the most alike. We’re both working on our doctoral degrees in science. For some reason the stress is making her beautifully thin and making me horrendously fat. I’m envious. She is finishing up her data collection and has already scored a post-doc position while I am still stuck in ethics.
I am happy for my friends and proud of them. I’m just ashamed of myself for being so far behind. I try not to let this get in the way though. They are my friends, my real friends. They will love me whether I weigh 100lbs or 3 times that. They wont treat me differently because I’m going through a slow patch in life and they’ll encourage me to keep working for the things I want, the things that are good for me.
It’s important to learn who your real friends are and not let them go. It’s hard not to compare yourself to them and get anxious when you don’t have any good news to share. Don’t let things like weight gain or life set backs get in the way of seeing them and talking to them. There are enough people in life who just want to bring you down. You need to keep the ones that lift you up close.