Wrapping up what was a fulfilling, but tiring week, one thing keeps coming to mind,
“There’s Strength in Numbers”
I was able to spend some varied quality moments with different friends this week: Wading in a Japanese hot pool, writing a short catch up international email, walking in cold fog to pick up dinner, braving the twilight glare outside of Starbucks, sneaking in a chance phone call mid morning, prying a coworker away from her computer for lunch, and taking a pair of screaming toddlers out of a weary teacher’s hands. All of these separate times with different female peers this week, reminded me how much we can use each other, and how figuratively, and in the case of Teacher K, even literally, you need someone now and then to take your hand too.
We’re all pretty independent. Confident. Self reliant, Blah blah blah…. but really, during those blah days, even when you love where you are in your life or are going down the road less travelled by choice, it helps to know you are not alone. You don’t want to know what theory somebody read about dealing with an experience like yours; sometimes you don’t care what so and so did so well when she was a new mom just like you; and if you get two more cents about what you might be doing wrong that is making your career harder for yourself, you might just have to actually “rip somebody a new one” and because you are such a peaceful, sensitive lady, we all know how much you really dislike having to do that. Even if we don’t always understand what someone is going through, just recognizing when a friend needs a moment away from the house, a coffee break, or time to talk about anything other than her worries is so meaningful. Your silent presence might even be golden. Sometimes we just need somebody to be nearby, standing tall, reminding us we are not alone.
On my favorite weekly late night show, The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, her guest, Gwyneth Paltrow, commented about rampant judgement in parenting that I think applies to life experiences in general: “It’s already hard enough… we’re all in this together… Can’t we all just be on each other’s side? It’s so hard anyway. Can’t we all help each other get through it?” See? Strength in numbers. We can all be in this thing together and it needn’t be complicated.
I was reminded this week that in the simplest ways we each have our own unique capacities to build someone else up by just being there and by paying close attention to their cues, not projecting onto them what we think they need, lest we push them away. Equally important is acknowledging the presence and support of your caring friends who want to be there for you even if they don’t know how. We all need each other, and to feel like we are showing up for one another in the best way we can. How fortunate we are to have people like this in our lives. There is strength in having one person to cheer you on, someone who is good with words, another to take something off of your hands, and that ever so steady friend whose job it is to just remind you to “Take a sip.”
|One of my favorite film moments: Miranda and Charlotte’s heart to heart .|
Featured b&w group photo source