In the last few months, I’ve seen some friends make some pretty big changes in their lives. Having a front row – or in some cases, a far away balcony – view to these transformations is pretty fucking amazing.
Lips lives in my ‘hood. She gets me. She gets me so much that I trusted her with my hair. For those that know me – you know what a big deal that is. You see, Lips took a leap of faith and went back to school this January. She’s channeling all of her creativity, nurturing and desire to make people feel better about themselves into changing the way we see ourselves – literally. Lips went to hair school. I’m sure there’s a more legitimate name for it but you get the point. She’s learning to cut, layer, do-up, do-down, color, cover and highlight. More importantly – perhaps most importantly, she’s following her heart and doing what makes her happy. Her boys watch her study while they do their homework, they see her put in long days at school and still come home and be mom and wife. They have risen to the occasion and their whole family is better for it. The most hilarious change – and I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point this out – is the new scooter. And really, I laugh my ass off every morning when I see her scooter off to school with her helmet and over the shoulder bag – off to learn more about the art of being beautiful. I think she’s already nailed it.
Then there is my friend – I’ll call her seeker. We have lost touch over the last few years and primarily keep up on Facebook. She’s taken a professional risk that she and I talked about years ago and I’m thrilled to see that she appears to be thriving and happy. There is no one more suited to be a guide, mentor, trainer than this amazing woman. She is super smart, more motivated than most that I know, devoted to her kids and family – and friends. We don’t talk often but thinking about what she has done actually motivated me to send her a note just wish her well. Now, if I could only be half as motivated as she is to do something about my ass.
Some of the changes I’ve seen folks go through are less obvious but often even more dramatic – more life changing. For those people, I applaud loudly…but only when I’m in a room by myself lest no one be made aware that isn’t already in the know. After all, some folks like to pull up their dress and show the world their new panties (mini-me used to do this and my mother assured me I did the same) and others like to just smile and revel in the feel of that new cotton privately.
As I’ve watched my friends weather these changes – whether they were intentional or more unexpected, I realize that intent is not the issue. What matters is how you deal, how you respond and whether you can try to embrace the crazy journey you’re on.
This is so true as I’ve watched Neiman weather cancer treatment. Were there tears? Yep. Did she get mad? Uh-huh. But most importantly, she decided those things wouldn’t change it and she moved through that journey with humor, grace and determination. She came through the process with less hair and a potty mouth. The hair is growing back but I think the potty mouth is here to stay.
I’ve made changes – new friends have come into my life and I’m grateful for what they have brought. For those friends I have lost, well, I can appreciate the good times we had and know that I learned some good lessons about what I expect - both from my friends and myself – in that crazy relationship called friendship.
At the end of the day, my friends have changed – as I’m sure I have - and that may require patience, humor and a cocktail or three. They may not be the same friends I first met – they are better. Way better.