Standing on the platform in Evanston waiting for the Purple Line last night after work, a chill came over me. All I wanted was someone to put their arm around me. Is that asking too much? I tell you this because after having that thought, I immediately had another thought: That’s not typical for me.
Sure I would have loved for that someone to be a cute, single guy that likes me best in grey sweatpants and no makeup, but honestly I would have taken the arm of one of my girlfriends, lovely gay boyfriends, or family members. Someone’s arm around my shoulder, letting me know that everything is going to be okay. Or perhaps, just showing me that someone is there beside me.
Friends of mine all over the country- mostly in and/or from Ohio- are struggling and I strongly dislike hate that I cannot be there beside them with my arm around their shoulders. Wiping their tears. Showing them that there is still beauty in this world and that our friendship is one example. Instead I am restricted to using my words through emails, Facebook postings, text messages, phone calls, and greeting cards to comfort them in during these rough and never-ending frustrating days.
Aren’t the Terrible Twenties glorious?
A message from Julie yesterday broke my heart and actually brought tears to my eyes. A few weeks ago when I visited her in Akron (for less than 48 hours), I was able to hug her worries away. But now, once again I am resulted to using my words to warm her sad, lonely, and confused heart. My heart breaks just thinking about her now. As depression seeps into her soul, I cannot physically shield her. I cannot drag her on spontaneous trips to Meijer like we used to do when we both lived in Columbus a few years ago. I cannot accompany her on a day-long hike through the middle of nowhere Ohio until she finds peace in nature. I cannot spoil her with a sushi date nor laugh hysterically while watching the ridiculousness that is Where the Wild Things Are. I just want to put my arm around her and tell her everything is going to be okay.
Adriana has been struggling lately with a laundry list of issues that I wish would disappear at the snap of my fingers. She’s only been in my life for over a year now but I honestly cannot remember life before her name. I laughed with irony when she calls me her “little human xanax/prozac”. Even though we both know that the other is there for us when she cannot be there, it just isn’t always enough. Fortunately are written exchanges can compensate during our anxiety-ridden days but there’s nothing better than curling up together in our OU sweatshirt blankets with tea/coffee/hot chocolate sharing a bag of Twizzlers. Fortunately, we get to do that soon when I venture out to Cinci next week (!), but I’m still wishing that I was there right now…forcing her to soothe her worries with my heavenly Starbucks and companionship. I’ll be there soon, A. Very, very soon!
I think of Alisha a lot, especially since her life is paralleling mine from (gasp) 6 years ago. She’s nearing the end of Fall Quarter at my alma mater, Ohio University, and is beginning to have the never-ending questions surround life after graduation exhausting her weary mind. Having worn those shoes and overcoming the struggles myself, I am honored to give her encouraging words from the lessons that I learned. However, it’s not enough for me. As her “Big Sis”, I want to be there to shield her from the negative thoughts, doubts, worries, and fears. I want to carry her when she feels too weak and too tired to spend another day questioning what’s next? I want to sit with her at Alden Library; drink coffee at Donkey; buy her a shot of liquid therapy at Red Brick and Cat’s Eye and The Pigskin. I want to take her to Libby’s and my secret bench on South Green that helped us work through our own problems and walk her around the back streets of Athens as Brandon and I did when we needed a listening ear. I want to show her that she will get through these tough times and that I’ll always be there to remind her of so.
And listening to Taylor Swift’s new song, Never Grow Up, I thought of Rebecca and her lovely little Hazel. These lyrics led me to sending the song to Rebecca, indicating that I smiled think of their mother-daughter relationship, as well as the impact Hazel has on me:
I won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart; And no one will desert you; Just try to never grow up, and never grow up
Rebecca responded with such gratitude, stating that this song put things into perspective again as she’s been run-down as the Terrible Twos continue to hit their household. I am so happy that I am actually, physically able to be there for them next week! Though as I feel with all of my friends, I want to be there for them all the time. Through words I constantly tell Rebecca how much I admire her and how she inspires me to (maybe) become a mother one day. But I want to show her through a hug, a smile, a girl’s day of pampering how much her family has impacted my life. I want to be there beside her to take away her stress and remind her to enjoy all the little joys that Hazel and George bring her life and all of ours.
Going back and thinking about yesterday when I was waiting for the train, maybe I didn’t necessarily want someone to put there arm around me. Perhaps I wanted to put my arm around someone else. Isn’t that more likely for me? Afterall I’ve been thinking about all of the people- more than just the ones mentioned above- that need my support these days. Maybe I just wanted one of them to be beside me, to put my arm around them? I don’t know. Remembering that moment, I definitely wanted an arm around me. Perhaps I’m finally ready to let someone be there for me?
Dating back to my teenage years, I’ve struggled to find people who I could trust and really open up to. All of these friends that I praise in my blog posts- the four above being included- have really helped me breathe again. They’ve showed me that not only can some people be trusted, but that I need to be able to confide in others to be by my mind; to let them put their arm around me. One day, hopefully sooner than later, that arm will belong to a cute guy that does like me for me. Flaws and all.