Sunday, September 06, 2009

Not The Queen of the Slipstream....


First off, I apologize for the Word Verification. The reason it's there is because of a spammer who was rather relentless and the bot picked up this site, continually posting the same tired ad. It was in some sort of a foreign language and there was nothing else that would stop it. In a week or so, I should be able to remove it.

Now.. my meeting with M which was actually a phone meeting:

We talked for a few hours this past week. It was an enjoyable conversation and showed me in so many ways that we often don't change as much as we think we have. What might feel drastic to us is actually little more than a re-framing.

I am still a free-spirited, freedom-loving, pick-up-and-leave kind of girl, never quite able to shake my gypsy-like existence. I still suffer (literally sometimes) from chronic wanderlust and have never been good at creating roots in any area of my life. My worldview and my lifestyle are subject to change when I feel the need and I probably have an invisible sign around my neck that says "don't tie me down" and "don't tread on me". There's nothing I love more than a new idea. I think in terms of possibilities in a very global sense but give little thought to the minutiea of my own small life. Everything is macro to me. These are traits I've had for a lifetime. I am the queen of the slipstream.

She is not.

M has lived a more conventional life. She's a nurse, far more conservative than me without being right wing or obnoxious. She's just more conventional. Traditional. She's followed a traditional path in her Christianity and she's very well-studied. She's not a lemming. She asks the difficult questions and seeks out the answers. She has three children, all grown now... owns a house in the country, is surrounded by her beloved dogs and a wonderful mate. She's focused and intelligent. Just the way she's always been.

It was a delight to talk with her and I hope we'll talk again. At the same time, I'm not much on living in the past and any relationship we developed now would have to be in the now and based on now. I'm not into nostalgia. There are things back there that I have no interest in revisiting. M knew me when I was a drunk. M knew my mother. She has a memory like a steel trap. I don't. The last thing I want to do is get gummed up in that flypaper. I have always compartmentalized my life. Then. Now.

She said she wanted to have the kind of friendship we had in the past... "joined at the hip"... which caused a fight or flight response in me. I can never be joined at the hip with anyone. The more someone tries to rein me in, the faster I run. The only way to get close to me is to give me the space to choose it myself. I spook easily.

There was curiosity. There was general intel-gathering. What have you been up to small talk. Cautious maneuvering of an awkward situation for both of us. There wasn't an immediate connection on either side. The truth is, she said, "I'll call you tomorrow" and that was five days ago. I don't think that means I'll never hear from her again. I think it means she needs time to think, has other things going on in her life and decided to put the call off. It's okay. I haven't been sitting by the phone. At the same time, I am completely okay with it if she decides that I am not someone who fits into the life she's designed.

It was still great to have a long talk, catch up and compare notes. Even if we both decide to just move on with our lives, it was a well-spent couple of hours.


~*

14 comments:

Border Explorer said...

As Paul Harvey would say, "And now, you know the rest of the story." Thanks for updating us on how the visit went. You sound OK with it. I'm chewing on the change vs. same element. Interesting. Yeah, and true.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

At the very least, checking in with an old friend is a good way to chart our own progress. M sounds like a very nice person, as are you. Hopefully you will find enough common ground to forge a new friendship which will give you both something of value.

I have avoided class reunions because although I liked and was liked by many people when I was in school, I simply have more interest now in those who are a part of my present life, based not on our hopes for our future adulthood, but on who we have already become.

secret agent woman said...

I'm glad to hear the conversation was a good one, and also that you will be okay whether or not you two decide to move ahead with a renewed friendship.

Carla said...

It sounds like all went relatively well. There is possibility for further friendship, but no obligation. My experience is that things are rarely the same as they were...nor would I want them to be. Some friendships pass the test of time, and others don't. I guess only time will tell.

Anvilcloud said...

It seems like you have the right mindset in this situation. And it's probably best if there's time between calls.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I just had a similar experience recently. It wasn't a friend from that far in the past, but it was someone very important to me. We're taking things slowly and carefully and that's probably best. It's been really gratifying, though, and I'm extremely grateful to have her back in my life.

Leann said...

I would agree. You had the opportunity to fill in the blanks and perhaps begin a new friendship.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm glad that it was a pleasant conversation and that you're comfortable with whatever happens. Not loading this down with expectations seems entirely appropriate.

And thanks for your comment on my manna post. I'm so glad you saw it. And thanks for being the catalyst that started me thinking about it.

wheelsonthebus said...

sometimes, checking in with an old friend is the start to something more, but you are so right that it often is not and that's ok too

hele said...

i know that feelings of an old friend trying to keep me in a mold. its always so hard to not be the person i see in her eyes.

Woman in a Window said...

I had an old friend who visited me a few years ago. She came to my home, which was near delapitated. She was a new lawyer. She looked around and appraised me and said, you know, I do believe we do not have to be friends after this. I almost laughed out loud. I've always been somewhat like you, a gypsy, fly by the seat of my pants. She has always been a well polished lawyer, even before she was. It was always there. It took her seeing it to make that decision. Now, I was fine with it, but I did find it disheartening that because we were different and of different socio-economical dimensions that she would end our friendship. Odd. I think it fairly different from how you gaged friendship with your friend but similar enough that it does shed light. We grow, we change (thank god) and we do not need to be rooted in the past, but from time to time it's not a bad thing touching base with old friends...or not...

Angela said...

This is really great, Chani. It's great ya'll got to catch up and continue to allow each other to just be who you are. How special is that??

blooming desertpea said...

When she didn't call 5 years ago, she prevented the closure of a chapter. Now, it's either a new chapter or closure of the old. At any rate, I agree with you that it's always worth to check wether there is something left to rekindle but yes, it has to be new.

Kim said...

We LOVED pai!! have fun in thailand,

Kim