So…. it’s been a while… in fact, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything. I wish I could say that it’s because I’ve been incredibly inspired as of late and have been plugging away at my book with many many words added to the count, but sadly, it’s far more mundane than that. Essentially, my job took over my life and I had no time to myself. Oh, and I’m not exagerating when I’m saying that my job took over my life.
For a month, I was working 55-75 hours a week, sometimes with only 6 hours of turn around time to go home, sleep, wake up, shower, and get my butt back at my desk. I lived off of Subway sandwhiches and canned soup because I never had time to cook anything, much less even make it to the grocery store before closing time. My entire relationship with the outside world was on my phone via text messaging; one of my closest friends, Jonathan, saw me once because he came over to my place during a SICK DAY. That’s right, we hadn’t seen each other in so long that he came downtown to spend about 2 hours with me while I was recovering from a cold. Finally, even my dreams could not provide a form of escapism. I would dream nightly about work, including a few very stressful ones where if I didn’t press the correct sequence of buttons at specific times during a live tv show, a nuclear bomb somewhere in the world would explode, but I didn’t know where. It could have been in the middle of the Gobi desert, or beneath a school full of children in Irak. When your stress levels are so high that your body continues to pump adrenaline in your blood even while you’re sleeping, than something is very wrong!
Luckily, things last week have started to calm down and I’m feeling like myself again. I’d also like to thank the extended 4 day weekend I had that came at a much needed time. Go extended Thanksgiving weekend!
So, now that I’ve officially explained my prolonged absence, get ready for something a little different today, something that I rarely do, something that comes up only once in a blue moon… I’m about to get sentimental. That’s right folks! For a limited time only, I’m going to talk about feelings that aren’t related to anxieties. It’s time for me to tread on the other side, the one where I will talk about how thankful I am for what I have. Oh, and Thanksgiving just happened in Canada. Good timing or advanced planning?
I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a great job in my field. I have a loving family and an amazing niece. I have food in my belly. I have a roof over my head that not only gives me shelter, but comfort. All of these things are great and more than what many people in the world have, but what I want to talk about today is specifically about my friends, about the family that I choose, and who have in turn chosen me.
Making friends as an adult is surprisingly hard. When we were kids, it was as simple as walking up to someone and asking them one of two questions: “Do you want to play?” or “Do you want to be my friend?”. It was easy and you had the opportunity to answer truthfully on the spot without politics, doubts, or schedules in mind. It was either a yes or a no. But a few things happened when we grew up:
- Life got harder.
- People got meaner.
- Straight-forward honesty got scarcer.
- Responsibilities got bigger.
- Schedules got obstacl-ier.
- Our emotional guard got stronger.
- The world got scarier.
It’s unfortunate to say, but friendships as an adult are really difficult. A lot of effort has to be poured in to maintain them (unless you both work in the same place, you don’t see them on a daily basis at school anymore), and we are a lot less open to letting people in emotionally. On the bright side, if you can find strong friendships as an adult, they are more rewarding than when you were a kid, because they are (hopefully) less wishy-washy and more reliable. These are the kind of friends you can count on and who will stick around even when things get rough, the kind who have seen some truly ugly sides of you (and I don’t mean the first 5 minutes when you wake up in the morning), and accept and love you unconditionally. There’s no blood relation, no obligation, yet they’re still sticking around. They become your second family, especially when your real immediate family lives in another city.
I remember once reading an article in MacLean’s magazine about adult friendships. It stated that most people are lucky to have one true friend in their lives, because most relationships we build with people will inevitably fall or drift apart. In the article, one of the subjects spoke about his two best friends and how he would even take a bullet for them. Another subject indicated that he didn’t feel like he had anyone really close and that finding a platonic connection only gets harder as we get older.
I myself am fortunate to have many truly good friends in my life. In fact, I would even say that I have 8 of them. That’s 8 people with no blood relations who have helped me, shaped me, stood by me, been honest with me, held me, laughed with me, pushed me, caught me, and smiled with me… and I am lucky to still have these 8 people in my life today. Some I talk to every day, others maybe only once every few months. But it’s not the frequency of our communication that makes them the type of friends they are, it’s simply the trust and connection that we share.
Now, of course, this is more of a book blog than a personal blog, so let’s bring this back to basics. If it wasn’t for these 8 people, I don’t know if I would have the perseverance or the confidence to write a book. Yes, I would be writing regardless, but I probably wouldn’t have even imagined potentially publishing one day. These 8 souls continuously push me forward with their love and support. I am blessed to have them in my life.