My friend called to invite me to an American Business Womens Association meeting, the way she does every month. I love her because she's my kind of lady...honest and loving without taking crap from anyone. She gave me a couple months to mourn, but still called me to let me know that she was there even if I didn't "feel up to it." Truth be told, I've ducked her phone calls a few times because I just couldn't find the energy to talk, let alone make a decision about attending a meeting. I was ready to join this group before...but that was before.
She was kind when I spoke to her today and asked how I was doing. When I answered, "Fine," she asked, "OK...are you really?" (That's what I'm talking about...cut through the crap and let someone know you love them.) I smiled and told her I have bad days and good days. She asked if I would be interested in the meeting this month. There was a moment...ok, there were several moments...where I felt pressure to say yes. But it wasn't an external pressure. It was all pressure I put on myself. I felt like I would be disappointing everyone if I stayed away and didn't at least show my face to let everyone know I was still alive. And I really would like to see the other women at the meeting. Why don't I just go?
But to be perfectly honest with myself, I just don't have it in me. I can't face the sympathy and the kindness right now, followed by coffee and dessert and a presentation on something business related. I'm not ready for normal just yet.
So I told her I didn't think I would make the meeting. She asked if I wasn't interested in this meeting, or if I wasn't interested in any meetings because she didn't want to bother me if I wasn't interested in the group anymore. I told her she wasn't bothering me, and tried to explain that I'm not especially social these days and I'm not really good company for anyone.
She said, "You've had a rough summer."
I said, "Not one I'd like to repeat."
She said, "Hopefully you'll never have another like it."
I said, "I hope so."
She said, "I understand...no I really don't, and I don't even want to imagine it."
She said, "Well, I'm being honest with you...that's ok, right?"
See what I mean about cutting through the crap? Refreshing honesty...I miss that.
Maybe in a few months I'll be able to face them again. Right now I'm struggling with the whole feeling that the world has moved on without me. I'm lost in the process of trying to figure myself out again. I feel like I'm a shadow of who I was before. Or maybe I'm just afraid to cry in front of people.
It's easy when it's people I didn't really know before. I can put on a fresh face and not have to worry that they're analyzing me for my potential to break down at any given moment. I can act like nothing bad ever happened. And I can smile without worrying that I'm smiling too much...or not enough. But with people I knew before...it's just too complicated to deal with right now.
But I think she understands. Or at least, she says she does. She taught me a lesson today that she probably doesn't even realize. I'm a little more like her, because I cut through the crap and was honest with her...and myself.