Tomorrow I have a date with a couple of good friends. Nothing complicated… we’re just going to hang out and chat, and maybe make some cards. A simple thing, but it means the world to me. I really value my friendships.
One of my favorite fantasy authors, Stephen R. Donaldson, wrote a book called “The Mirror of Her Dreams.” The main character is an excruciatingly insecure young woman. Her insecurities are such that she fills her entire apartment with mirrors, just to remind herself she exists. As someone who has struggled with her weight since chidhood, mirrors have never been a favorite of mine; they rarely tell a story I’m happy with. That said, I do something similar with photographs. Only it’s not photos of me alone that interest me – those have the same issue as the mirrors. Rather, what I need surrounding me – in multiples – is photos of me with the people I love. The photos are evidence… evidence that I am loved in return. A photo of a friend and me on Catalina 13 years ago? To some, just a happy reminder of a really fun trip. To me, though, it’s so much more… validation of a lengthy, meaningful friendship. On a bad day, proof that I don’t screw everything up. Pictures of me with my husband, me with my children… they’re more than just lovely moments captured in time. They remind me that I matter to people, that I am valued. Should I be aware of all of that without pictoral evidence? Absolutely. Are there days on which I need those photos to snap me out of a funk? You bet.
I feel the same way about people showing up. Their literal presence is also a reminder of my worth. Of course, on a bad day, that can backfire. If someone fails to show up for whatever reason, I sometimes feel invalidated and less than. It’s stupid. As a reasonably intelligent human being – and a mom – I’m well aware that shit happens. Circumstances occur that are beyond people’s control all the time. I get it. It’s logical. Unfortunately, we aren’t talking logic here, but completely irrational emotion. When someone can’t show up, it really gets to me. Messes with my head in ways not connected to reality. It’s embarrassing. I try to say the right things so the lunacy in my head isn’t apparent to the accidental perpetrator. I do know what normal is, and try to react accordingly. I don’t know that I’m 100% successful… unexpected changes in plan do tend to make me cranky. But cranky is better than crazy, right? Let’s hope.
By the way, if you are my friend and are reading this, you are in no way responsible for my craziness. As always, I use this blog as a way for me to process my own issues. What I write is never aimed at anything further than the tablet in front of me… it’s not meant to create guilt or concern or anything else. It’s just me, doing what I do… spilling the randomness of my mind onto the screen. I sometimes forget that people react to it. Kind of a danger for me, I suppose. Also, it should be said that nothing happened to provoke this particular train of thought. Nothing conscious, at least. I haven’t been “stood up” lately, or anything. I’m not sure why this is on my mind tonight. It’s odd.
Anyway, I need to get up early, get my son to his friend’s house and get Avery and I packed and to my friend’s place. We don’t do early well, so it should be interesting. I’ll probably edit and post in the morning. Sleep well.