Thoughts on Friendship

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I've been wanting to sort out some thoughts lately -- thoughts on friendship.

I have a history with hard friendships. It started in fifth grade at Wiles Hill Elementary School in Morgantown, WV. One day my best friend handed me a note at recess and ran away. Confused, I opened it, and I cried as I read. She told me in few and pointed words that I was bossy and that our friendship was over.

So many tears were shed. My mom called her mom. If I called and my (non)friend answered, she hung up. I didn't know what I had done (besides being bossy, whatever that meant -- and who knew that would become a thing someday?). Long story short -- she approached me on the playground in sixth grade. Said she was sorry, and would I want to be friends again? I instantly accepted. No questions asked.  My heart had ached for restoration for over a year, and I was thrilled at our reunion.

Fast forward to college. A boy and I were very close friends and had been since high school. His feelings were romantic; mine were not. When he eventually became engaged to someone, he stepped away from our friendship. I guess this doesn't really count since it's a totally different (and understandable) circumstance, but he was one of my best friends. It left an awful void in my heart. He reached out to me many years later and apologized. We're now friends, and I'm thankful for that. But those were hard years.

After college, I got married. One of my dear high-school-and-college friends was a bridesmaid in my wedding. We didn't keep in close touch after I got married, which, truthfully, I resented. She sent me an anniversary card in the mail a month after my first anniversary. I emailed to thank her and included  in my response a bad attitude. "Where have you been for the past year of my life?" I asked. "I've needed you. I don't need late anniversary sentiments now." Later that day I called her to apologize. I reached her voicemail. "I'm sorry," I said. "Please forgive my bad attitude. I shouldn't have responded that way. I just miss you."

She ignored my increasingly desperate phone calls and emails for two years. She finally reached out to me and asked if we could move on. I said yes. No questions asked. Once again, I was thankful to be reunited.

And in the past few years I've lost another friend. A long-distance friend, but an important person to me. Someone who was there for me when my precious grandmother died; someone who made an impact on me far more than she probably realizes. I don't know what I did to hurt or offend her. I've written letters; I've emailed. I've begged for forgiveness. I've asked for at least the chance to know what I did. So far, there has been no restoration. It adds to my broken friendship history. It hurts.

What do all of these sad stories have in common? Well, I am the common denominator. What have I done to deserve this history of lost friendships? I think about it a lot. If only I hadn't been so bossy. If only I hadn't spoken out with a bad attitude. If only I hadn't...??? How could I be different? How could these stories have taken another turn?

My most recent (non)friend remains such a mystery to me. Our email communication slowly went from such-good-friends-omg-I-love-your-blog-let's-talk-soon to cordial/polite to utter silence. She has now blocked me on instagram. My heart aches for the loss. Was I bossy? Was I grumpy? Did I correct someone's grammar one too many times?! I joke about being the "grammar police," but I truly have always done it out of a desire for people to not be embarrassed when they figure out their mistake. But as I've ruminated over this lost friendship in my mind, I've all but stopped correcting. I don't want to appear unkind. I don't want to lose any more friends.

I'm frequently asked by current friends: why do you want someone like that in your life? If someone writes you off for months, for years -- are they worth it? If you beg for forgiveness, if they ignore you -- do you want their friendship? And if you do, why? Truthfully, I don't know why. Because I want to live in harmony with people? I don't want to exist in the unknown? I want to be forgiven? I want to be worthy of friendship?

If you completely write someone out of your life, you probably have a justification. Perhaps you think they're toxic. Maybe you don't deserve what they put you through. Maybe you don't want to be brought down by them. I guess these are the kinds of things my current (non)friend thinks of me. It breaks my heart.

I have so many good friends, and I know I should focus on them. Friends who have stuck by me for years; friends who have seen me at my absolute worst and who have chosen to love me anyway.  Those friends deserve to be celebrated. But my (non)friend dampens it all for me, and that's sad. She's a very vocal Christian. She posts many beautiful words and images about God's grace and forgiveness. I just wish that grace could be extended to me.

Those are my thoughts on friendship.

Tuesday Thoughts

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just 15 minutes ago I was snuggled up on the couch with Lucy watching TV. I didn't want to get up and do the dishes. I didn't want to take my makeup off or brush my teeth. I didn't want to charge my phone (which was at 3%). I just wanted to lay there and be comfortable and snuggle with her.

But I knew. I knew I'd be happier if I got up and did all of those things. I knew the dishes wouldn't take long. I knew my skin would appreciate being cleaned before bed; I knew my tired eyes would benefit from some eye cream. I knew I needed to brush my teeth and charge my phone. I knew my bed would be more comfortable than the couch.

So I made myself get up. I didn't want to. The dishes took four minutes. My night-time facial/teeth-brushing routine took six. And by the time I had straightened the living room up and locked the door and changed into my jammies and crawled into bed, it had been 15 short minutes.

It just really struck me for some reason. Sometimes I make decisions because I'm comfortable. I think, "I deserve a short cut here. It's not that big of a deal." And sometimes, like tonight, it really isn't that big of a deal -- but I could do better. And for not that much more effort. And for greater happiness in the end.

Just some thoughts.

March Update

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I remember when I used to update my blog almost every day. Lately I've had such a hard time balancing my digital life. There's facebook to keep up with, blogs to read, Instagram, etc. I have to live in the real world, too!

I kind of stopped reading blogs when Google Reader died last July. But I don't want to abandon mine completely. It's fun to keep up with far-away friends by checking their blogs & seeing what they're up to.

So here's my once-a-month update. Random and only a few cute pictures. Here we go:

1. I'm watching Grey's Anatomy as I type this. I love that show! Team McDreamy. He's so handsome.

2. It all started with @makingitlovely's instagram feed. Now I am the proud owner of a cute little ottoman with a hot-pink top. (Not pictured: the rickity piano bench that used to be there.) And I got it on clearance, too. Yay!

3. I have photoshop and I know how to make cute prints, but I have no idea how to edit photos. Haha! So the one above isn't edited at all. PicMonkey doesn't work on my browser anymore, apparently.

4. Wes is in semester 4/5 of his PhD coursework. He'll finish coursework this December, which will be the end of his traveling for school. Hooray! After that it will be studying, comps, and then dissertation writing. So we still have at least 2.5 more years to go. (Boo!)

5. Lucy will be 15 months old on the 15th! Is that like a golden birthday for pooches? I just love that puppy.

6. I'm reading the Divergent series. It's good. Don't judge me.

7. I have been stalking everysingleday for affordable tickets to visit our dear friends, the Theules, in California this summer. It's been SO long since we've seen them (ahem, since 2009!). I really want to make a trip happen this July!

8. We are springing forward tonight for DST. In my opinion, it is the only acceptable reason to lose an hour of sleep and not be really, really mad about it. As my friend Eric says, DST is "also known as The Time It Should Always Be, Seriously Why Do We Even Have That Other Time." Amen.

9. Please like my Etsy shop on Facebook! And go buy a print or two! Shameless, I know. I'm sorry. :) I'm having so much fun, though!

10. I'm running out of things to say. Can you tell? My life is just not that interesting. Also, it is not all that pretty. There are a LOT of pretty pictures on Instagram every day. I wish I had more to contribute!

Over and out. Will you do me a fav and like this post below if you read it? Thanks, friends!

Back on the Wagon

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Well, I'm back on Weight Watchers. This is week two. I was on a roll of working out and eating well and feeling good about a year ago... and then one of my best friends moved across the country. My healthy habits took a nose dive (she was my gym buddy!), and I neither watched what I ate or exercised for about a year.  Fifteen pounds later, I finally decided to do something about it. So it's back to the gym & back to mindful eating for me!

Wes makes a delicious butternut squash soup -- something I would've never thought I'd like -- and I was delighted tonight to find out that it's only 3 points for a whole cup! Yum! [He does only use 1 Tbsp EVOO instead of two -- that makes a difference.] Couple with 1/2 an apple and a slice of italian bread with butter & it's a fantastic 6-point meal. Here's the recipe if you're curious:

For the record, I went to Zumba tonight, too. It was hard! I'm happy to be home on the couch with my hubs & pooch. Now to decide if I'm willing to spend an extra 3 points on dessert....


Also, please permit me a moment of self promotion:  check out bpaperie on etsy! Woohoo! :)

Thoughtfulness [Towel Hook Edition]

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I like reading friends' blogs for little life updates. One of the hardest parts about being away from people you love, in my opinion, is missing out on the little stories about their days. So this is a quick story about checking the mail on Saturday and my sweet mother in law.

We have W&B hooks on the back of our bathroom door on which to hang our towels. [Apartment renters, listen up -- it's the little things! It's not difficult to remove a crappy fixture and replace it with something cute.] When we have guests over, we have to hang their towel(s) in a closet by the bathroom. It's fine for one towel, but it's not really enough space for two.

When my MIL and FIL were in town recently, I remarked that I should buy two more hooks with an L and a G on them -- one for Lucy and one for Guest. (We don't bathe Lucy very often, but when we do, she said that she'd appreciate her own towel hook.) I'm not sure why I was surprised when an unexpected Anthropologie box showed up in the mail this weekend. Take a look:

So now that we have hooks for extra towels -- come visit! :)

Making Time

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It feels like I never have time for my blog anymore. That's not true, of course; I just don't make time. It annoys me when people say they "don't have time" for things. If you want to do something, you'll make time for it. Do you think? Or am I just being grumpy? ;)

I am SO anxious to get bpaperie off the ground. I bought a printer on December 2nd -- an expensive one! -- and have had nothing but trouble with it. Very sad. This past Friday Epson finally shipped me a new one. I was able to set it up, but I haven't tried printing yet. My office is closed on Monday for MLK Jr. day, so I think I will spend the morning test printing.  I have heard that it's hard to adjust colors, etc., to match what you see on your monitor. I hope this is not too big of an issue!

All of that has kind of bummed me out and kept me from designing, but last night I came up with this. Thanks to my dear friend Kari for the quote inspiration.

I confess I don't love orange all that much, but lots of people do, including my husband, so there must be something to Frank's quote!

I'd write more, but I'm off to snuggle my pooch. Happy Sunday!

JOY [free printable]

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas, friends! We are officially on Christmas vacation; we arrived in my hometown tonight (Morgantown, WV). It feels good to have some time to spend with family & friends. Just tonight Wes & I had dinner with my dear friend Jenn and her son, Gavin. So much fun!

Hopefully this break allows me some time to learn new tricks in photoshop. I tried my hand at a "gold" color tonight. I know it's kinda lame, but I'm learning. :)

This is downloadable as a free printable (8x10) in JPEG format. All I ask is that you leave a comment so I know you like it! I think it'd look super cute in a festive red or green frame.