Sunday, November 10, 2013

How to Test a Friendship

Coaster Mustache 

This past week my good friend Kristen visited to support me in something that I have not previously had the courage to do(reveal in next post). During our visit she and I reflected on the type of people we are attracted to, re: friends, mates etc. Kristen shared her realization that she has surrounded herself with people that are outspoken and stand up for themselves. Qualities that she admires and values. While she was sharing I thought about the type of person she is as well as the other people that I am close with. My closest friends and partner are non-judgmental, patient, optimistic (at least more often than I) and consistent. I know I can count on them to be a positive force in my life and be there for me when I need them. Like Kristen, I am attracted to people that have qualities I admire. 

Coaster Mustache Fail

Thinking back I realized my move to Chicago was an excellent example of Kristen's patience and loyalty. 

Seven years and four months ago Kristen took on the challenge of moving me. We had been close friends, sisters, since high school and the move was a scary thing for both of us. It can be hard for me to ask for help and Kristen has made asking easy by pretty much always saying yes. Our plan was that I was going to drive my car, she would follow in the moving truck and after the move we'd drop the truck off in Chicago. 
When we showed up at the "moving company" there was a problem. The truck size we reserved was out. Instead they gave us a truck that resembled a semi. But for the same price, what a deal! I laughed a lot. Kristen, who better understood the difficulty of the situation in front of us,  looked terrified.

We filled the truck with my belongings, which took up no more than a 1/3 of the space. Our next stop was to fill up the gas tank before we headed out of town. Unfortunately, we were not able to restart the truck once it was turned off.  After two hours on hold with the "moving company" and several requests by station attendants to move, I called my old roommate and she asked her dad for advice. I actually don't remember why I called her, but I do remember that her dad knew exactly what to do. So the truck started again. The next six hours of driving (the trip is normally four) were a nightmare. Kristen could not drive above 50 mph or the truck would violently shake. She had no experience driving a big rig and therefore was terrified that she was going to cause an accident. And of course it rained the whole way. Upon arriving in Chicago our bodies and minds were exhausted.  Kristen parked the truck (not without incident) and we went to sleep on the floor of my new apartment with only blankets.  
The next morning Kristen fell down the steps and ripped the seat of her pants and the same bird pooped on me twice. Kristen strongly felt like these were all signs that I should not move.  
Dropping off the truck to the "moving company" was just as unpleasant as the rest. Driving a semi around the narrow streets of Chicago is not fun. When we arrived at the "moving company" a staff person told us we could not leave the truck, there was no more room. The same staff person was pushy and loud when I was trying to explain why we couldn't leave the truck to an exhausted and angry Kristen. I put my hand up to stop him from talking. He screamed about me giving him "the hand" until we left.  An hour later we had the truck dropped off at another site and then quietly drove the four hours home.

No matter how awful the trip was or how angry Kristen felt, I never feared for our friendship. We didn't argue or turn on each other. And after that I was not as worried about the affect of my move on our friendship. Now when we are together I cannot tell we've ever been apart.  As for the move, well it took a few years, but we can laugh now. 

I think being deliberate about who you allow into your life is very important. All people have value, but not all people are healthy for us. I have surrounded myself with people I respect and respect me. Sometimes I am in awe at the love I feel from those around me. But I am grateful. Always.  

Circa 2000



1 comment:

  1. As if you havent heard it before, but I am beyond grateful that you moved to Chicago and cannot picture my life w/o you in it. I now know that no matter how far I go you will still be there. And cannot imagine what would ever not make us friends and I hope to never find out what that might be. I am in awe of you and what you bring to my life. My very special friend.