Today is somebody that I know’s birthday. This person… well, I owe quite a lot to them. They aren’t really aware of how much, because I’ve never taken the time to tell them why. Because I don’t want to embarrass them in public I won’t mention them by name, and I don’t have to. They know this is about them, because I took the time privately to check beforehand, making sure they were aware of what was going on. The reason why the whole shebang then is subsequently public? Well, that will become apparent. Because what this person has taught me in the time I’ve come to know them is simple. Friendship is what YOU make it, not what someone else tells you works. It is a delicate and subtle balance of give and take, that you can only maintain with joint effort. That’s the key: any relationship worth a damn isn’t just one person putting in the hours. You both have to want it to succeed.
Mostly this person remains the best reminder of how far I have to travel to be a reality he aspires me to be.
This is my favourite GIF right now. It perfectly encompasses the feelings I have every day I wake up and realise that I need to be a mum and a writer and a decent human being plus all those other things that maybe I’d just like to forget. This is the Black Dog that many people say is their existence with depression: the all-pervading sense of being followed and and threatened by something that could incapacitate you at any moment… except for me, I am Pinocchio. I just want to lie unmoving, and hope that the world just goes away. It’s been a really tough week too for this, knowing what I’ve set myself to do in terms of the health challenge. I’d just like to stop caring, but I know I can’t, and it is due to people like my husband and my friend that I understand why I can’t. My friend pulled himself though an incredibly stressful period of his life, losing both job and a parent, and has become something truly aspirational. He doesn’t know this because I haven’t told him until now, but if it wasn’t for him there have been some days when I would have given up and gone a very, very long way backwards. It is because he cared about me, and didn’t do anything other than just be there for me when it mattered. That’s what friendship is really about, the people I feel I can trust when I have nowhere else to go.
Without him, I would not posses the belief to move forward with my life.
Mostly, because of the lives we lead, I’ve never actually had a chance to sit down and say all this to him alone. It might seem odd therefore that I choose such a public means in which to do so now, but that’s actually quite crucial to this equation. Because the way the World now works means that private and public are often indivisible, that what matters more is the sentiment as fuel to inspire and motivate others. Congratulating someone privately is great, but ultimately telling the world they’re awesome is better because then everyone gets to drink the Kool Aid of Knowledge they provide. The problem then comes with that person getting all flustered and unhappy that you drew attention to this in the first place, and then you can often end up going backwards. Having chosen to be public in my struggles, I can put my name to everything with impunity, but that’s not my decision in his case. If you REALLY want to find him then a) you’re a fucking scary internet stalker and STOP IT NOW and b) it won’t actually be that much of a stretch. I really wouldn’t have done this if I knew he’d have a problem either, and that’s also a measure of the comfort level we hold between us. He doesn’t mind being known as my friend. That in itself is enough to make me beam so broadly my face will hurt, and I won’t care. That’s because the anti-social cow finally worked out how to do relationships properly.
I managed to put the past behind me and move forward.
It’s not like nobody tells you as a kid that bad shit happens. It happens ALL THE DAMN TIME but if you choose wilfully to ignore it? More fool you. That’s what I was, the biggest fucking idiot on the Planet, and there are days when that’s still true, until I grasp that lots and lots of really lovely people can be an adult and hold down jobs and be responsible and guess what? They’re all panicking inside too. My friend taught me this, a lesson he reinforces every time I see him questioning his own worth, whether he’s doing it right. Some people are just better at coping with stuff than others, and fortunately for the planet? These people are actively furthering the process of evolution. If you want to help with that, it’s not about being silent and scared. You need to find a voice and move forward. Without my friend being the brilliant guy he is, I’d not be here to do that. Everybody needs role models and people to look up to, and I have him, though he’ll probably give me the Evil Bogeye of Doom for even suggesting this before telling me I need better role models. I really don’t, you’re just the one I needed.
Your life isn’t anyone else’s to dictate or guide, unless you make that choice. I choose to let this man be my friend, and he returns the favour. Honestly, this is all I could ever ask for. Being a grown up isn’t as scary when he’s around, and I will never thank him enough for that fact alone. Happy Birthday, Squire.
Yes, you’re utterly awesome xxx