Tonight is not one of those nights, however. But I'm forcing it. Because it's Friday night, 10:06 PM, my boyfriend's on a fishing trip, I just finished having dinner with my lovely roommate and there's nothing left on tonight's agenda but sleep. It seems like the perfect time to compose a post, so I'm going to begin typing and see if the words catch up.
I'm reading, "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Specifically, I'm reading it in the shower - an activity that fascinates my roommate. The shower is basically my safe haven in life and has been for a few years now. Due to my issues with anxiety-ridden living, over time I've found that the warmth of a shower along with the actual phyiscal feeling of water hitting my body and washing all types of dirt off and far away is extremely therapeutic and symbolic to me. When my last relationship - and I - began to crumble, I would lock myself in the shower and begin writing calming words on the glass wall that filled with fog. Calm, relax, safe, good, stable, and loved were repeatedly spelled out until I actually began to believe and feel them. What can I say, I become bizarrely resourceful in times of panic, probably due to the fact that I am so familiar with the feeling and must come up with my own ways to deal.
Anyway, with that relationship - and the chaos that came along with it - behind me, I continue to use the shower as my place of peace. The apartment I currently reside in does not have a glass shower stall like the one I described above, but it is much larger, which gives me lots of room to engage in activities while showering. For example, I like to talk on the phone while in there. Most of the time I don't tell the other person I'm showering while speaking to them and I'm hardly ever asked, "why does it sound like I'm speaking to you while you're in a hail storm?" even though I know they must hear some type of loud background noise while we go on and on about our lives. I also text in the shower. This becomes more difficult than talking because too many times I get my text hand wet by mistake, which has ruined many phones I've had in the past.
Lately, my most favorite shower activity is reading "Eat Pray Love." I stay in the shower for far too long doing this, which means I often have to turn around and face the shower head, reach my foot over to the temperature dial (or faucet, I don't know, I'm not well-versed in bathroom vocabulary) and gently move the dial to the right, ever so slowly, continuously making the temperature hotter.
Tonight I was in there longer than ever, thus completely running out of hot water. I like a really hot shower to begin with. I'm not happy with the temperature until it's turning my behind a nice dark pink color! By the end of this shower - and when I say the end I mean the time the water temperature became so cool that it completely ruined my meditative shower state - I hadn't even shampooed my hair yet! But I did read fantastic chapters in Gilbert's book, namely a story about her sister's visit to Rome, that really touched me. It made me think about my own relationship with my sister, Thumber, and how our differences have begun to compliment each other over the years. I have always had a fierce loyalty to my siblings - to the point of becoming a problem, but I'll write about that another time. Anyway, for a while I never felt that Thumber was proud to be my sister growing up. When I looked at friends of mine who had older siblings, it seemed they idolized them. This wasn't the case with her and I, at least I never thought so. I am two years older than her, but can't tell you how many times I swore she was my big sister and that I would do anything she asked just to make her happy with me. I think it started when she would refuse to play when I wanted to, especially Barbies. She enjoyed playing herself much more than with me most of the time. This insecurity began to take off though, when I started gravitating in a direction that I knew wouldn't make her or my family proud of me, but even before that I was always in awe of her ability to turn off her emotions when she wanted to. I have always been the type that spews emotion like a pot of spaghetti sauce that's been left unattended on the oven. She has the ability to leave a room and walk away when she's not happy with what's going on in there, whereas I will fight to the death. When she has an irrational thought, she seems to easily be able to turn it off whereas I need to pick it apart and ask, "why?" I also couldn't understand and still don't understand how she looks put together even when she's a mess and hasn't showered in a week. I believe it's partly due to a really nice head of hair that has the ability to compliment her every outfit. But it's also her aura, her vibe, something about her says, "I know who I am, don't mess with me," even when she doesn't.
Anyway, over time my insecurity and jealousy towards Thumber has decreased because I am not so mixed up and interested in comparing myself to others. I don't feel as inferior in general. I don't want what other people have as much as I want to embrace what I got and improve what I'm already working with. I suppose I've had some type of inner shift over time. And in time I feel that she's been more open to wanting to feel, sometimes calling me to help her find the words she needs to say to her boyfriend when they're having trouble, or ask my advice on work situations that baffle her. I'm able to call her when I'm worrying about something that I know isn't worth worrying about and for some reason, her words have the ability to snap me out of it. I need her, I do.
I find great joy in this relationship we've begun to foster and sometimes get off the phone in tears. If she knew that, she might be shocked, but she might also laugh and say, "that's just you." Because she knows me inside and out and has seen me through good times and bad. Only she and I know exactly what I'm talking about when it comes to childhood tribulations.
The development of relationships fascinates me as I grow older, especially this one with Thumber. But even just a few days ago, one of my most favorite friends from college reached out to me during a difficult break up and by the end of our short conversation, both realized we'd gone through some very similar realizations and situations in life - situations we hadn't really discussed during our friendship in college. Since then, I've thought about her everyday, wanting to give her hope that she's going to be okay and thanking her for being the one to reach out and rekindle our friendship. I have changed a lot since college and haven't done the greatest job of keeping my old friendships alive. But this girl was always very important to me and extremely inspirational. While I was losing myself in college and wasting it all away, she was doing it all right and I often wondered how she was able to keep herself so responsible. Either way, it's nice to know that we may have taken different paths - but paths that are crossing now.
I guess, all in all, I feel that I'm a loner type in some ways. That's to say that I don't "roll" with a a big group of friends and I might not be the best at keeping in touch. But I can say that the relationships I have now are real ones. Deep ones. And that I am having trouble finishing this post because I am dying to go on and on about the other friendships in my life that mean the world to me.
It's much too difficult to go through this thing called life alone. Even when I'm surrounded by people who love me, I have the tendency to feel alone in my own mind. I must remember nights like these where I'm able to get in touch with others and realize I need them.
Thumber, I have a confession. Maddie threw up on a French Connection skirt I borrowed from you and it's ruined. But before you call me and give me the third degree, remember that Christmas is right around the corner and that I'll make up for it.
Love ya! Goodnight.