Now how does that saying go…”when one door closes, another one opens”? I don’t know if that idiom works as the backdrop of the feelings I experienced last week, but I’ll let you figure that out.
I’ve been fortunate enough to maintain many solid friendships from back home ever since we moved out west. In fact, some of those friendships actually blossomed after my move. It’s interesting how you can find commonalities with acquaintances, cousins, colleagues, friends-of-friends, and strangers, after you’ve been extracted from your bubble of familiarity, comfort and security. In this case I’m talking about a former colleague and friend, who has inspired me for the last year especially.
You know how every now and then on Facebook or on random websites you’ll have this ad of some crazy fit, pretty girl with toned abs and a wild before-and-after photo? That’s her. She’s one of them. Except she’s not a computer virus – she’s a real person! While some pregnant women in their 3rd trimester would probably want to punch her in the face for looking so flawless, because I knew her personally (biggest heart and sharpest mind in this universe), I was inspired to be like her. Ok WAIT, no I did NOT get into shape. This post is not a revelation of the umpteen pounds I lost thanks to her workout and meal program. That will happen one day, but not right now.
What happened is that circumstances have brought her to Vancouver, thus bringing me a real friend from my hometown, to my new home. And what happened is that while a door temporarily closed for her to end up here, for me, a door opened. The chances of me having time outside the home, without a child glued to me, increased dramatically. The possibility of me talking to an adult, and then cracking a joke, and then both of us laughing, went up. And finally, the likelihood of me feeling like myself again, goofing off, and discussing topics other than my children, my home, and my responsibilities, became greater.
So after having met up once for gelato (and a much needed heart-to-heart), we agreed on having a “girls night” last Thursday. Her bestie was in town with her husband (an awesomesauce couple by the way, PLEASE check them out at Love Tripping). I was giddy with excitement because this would simultaneously be my 1. First night out without a child, 2. First night out without husband, 3. First night out with girlfriends, since October 2013 = 17 months. True story. But up until hours before 7:30pm that day, I was looking for excuses to bail.
I was scared of being socially awkward in front of new people. See I’ve had many great conversations with strangers and new friends here in Vancouver, but all women and mostly mothers who understand the grind. But now I was doubting myself immensely. What if I don’t know how to have a conversation without mentioning my kids? More frightening, what if I can’t string together a few words more sophisticated than mum-mum and formulate a mature sentence? I was self-conscious about my appearance; bags under my eyes, a new grey hair, outdated clothes. We were meeting up at a hip urban restaurant, instead of a coffee shop or mall. I was scared that this place full of self-assured and cool people would swallow me whole. What if I dozed off or no one could hear what the hell I have to say because I don’t remember how to adjust my volume according to the sounds of music on loudspeakers and the buzz of adults catching up, flirting, and networking?
My husband nearly pushed me out the door with these wise words: “Just make a cowboy accent when you’re nervous.” So I survived (without the accent, thank God). I went, I saw, and I conquered. I spoke with my mouth full (not polite, but give me a break the food was delicious). I did talk about my husband and children, but hey, they’re my raison d’être. I think we all had a really good time chatting and eating and getting our minds off the wear and tear of our current lives. The evening confirmed for me that “there’s a reason behind everything”. The three of us were destined to be together that night to lift each other up and offer support during challenging times. It was definitely a girls night that I personally needed for a long time and am so grateful to have had.
And if nothing else, at least my shoes were on point. 🙂