Posted in Spiritual Sundays

Spiritual Sunday: Music to Soothe an Aching Heart

If you haven’t read any of my Spiritual Sunday posts before now, please take the time to read this disclaimer.

I’ve been itching all day to write a Sunday post, mostly because I haven’t written anything since Tuesday and I’m trying to cut down on my slacking, but also a little because I felt like I needed something spiritual to help soothe my mind.  I know I must sound like a Grumpy Gus lately, what with me being busy with so many things, or in some cases, not busy, as evidenced by my unemployment.

Super-flattering picture, no?  😉

But–and here’s the full disclosure–there is more to the Grumpy Gus story than meets the eye.

(WARNING: Diary-like entry to come.  Skip if you wish.)

This new house that I speak of (and, for that matter, the apartment that I lived in before now) is in the same city that I spent the better part of my life growing up in.  So moving back here triggers a lot of childhood memories, for better or for worse.  And now I live literally a 5-minute drive from someone who used to be one of my best friends.  He and I have a lot of history.  Even after he moved thousands of miles away, we kept in touch.  That is, until we just grew apart and communication became absolutely nothing.

Actually, no.  Let me correct that.  It became worse than nothing.  It got to be a cycle of him showing up in said childhood town and not telling me, then me finding out about it via a random Facebook post or picture.  It really hurt to feel forgotten and purposely avoided.  After awhile, my heart had enough and I took the sign and, as another friend so eloquently has said, “let go in love”.  I wrote him a letter for my own peace of mind and some sort of closure, which was really important.  I had no hard feelings, wished him the best, and told him I would always be there for him should he never need me.  And I thought that was that.

Then a crazy year happened, when more classmates from my high school graduating class died than I care to think about.  It was a very trying, very emotional year for me.  And they were all tragically young; it’s not like I’m 100 years old and it was just about time.  No.  I graduated in the year 2000, guys.  Things like that aren’t supposed to happen at least until my 60-year high school reunion.  At LEAST.  Anyway, my resolve broke and I sent a text to said friend, only because I didn’t want either one of us to die without any other contact.  He called me back immediately and we caught up for a good two hours or so.  And he apologized for being so distant, and he swore up and down that he’d be better at keeping in contact with me.

And he was, for about three months.  Then nothing.  Again.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, and how much I miss him.  My dear hubby knows how much this whole predicament has been hurting me, and he suggested possibly doing a symbolic ceremony of sorts.  Surely you’ve heard of them:  where you write things on paper and burn them in a bonfire, or tie them to a rock and let them sink in the ocean, or bury them on a hike somewhere.  But something inside of me finds this SO HARD to do.

So the last week or so I’ve been thinking about this ceremony, and how much it’ll hurt to be rid of this old friend.  I am so bad with change of any kind, and the letting go of friendships is the hardest kind of change for me.  Suffice it to say, then, that I’ve been in a funk.  We were supposed to put our Christmas decorations on Friday, but we were so preoccupied with hosting duties that it never happened.  That was fine, as the party we hosted was tons of fun.  Then Saturday rolled around and we worked on the French drain some more, and we were so tired that we put off decorating for another day.  Then today, and we put it off again because we’re still (yes, still) working on the French drain and are once again tired.  And sore.

When it came time for the hubby to go to bed (at 10pm because he has to rise at the ungodly hour of 6:30), I decided to lag behind and try to cheer myself up a bit.  I tuned into the Country Christmas channel on Pandora, which did wonders to help out my grumpy mood.  Then I decided to catch up on my mindless reality TV shows on Hulu, and I ran into something (two somethings, actually) that made me burst into some very healing tears:

The first was when I saw The Voice and heard Amanda Brown sing a song that I previously haven’t heard before.  The lyrics struck a chord in me, as good lyrics tend to do.  I looked them up and was instantly struck by how much it reminded me of a healing ceremony and of my friend, with whom one of our favorite pasttimes was looking at stars:

I lit a fire with the love you left behind,
And it burned wild and crept up the mountainside.
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window,
I can’t look at this place,

I can’t look at the stars,
They make me wonder where you are
Stars,
Up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all,
I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars

All those times we looked up at the sky,
Looking out so far,
We felt like we could fly.
And now I’m all alone in the dark of night,
The moon is shining,
But I can’t see the light,
And I can’t look at the

Stars,
They make me wonder where you are
Stars,
Up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all,
I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars

Stars,
Stars,
They make me wonder where you are
Stars,
Up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all,
I know you’ve gone too far
So I can’t look at the stars.

*~*~*~*

And since I’m a sucker for comparing things to the original, I found the original singer’s video (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals).

I love both, but I have to say I do love the original better.  It seems to fit the feeling of the lyrics better.

As a sidenote, the other thing that made me tear up was seeing Cassadee Pope’s performance of “Over You”–more specifically, seeing Blake Shelton’s tears well up.  Big, strong Blake Shelton getting emotional.  If that doesn’t make you shed a tear, then I’m sorry.  You have no heart.  😉

In my life, I’ve always felt a spiritual connection to music when I’m experiencing intense emotion of any kind:  sadness, happiness, excitement.  I feel like certain songs are introduced into my life at just the right time.

I haven’t yet done the healing/letting go ceremony, but I think I’m a little closer to coming around to it.  Until then, I’m using music to help me get through this rough patch.

To Finding Your Own Ways to Soothe Your Soul,

 

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Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Are best friends necessary?

This is quite a touchy subject for me.  As you may or may not have seen, #15 on my Things to do Before I Die list is to find a best friend who will last forever.  I’ve had many best friends in my life, pretty much because I’ve moved so much.  But those are stories for another time (for my memoir, to be exact).  Long story short, and without going into details, I haven’t had a best friend in eight years.

But we’ll get back to that.

A little over a month ago, I was watching The Talk, and they brought up the topic of best friends.  I don’t remember the exact citation, but there apparently was a study or some important guy who posited that adults didn’t need best friends anymore because their partners should serve the function that a best friend does.

Some of the panel agreed, some didn’t.

My take?  Well, obviously, because I put it on my bucket list, I still think having a best friend is important.  Don’t get me wrong; I do consider my husband as my best friend in many ways.  He knows everything about me, we have inside jokes, and we spend the majority of our free time with each other. He provides me with many important best friend-like duties.  I’ve laughed and cried with him and we’ve discussed things that bother us.  It’s a greatly symbiotic relationship.   For all intents and purposes, he is a best friend to me.

But there is still a hole in my life that a best friend should fill.  Gruffy doesn’t like to talk for hours on end; all my best friends did.  And I can’t necessarily talk about my husband TO my husband.  That’s just weird.  I need someone to do girly things with, to talk about fashion with, and to discuss reality TV with.  I want to go out dressed to the nines for no good reason at all except to look good karaokeing.  Someone to do crafts with.  That’s definitely not my husband’s job, and there’s no way I would force him to make that his job.  I do respect him, after all.  😉

I’ve gotten the whole speech from hubby where he says, “Well, if it hurts you so much that you don’t have a best friend, why don’t you just work harder with the friends you have to turn them into your best friend?  Or go out there and find someone new to be your best friend.”

This poses several problems, though, and I’ve mentioned them to him.  For one, most of my friends already have a best friend.  Sure, one can have more than one best friend, but I’m not gonna be all, “Hey, can I be your best friend, too?”  That’s just tacky.  And awkward.  And I have more respect for myself than that.  For another, I view having a best friend much like finding a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Not just anyone who wanders into my life can be a best friend.  I have standards.  I also have that semi-sugary-optimistic view of best friends that people have about “the one”:  I just know if they’re my best friend or not.  Best friends are like soulmates to me–something natural, something I shouldn’t have to work hard to find.  It should be a very easy thing that just happens, not something that is forced.

So, looping back to the beginning, yes, I think best friends are necessary.  As I’ve said, I haven’t had one in eight years, and I feel much like a single person (I have to make the distinction that it’s a single person who doesn’t like being single, because there are actually some single people who love being single) who sees couples everywhere being all lovey-dovey and they’re not.  I get insanely jealous of those with a best friend, and I physically ache when people talk about their best friends.  Just recently, when I went out with a friend of mine to a Girls Night Out to get our hair curled, the hairstylist, just trying to make polite conversation, asked a loaded question:

“So are you guys best friends?”
Ouch, my brain and heart replied.  For a split second, I felt like someone had punched me right in the chest, but I quickly recovered and slapped a smile on my face.

“She’s a good friend of mine, but her best friends live in another state.”

Whew.  Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Oh, but it was.  Every time I think about it too much, it really gets me down.

Some people might say that I feel this hole because my husband isn’t being a good enough friend to me to fill that void.  Perhaps they’re right, but like I mentioned above, there are some things I look for in a female best friend (or a really awesome gay bestie) that my husband could never provide for me, and I would never expect him to.

What do you guys think?  Is your partner your best friend–a good enough best friend to not require a separate best friend?  Do you differentiate between a best friend title and partner title (as far as their “job descriptions”)?  Do you think people outgrow the need for a best friend as they move into adulthood?  If you’re single, is having a best friend enough, or do you long for a partner to fill that “ultimate best friend” title, one that will replace your current best friend?  I’d love to know in the comments below.

For now, I’d like to provide you with a picture of my current best friend–besides my husband, that is.  🙂

 Hey, no one said it had to be human!  🙂

 

To Friendship and All the Love and Laughter they Provide,