I just got home from a quick trip with some of my favorite people, my very closest friends. And it always amazes me how little time it takes to renew yourself when you are surrounded by the right people.
We decided to book a suite at a winery and resort in north Georgia and pile in it together, and though it was incredibly close to home for most of us, it somehow feels far away when you unplug from your usual responsibilities and surroundings and go somewhere new.
A little wine and sunshine don’t hurt either.
I’ve thought a lot these past few weeks about the perfection masks we wear all the time, the “performance mode” I’ve written about here before. I’m so done with that and the loads of energy it entails, but it’s still scary to show the real face or any trace of vulnerability and pain when I’m with people who don’t know me well. But these women are the exception. I share things with them that I share with no one else in my life right now, and I think we lean on each other in a way that only becomes even more valuable as time marches on.
In short, I love them. And I love who I am when I am with them. I don’t know if there’s anything else better than that really. To make someone better and stronger and to say to that person’s real self, I see you and I hear you and I feel it, too.
I read recently that psychologists say if a friendship lasts seven years, it will likely last a lifetime. And by that rule, I have a number of people who knew me when and know me now and will know me in the distant future when I’ve evolved to something else, too. We are lucky – all of us – to have each other and to have weathered the storms together.
Their stories are not mine to tell, but they are in many ways much harder than the one I’ve weathered this year. I’m beginning to see that everyone is shaped by her own experiences and everyone is fighting her own battle most just never know about, and I feel lucky that this group just keeps fastening even closer together as we change shape with our own life experiences.
As we packed up today and began the ride home, I was thinking about how little of summer is left and how close the school year is. I have anxiousness a bit about Jude starting kindergarten. (Big changes are always a little scary.) But I think in a weird way, I’m ready to begin a new year with a new routine that will soon feel worn and comfortable.
People are always changing, always in a time of growth – if you are doing it right anyway. I don’t want to become complacent. That said, I feel like the intense period of transition is coming to a close for me. I’m something very different from what I was a year ago, but I’m feeling more settled now. I’m finally feeling ready for regular life to take hold again and excited to see what’s ahead.
This summer has been the perfect finish to all of it. Resting in the discomfort a bit, embracing it for what it is, and feeling my way around all of it. This trip was the perfect finale for it as well, resting and renewing my spirit with my favorite people. Onward and upward. I think I’m ready.