Are You In?
That question posed to 99.9% of you would seem like a very innocent inquiry. However for one of you, and you know who you are, it stirs up a whole host of “oh no, what is it this time?” or “really…again?” or “insert your own SMH comment” . (I just recently learned what SMH stood for. I have seen it all over Facebook but really didn’t know what it meant. Being somewhat old-fashioned (aka squeamish) in the unknown vocabulary department, modern acronyms scare me a little. If I don’t know what it means, I can’t be put off by it. Turns out ‘shake my head’ isn’t very off-putting, so it’s all good.)
(Are You In?) is the standard subject line to my life-is-falling-apart emails that I send my sister; let’s call her Judy. J Now Judy and I have a very unique email dance routine we do every week. I’m quite OCD about it. It is her job to email me first on Monday mornings, give her life/family update and then I respond with mine. She lives several states away, so this is our main source of contact. On the rare occasion that something detains her I will kindly send out a reminder. I don’t send my full update, just a note that she still has to go first. And because she loves me and I’m her baby sister, she plays along and humors me. She humors me a lot actually. And she will probably never know how much it means to me. Now the (Are You In?) emails are completely different from the (State of Our Lives) emails. No, those emails are reserved for my emotional rantings, or problem du jour, or “do you think it’s crazy that……” What is so great though, is that no matter how many I send, or how crazy she really thinks ‘it’ is, she always comes through for me. Why is that important to write about?? Because we all need an (Are You In?) person.
Regardless of how strong we are, or emotionally stable we are, or are not; there is a real basic need to have someone to turn to. Obviously I am not breaking revolutionary ground here. Having a great friend to lean on is not a radical concept, but sometimes we are afraid. Afraid of exposing our insecurities. Afraid of admitting a stupid decision. Afraid of being seen as not having it all together. But let’s face it; sometimes we don’t have it all together. Every now and then it is so far from being together the pieces aren’t even in the same hemisphere. And for those days, we need someone to shore us up. No judgments. Probably not even actual solutions, but just stand there among the scattered pieces with us.
I have a friend….let’s call her Susan. J Now Susan and I met on a blind date of sorts. (Another story for another day.) But literally met for the first time in a parking lot to ride together to an event. I had never seen her, talked to her, knew nothing about her. Just a few written exchanges and BAM…rode with her to a completely different town for the evening. Our respective teenage daughters were quite concerned about our naïve trust in each other, but we went anyway. And you know what? BAM…another (Are You In?) was created for me. Now I don’t even know if she can say the same thing about me, which is sad and something I will have to work out with her later, but for me, no matter what, she is there. I am sure it is not always easy for her either. She has her own struggles for sure. But she has never failed me.
Quite honestly I am blessed in the (Are You In?) department. More than I even realized before I sat down to write this. I can even count my two adult daughters in that category, even though as progressive as I believe I may have become, there are limits to THOSE conversations. J
I hope the take away from these few paragraphs is that it is OK and even recommended that we all have someone or a group of someones that we can be ourselves around. That we can feel safe to share our fears and screw ups to. And in turn we all need to become that (Are You In?) to someone we care about too. Will you be that for somebody today?