I plan on doing a short RL post in a bit, but first I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my BFF's birthday & share the cheese-tastic poem I wrote her as a
A little over thirteen years ago, on the exact day I was supposed to return to work (after an involuntary months-long hiatus caused by my social anxiety disorder/panic attacks, which were severe & debilitating at the time) a lurker with whom I'd never spoken before sent me an email just to let me know she was there & that she cared. Here's an excerpt of what she wrote (even then, she knew exactly what I needed to hear):"…I read what you write. Based on what I've
read, I think you're intelligent and witty and sweet and SO strong.
I've never talked to you directly, but I'd notice if you disappeared
suddenly. I'd notice, and I'd care.
And I understand how you feel, so I have no place to spout cliches or
mumble about it getting better because while I can hope that it will,
I have no idea.
And you've obviously been through a lot, probably more than I can
imagine, so any advice I might have would most likely sound
presumptuous and condescending.
But, for what it's worth? I notice your presence, and I care. You're
certainly not alone, and although you may feel inferior to anyone and
everyone (I know I do), I can tell you with absolute certainty that
you seem superior to at least 95% of those I've encountered while
And I hope things get better for you, because you deserve better."
No one had ever said something so nice to me before that email, and only a few people have ever said anything so kind to me since. It meant more than she probably could've realized, especially since I received it *right* as I was nervously getting ready for my shift (it totally bolstered my confidence levels & made that night a million times easier). It was the beginning of the closest friendship I've ever had, with her having my back over & over again as I've gone through various challenging experiences (most of which would've sent lesser friends packing, lbr), and I honestly don't know where I'd be if she hadn't mustered up the courage to de-lurk & send me that email that day. Not only would I have missed out on knowing her, but I would've missed out on the experiences we had together as roommates (of both the fun & learning varieties + it's important to note that it basically saved my life, getting me out of my mom's house when we did, and I don't know how much longer it would've taken me to do that without having my best friend as a roommate to assist me emotionally in the endeavor), and there's a good chance I never would've made my way onto LJ or into creative writing, etc... Whatever my life would've looked like without her, I'm glad I didn't have to find out.
So here's to saying how you feel, even when you're afraid--even when it's to a stranger--because you never know what reaching out might turn into. And here's to soul-mates of the platonic variety, the kind that movies & TV ignore & neglect all too frequently, but which give meaning & joy to an otherwise all-too-often bleak existence.
I remember that,
when we first met,
we used to joke about being each others' brain twins.
The truth is,
I've always thought of you more
as one of my soul-mates --
not the kind who kiss & cuddle
and whisper sweet nothings to one another
(you've got Kevin for that, fortunately;
I could never handle being around so many vegetables,
let alone your fannish fervor for Doctor Who --
I might use a tardis blanket to strangle you in your sleep),
but the kind who speak the same language
with minimal effort -- a native tongue
that goes deeper than words.
In some ways,
we are so different.
You understand me
when I don't understand myself.
You hold up a steady mirror
that shows me, without equivocation,
a pretty picture
of my own inner truth.The me that you see.
When I need to speak,
When there are no words,
you sit comfortably beside me in the silence,
thousands of miles apart,
but inches apart in spirit.
When I am my own worst enemy,
you are my staunchest defender.
You accept my eccentricities without judgment,
because you already sense
how my puzzle pieces fit together
and which ones have long since
You can appreciate the big picture
that is my wild mind,
yet still keep track of the details.
When I am lost, you help point the way
even if you too have lost your map.
I rarely feel that I need to explain myself to you,
but if I want to,
you will let me,
because you get
that I'm really speaking to myself.
(You are the mediator in nearly all my affairs.)
It hasn't always been simple,
but it's always been worth it.
are worth it.
I hope when I am old,
we can have wheelchair fights in the sterile hallways
of our futuristic nursing homes.
I'll be Anya; you be Jen.
(You're not much of an Andrew, after all)
Sometimes I worry that we'll drift apart,
now that our lives have gone in such different directions,
but we both know that all relationships,
even friendships, take work.
our bond holds us together,
So it doesn't really feel like work,
which is good,
because I sure as hell am not getting paid for this.
I still remember the shy, insecure thing you used to be.
Somehow you've evolved into a confident & capable mother --
someone I might even call a grown-up
if I believed in such a thing.
Truthfully, your children are lucky to have you.
I am lucky to have you.
is lucky to have you.
Don't ever forget it.
Now, I'm sure you're probably gagging
from all this syrupy saccharine-infused affection,
so I will only ask you to hold on for one more sentence:Happy Birthday, Jen.