Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be your friend? I was wondering this yesterday as I sat across a small round table sipping a late-blooming Winter's Dream tea latte in March, and enjoying a conversation with a lovely red-haired girl with happy eyes. Sharing an intimate space in the midst of strangers--and sharing our selves in simple ways--I know instantly what kind of friend she is to me.

She has a light about her, and a sweetened, gentle spirit. She makes you feel valid and important, because she thinks you are. She is clever and funny, and these traits usually present themselves in delightfully cute ways. She is an expert at active-listening, but I don't think she ever had to teach herself how. She just is. She asks the best questions and is the one of the best clarifiers I have encountered. And while she loves to hear and learn from others, she has bright passion of her own (it's more of that light I mentioned before). Her consistently brewing sense of focused drive and motivation always startle me at first because I don't always associate those traits with intentionality and warmth. But with her, they are not a dichotomy, but rather a pairing of two authentic parts of her self that come together to form a sort of ambitious humbleton. So, when you hear her talk about her goals and dreams, they don't seem selfish or short-sighted. They seem authentic because they reside in a good person who wants to see those around her succeed as much as she wants to succeed herself.

Sitting across from her and noticing all her mannerisms--her signature hair flick, the way she stirs her tea bag back and forth in a seamless motion, her identifiable light-filled laugh, how she readjusts her shoulders with a simple sort of settling motion... I know what it is like to be her friend.

So, it made me ponder to myself, what it is like to be my friend. And it was amusing to think about the irony of how your own self is the person you know best in the world because it's you--but you are the one person who can't really know what it is like to actually be your friend.

And it's funny to think in little reversals sometimes.

© kimberly k. taylor-pestell, all rights reserved


Bryan Schnebelt said...

She's a classy one! :)

Nat King Cole said...

I love this thought. It's so wonderful to see the magic on everyone, especially our friends. i do wonder the same thing, what's it like to be my friend? Thanks for sharing Kimberly!