Shout out to the talented Jamie Adam who sketched the image I used for this blog. You can find her work at https://www.skettidindin.org/
You forget how important friends are until they are gone. I’ve moved around a lot throughout my life which means losing friends to geography on a regular basis. It’s no one’s fault. You try to keep up ties through less frequent messages and promises of trips. Most people suck at long distance… even platonic relationships. A little over three years ago I moved to Salt Lake City. I didn’t know a soul but soon I had a vibrant friend group and active social life. If you’ve read my book you know this part of the story. I met a guy… fell madly in love…. ditched all my friends… he dumped me. Fortunately, I’m social so bounced back pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, I had a falling out with the person who introduced me to the new friend group. It bummed me out enough that for quite awhile I was content to hang out with boyfriend Gil and bestie Ruby. My job is emotionally demanding so sometimes it’s easier to have fewer people I’m close to because my emotional availability is limited some days.
Life has a way of making its own path and all of a sudden my schedule is packed. I keep meeting beautiful people in the most random ways. These connections are as vital to my continued growth as a person as writing or maintaining existing relationships. The balance is delicate, though. Prioritizing people, sleep so work sucks less, my book (the most demanding relationship I have) leaves little room for me.
The self-help industry is proof enough we don’t know how to figure what we need to keep sane. I’ve had enough breakdowns to recognize when the balance is tilting towards needing to disappear into the bathtub with a book and strong gin and tonics for days on end. In the past, it hasn’t ended pretty. I didn’t know how to use my words and would alienate people, sometimes to the point of no return.
One of the many things poly has taught me is that people who care about me want to know how I feel and aren’t going to leave me just because my brain occasionally malfunctions. I don’t know why the lessons I learned with polyamory are what made that click. Probably something to do with that non-stop communication everyone is always talking about. So now when my schedule is starting to look a little scary… I take a step back to make sure I have time to write because it helps me process and calms my spinning brain. I make plans to bask in the sun by the pool with Ruby while we drink cold beer and maybe get lucky enough to have some hot bods to oggle. I have a random date night with Gil at a slam poetry competition. This way when I am spending time with the new fun people in my life I don’t feel guilty like I’m taking away from existing people and responsibilities. They get to have my full undivided attention, and I get the experience that is making new connections.