Yesterday we were celebrating the hen’s day of one of my most beautiful and precious friends. Dani and I have only been friends for 2 years but from the moment I met her I knew she was going to be a pillar of friendship in my life. And I only hoped I could be the same for her.
I was right. She’s the kind of friend who can see straight through you. She knows who you are as a person, at your absolute core, the part you think no one can see. But she sees it and she loves it. Warts and all. Dani appreciates everyone for who they are. She knows everyone is different and everyone brings different things to her life. She doesn’t try to fit them all into the same mold and judge them on their attributes and shortcomings.
These are the friendships worth living for.
When you know who you are, and you love and accept you for you, strengths, weaknesses and everything in between, one of the most incredible feelings in the world is having other people in your life who feel the same way about you. It’s so, so rare and so special.
Last night we were on the dance floor after an incredible day celebrating the unbelievable woman that she is, and she looks over at me, dancing away next to her, she grabs my hand, looks me in the eyes and says one of the most profound things I’ve ever heard:
“Normal is not enough for you. Look at the girl on the dance floor with glitter on her face and her arms up in the air? Don’t settle until you find a man who knows how lucky he is to have that girl”.
She’s right and the flavour of the day was love so it was said in that context but she’s right on a broader level as well. I’m the girl with glitter on my face and my arms up in the air.
Not everyone wants to be that girl. But I wouldn’t want to be anyone but that girl.
I’ve known this for a long time but it’s so, so powerful to hear it from someone else’s mouth. I’m not normal – whatever your definition of that may be. My soul is searching for something abnormal. Something extraordinary. Something invigorating. And it has been from a very young age.
As a child I think I was subconsciously battling with this deep-seeded desire for something different. But when you’re that young you don’t feel as though you have any control over your future. Really. In the true sense. Some of us grow up being told we can be anything we want to be. But you’re still limited by what you know about life (which isn’t a lot yet) and your imagination.
Even the most imaginative kids haven’t dreamed big enough yet at that age. Your vision of your life is constrained by the life you currently lead. The way your family live. You know you can change things on the margins. Your life could be slightly different. But I think subconsciously I wanted a completely different life. I just didn’t know what it could possibly be yet. All I knew is that this one didn’t make sense to me. It didn’t have any purpose and every day it felt like my heart was bursting out of my chest trying to escape.
This desire for something different but a subconscious feeling of constrain twisted me up inside as a child. I lived in fear. I planned and planned for my future. I wanted it to be as amazing as I could possibly make it. But I was still fighting those invisible shackles to make it as amazing on the margins as I could.
At some point in my 20s I broke free of those shackles and all of my fear disappeared. I learned that life is a LONG road, and it doesn’t make sense to plan it all. If you’re constantly visualising what your life will look like you will spend all of it re-correcting your path every time it takes a “wrong” turn. If you accept there are no wrong turns in life, and that every turn is taking you on your own unique path, you stop being fearful of what life is going to be and actually live it!
This approach wouldn’t work for everyone but it works for me. It allowed me to let go of those fears and expectations, and just let life happen, leading me to the happiest place I have ever been.
It’s allowed me to make risky business decisions, meet new people and appreciate every moment for what it is, not what it may be leading to.
I don’t really care where life leads me as long as the ride is amazing.
And Dani’s right, it’s going to take a very extraordinary man to join me on this journey without dampening my spirit or trying to control it because it would ultimately be where his life is leading too. So I have two choices: wait for the perfect match – the man who lives life the way I do; or take the journey solo and don’t sacrifice it for an imperfect match.
I’d prefer to take Dani’s advice and not settle for normal. I’ll wait for the man who loves the girl with glitter on her face and her arms up in the air. He may never come along. But even if he doesn’t, there will be a lot of people with glitter on their face and their arms up in the air at my funeral. My people. The people who supported me on my journey and told me not to settle for something that my soul’s not searching for just because it may be “normal” and expected.