Lunch with a Friend

So we were both eating and chatting, catching up, going over how our day has been, etc. Then she throws it at me, “So how are you and Susie Q? I know it was tough there for a bit.”

“Um…”

Awkward silence… (In my head at least.)

“You know, (stutter) we’re doing ok… (stutter)…”

I would like to make a lil’ confession. Sometimes I sure do stink at practicing what I preach.

It is so much easier for me to open up to an anonymous blogsphere than to a living, breathing, caring, human in front of me. The internet doesn’t ask me hard questions or hold me accountable to my actions. I don’t have to be vulnerable when I type because I completely control the conversation.

It hit me the other day when I was having lunch with my friend that it’s been a long time since I’ve really opened up to someone.

And let me tell ya, it was hard.

As the conversation progressed and I squirmed in my chair I realized how much practice it takes to truly listen to a question, think about it honestly, allow the painful emotions to come up, and then here’s the hard part: be real.

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I’m caught up in the over-sharing of Facebook and Instagram so my friends have perfect snapshots of my life.  I see that I tend to carry over the same perfectly filtered facade to our one-to-one relationships.  I either speak in metaphors or in one liners that might as well be a hashtag.

“Everything’s great!”

“We’re doin’ awesome!”

“Busy but good!”

I so easily settle into the habit of comfortably closing in.

The funny thing is I stinking love people.  I love connecting with people.  I’m just terrified of being vulnerable.

Isn’t that the most beautiful, interesting human relationship dynamic?

In order to truly connect, be close – you have to first remove barriers, let your own guard down.

It is such a simple truth that it can be easily missed.

I do all the time.  Here’s to practice.

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