The three most powerful words in the English language when spoken by someone who knows you better than you know yourself. This morning my dear friend Amy used those on me. We were Skype walking (it’s a thing) and within 10 words she knew I was at loose ends. So with no preamble she spoke those words…talk or distract.
I should back up and explain. I haven’t had the best last few weeks. Things have been slightly out of control, nothing I will get into just suffice it to say it’s been sucko. The average person who knows me wouldn’t guess it. I have smiled, been sociable, supportive to my family & friends. To all outward appearances I have been normal.
Underneath it all, however, I have been a mass of seething insecurity. It bubbled out here and there but mostly I have kept it under wraps. So how does someone who lives 6,000 miles away know after 10 words I am a hot mess hanging by a thread? She’s Amy, that’s how. Perhaps it was a quiver in my voice, a forced frivolity I didn’t really feel, who knows. She just knew there was only thing she needed to do. Make me talk or distract me with the inanities of her recent move to the UK.
This morning I opted for a talk. I don’t always but today I needed it. She listened for 20 minutes as I poured out all of the things which had happened in the last 3 weeks. Then at the end when I was breathless not from my walk but from the expending of pent up emotion she made me laugh. She didn’t solve my problems (well one she did) but she did make me look at them in a different light. It’s not something just anyone can do. It takes a special sort of friend.
Since the moment we met 8 years ago, Amy has always been that person for me and vice versa. We rarely need to say what’s going on, we intuit it. It was even what prompted her to call me this morning. She said she just felt I needed her. She was right.
It’s that connection which has led us to travel the continent (when she lived in the states) to see each other. At least three times a year we ran away together. Usually it was some amazing destination where there were plentiful drinks, amazing food and lots of spa treatments. One time it was to Myrtle Beach (yes the redneck riviera). I’m not casting aspersions but when the world is your oyster and your BFF says we are going to Myrtle Beach you stop and say Talk or Distract. When she says she just broke up with her significant other of 8 years you book 2 tickets and don’t look back.
It was one of our best getaways. We drank too much, ate too much, went parasailing, shopped, spent too much time in the sun, flirted inappropriately (only me as I am married but we didn’t pay for a single drink that night) and bought a snow globe. The snow globe was the entire point of the trip. Amy collects them from places she has lived. She didn’t have one from Myrtle Beach and needed one. The last night, in the dark, in our hotel room, she finally told me about the ending. She cried, I cried and all was right with the world.
This morning, as I walked along the trail in north Texas and she walked along the Thames, we talked. I had distracted myself long enough and it was time to let go. Amy was there to catch me and put me back together. By the end of the call (and walk) we were planning our next great adventure in London, safe in the knowledge that not even an ocean could keep us apart.