She arrived an hour early when I was lying down from being exhausted. I tend to regroup before people show up at my door because I only have so much oxygen. When I am caught off guard I act chaotic and ditsy. In adulthood I am used to putting a cap on this behaviour fairly fast. But with her, since she grew up with me, I tend to forget that she's seen me be WAY more trivial or odd. I also think I fall back on to autopilot behaviours from childhood. Since I was caught off guard I didn't hide my normal neurotic behaviours.
My husband brought me take out that I was supposed to have eaten before she arrived. I apologized to her while I started cutting into my burger. A gluten free burger is a treat and I was so hungry I forgot myself. Just as I was flipping on the flashlight of my phone she gave a little chuckle and remarked, "I was wondering where your flashlight was and when you would inspect it." I think I looked a little shocked as I am not used to most people knowing my odd behaviours. She laughed again and responded, "You have been inspecting your meat with flashlights since we were teens. I would have been shocked if you didn't do it." I cracked up. I laugh at myself a lot with friends because what else can one do when they clearly stand out? I still laugh at myself all the time with my husband and family but it was refreshing to have a moment with someone who knew me as a child.
This gal and I have always been open with each other about bodily functions, menstrual cycles, and pretty much any topic other people think is uncomfortable. We had a blast discussing the unspokens and by the time we started our movie we had chatted non stop for almost two hours. She remembered some of my behaviours and thought nothing of it. It really threw me off. I don't really get thrown off easily. I am an INFJ so I predict patterns of behaviour in people and am not surprised by much. If I am, it's fairly easy for me to smooth it over and move on. What I am not used to is people figuring ME out. Usually I don't like it, but with a select few I let in, I find it endearing. I still shock people I have known for years, but for those who accept my neuroticism or Maddy Hatter type of behaviour without a second thought...that is a rare magic in my world.
Plus, I don't remember much. It's nice to have had people who have been witnesses to my journey remind me of the girl I was, where I came from, and how I have changed or haven't. I wish I could remember more. These friends can be like walking journals.
Happily, later that night, I chatted to my hubby about the earlier night's discussions. When I was finished and I thought he was nodding off, he suddenly gushed, "I really love you" as he tucked his arm around me and pulled me close. Even after 14 years of marriage I always follow the emphatic 'I love you' statement up with, "Why? I love you too but that's easy to explain- you are loveable...but why do you love me? I mean seriously, WHY?"
I can't help asking him why every time. I don't get it. Why does he love me so much? It baffles me. I am good at seeing other people but I think I lack a little perspective when it comes to myself at times. I do not suffer from low self esteem on most days, I have worked hard to love myself in a healthy way in therapy, but there is that part of me that can't see myself completely. My theory is it stems from being an INFJ coupled with Autism. I literally can not wrap my brain around the fact that someone loves me out of choice as deeply as he does. His response was to chuckle, pull me closer and whisper, "Because you are beautiful, funny, and smart..." Then there was a quiet pause and I thought he was done explaining but he warmly added, "...and you inspected your burgers with a flashlight even when you were a child." I turned around to frown at him, "That is a really strange reason to love me." He replied, "It just makes you vulnerable and endearing. I can totally picture you doing that." And then he kissed my confusion away.
(The caption is wrong- it's 2001 and I am in the black dress with my two closest friends flanking my sides)
The day I told her I had Asperger's Syndrome she simply nodded and casually said,"That makes sense." That was it. I knew she knew what Asperger's Syndrome was because we had both gone to college to study Early Childhood Development together and the topic was covered. I smiled at her, "It does fit doesn't it?" She added,"Well, it doesn't change how I think about you at all but maybe it will explain to others or help you put more words into some of your sensory feelings but you have never been comfortable in large social settings, you have had different reactions to certain environments, you are quite intelligent but also can come across as struggling...I guess I never put it together when we were studying the unit but now that you say it out loud...yup Asperger's syndrome is definitely you." And then we moved on.
Some people would maybe find that conversation insulting or need to know more. I felt it was the perfect summation of everything Rachael and I are. We give and we take. We will ALWAYS be friends until we die...our bond is just there. Yet we both have new separate best friends now and probably only see each other a few times a year. We parent differently and believe differently then we did in youth...yet, there is a tie that fits loosely but loyally. Rachael's laugh is still one of my favourite sounds in the world. Especially when it bubbles up from her belly in a gusty, throaty babble of joy. When she laughs that hard it's contagious and I usually have a tough time stopping my own giggles. At times I am still clearing my throat hours after she has left.
(I am with the glasses and my Rachael is in red)
When we were young we weren't perfect, but the deep acceptance of each other's struggles and strengths were built as foundation for our current lives. She feels a little bit like HOME sometimes. I love to be home. I love people who are home to me. The number of people who feel completely like home are rare. Some of them aren't in my life at all anymore but yet they are, carried with me in a part of my heart that just won't shut off. I am a sentimental soul when it comes to these few and I keep holding on. Luckily, the majority of them are still in my life.
"It was just like a movie, it was just like a song, my god this reminds me, of when we were young. Let me photograph you in this light, in case it is the last time that we might be exactly like we were before we realized we were sad of getting old, it made us restless, I'm so mad I'm getting old it makes me reckless, it was just like a movie, it was just like a song, when we were young."- Adele*
Do you have people in your life that are home to you? What songs stir the nostalgia?
Song Choice: *When we were Young- Adele (start at the 50 second mark for the song.) I have many other songs that stir up nostalgia for me but this one is the newest which is why I chose it.
And because I was going down memory lane- my husband and I dating. ahhhh when we were young: