Posts Tagged ‘hugs’
I found this blog, The Gypsy Mama, through another blog that I follow called, Halfway to Normal. I’d like to think in real life I would be friends with both of these two women, but the blogging world is strange like that. You can feel like you know someone, without ever really meeting them. I have never met either one of these women, but I appreciate their perspective, their writing and their ideas.
And I loved this one. It’s called Five Minute Fridays. Lisa-Jo posted this a few months ago:
“What if I took five minutes and wrote them down just to see what would come out? Not a perfect post, not a profound post, just an exercise in the discipline of writing.”
So this is my first attempt. It’s five minutes. On a Friday. To practice the art and the discipline of writing. You should try, it.
Today’s prompt: I feel most loved when…
5 min. ready. set. timer. on
I feel most loved when I receive a package in the mail or a card from a friend. I feel most loved when my boyfriend says, “I called just because I wanted to hear your voice.” Or when someone tells me that they missed me.
When I was little I used to feel most loved when I’d climb into bed and find a note on my pillow from Mom. I still feel loved when I find a note scribbled on a napkin or on the back of receipt or on a yellow post-it note. And I feel most loved when someone says my five favorite words:
I feel most loved when one of my students says “thank you” or when someone gives me a sincere, compliment. I like compliments, not flattery. I feel loved when someone respects me and listens to me. I feel loved when someone asks me questions. And when someone tells me the truth.
I feel most loved when I can feel equally comfortable laughing and crying with a good friend. Usually not at the same time. I feel loved when someone surprises me! And I feel most loved when someone hugs me, the good-warm-embracing-slightly-squeezing kind of hugs.
(confession: i added a few extra minutes to include the links and the intro. I’ll be honest. 1o minute Fridays might be more my style)
I happen to think birthdays are kind of a big deal. I don’t mean huge celebrations and fancy gifts, but I do think they are important markers in someone’s life. They offer a chance to celebrate and remember where you’ve been and where you’re going.
This birthday seems somewhat significant only because I remember exactly what happened one year ago. I cried. Yep, I cried on my birthday. I know the song says, “It’s my party and I can cry if I want to” but usually I think birthdays are better celebrated without tears. For my birthday last year I went out to my favorite little beachside restaurant in Santa Barbara with two of my best friends. And while we were sitting over burgers and beers one of them asked, “So, what are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?”
Something Needed to Change
It’s a simple, very appropriate birthday-ish question. But I froze, because the truth is I couldn’t answer it. I tried to swallow back the lump in my throat and squeeze back the tears, but my attempt was futile. The tears came. Slowly at first, and then the whole waterworks show. The thing is it wasn’t a bad question at all, but I wasn’t exactly in a “hopeful-joyous-lets-dream-about-the-future” kind of place. I was so confused and worn-out that I honestly didn’t know what I hoped for in the year ahead. Fear and doubts were more prevalent than hope and joy. I felt stuck; like I was waiting for something to change, but the worst part was I didn’t know what I wanted to change. I couldn’t name the feeling or the longing inside.
So what do most women do when we don’t have the right words to express what we’re feeling? That’s right. We cry. We just let the tears come. Sometimes tears triumph over words, languages and longings. men: a helpful note when your (insert any female in your life) begins to show the first sign of tears, sometimes words are not beneficial. In this case, just hug.
One Year Later
Yesterday I celebrated my 28th birthday with new friends, chocolate birthday cake and a wonderful surprise by someone special. There were no tears and for this I am thankful. But I am even more thankful that I’m in a different place. Not so much physically, but emotionally. This past year has been a lot of letting go of my plans and my expectations. Its meant being ok feeling a little uncomfortable and a lot out of control. It’s meant taking a risk and giving myself room and permission to try, to dream and to hope. This birthday I celebrated the wonderful things that happen when you listen to that unsettled, longing inside in order to welcome something new.
Here’s to every women (and man) who has cried on your birthday. May you know that it will not always be like this. Sometimes painful tears give way to beautiful surprises. So, what am I most looking forward to in the year ahead?
Learning how to celebrating the surprises.
I sat on the beach the other day and watched from behind my oversized sunglasses, as this big, tough-n-gruff dad played in the waves with his little pre-school aged daughter. Absolutely adorable. I don’t know exactly what it is, but there is something so endearing about watching dads tenderly carry and twirl and play with their daughters. Maybe it’s because there is part of me that has always been a daddy’s girl.
I love my dad. He’s not perfect, but I happen to think he pretty great.
My dad has taught me valuable life lessons over the years: As a little girl he taught me how to pump on the swings (probably so he didn’t have to push me anymore). While driving around the city, he taught me that all of the odd addresses are one side of the street and evens are on the other. And when I got my driver’s license he taught me how to check my oil and tire pressure regularly. He modeled how to bargain at a garage sale and always ask for a discount. He showed me how to drive without using any hands (my mom loves him for this one) and he helped me develop an appreciation for maps and books and new uses for old things.
But I think one of the most important lessons my dad taught me is how to melt.
During my first semester of college I drove home to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I was an overwhelmed, stressed, and albeit self-absorbed college student who probably took life a little too seriously. The adjustment to college was hard for me. I strived so hard to do well and succeed, but in the process I didn’t know quite who I was. I remember storming into the garage after sitting in traffic for 4 hours. I was tense and frustrated…probably nothing like the light-hearted, carefree Michelle, you know now (umm, that’s kind of a joke).
My dad was standing there in the garage with his arms open-wide. He embraced me in a one of those big, sweet, long, dad hugs. The only problem was I didn’t really hug him back. I mean I thought I did, but apparently I wrapped my arms around his ribs and squeezed for a quick 2-second in-and-out-kinda-hug. You know the kind where there is no embrace, no lingering- just a tense-arms-tighten-pull-back-quick-kinda-hug. My dad empathetically shook is head. He saw through me, straight to my heart.
“Michelle, you have to melt.”
He knew what I needed. He hugged me again. And that intense, stressed and worried college student’s heart and arms and mind melted. He held me there in the garage, the way a dad holds his daughter when he knows what’s best for her. When all he wants is for her to relax, and trust and rest in the fact that life is going to be ok. Sometimes a hug is all I need.
I have a theory that some people naturally melt when they hug and they my friends, make excellent huggers. Other people like me have to learn how to melt, how to slowly and wholeheartedly embrace someone you care about with the warmth and softness of melting.
So here’s to my dad, for teaching me how to melt.
I love you, Dad.