A Room Of Ones Own


I was reminded how lucky I was tonight to have the small, sweet, kind space that I have made into a room of my own.

A space to dream.

A place to dance.

A restful place.

“I would never leave,” my friend sighed as she walked in my room.

I smiled.

I sometimes feel like that.

I might get a little lonely though.

We re-connected in class and decided we would be coming out here to my side of town to hang out, she’s staying in a place in the Haight.  Like a surprising number of people in my cohort, she commutes into school once a month.

There are folks from Miami, Fl.

Nevada.

Mexico.

All up and down the Western Coast line from Santa Cruz up to Portland.

There are lots of folks in the Berkeley, Oakland, Bay Area too.

I feel like there may be more folks from out of town than in town, but I may not be correct in that, although if they don’t outweigh the in town students, it’s a darn close call.

Anyway.

My friend came out here to spend time with me tonight.

It was a great Friday night date, girls night out.

We met here, I dropped my books off and prepped my notes and readers and texts for tomorrow (they are in the fridge, I kid you not, I have a large insulated liner bag for the basket on the back of my scooter, I pretty much packed my lunch and dinner for tomorrow in the bag, put my readers and books and notes on top, zipped it up and put it on the bottom shelf.  There may be more text books than food currently in my fridge) and we scooted down the street to Java Beach.

It was perfect.

Apple cinnamon tea, the sunsetting down by the beach, the locals coming in and out, the hum of the cafe, my dear, sweet, kind friend, all ears and eyes and heart.

It is so good to have girl friends.

“Well,” I said defensively, hands on the hips of my periwinkle blue dirndl (this was way back in the olden days when I worked at the Essen Haus in Madison and all the staff wore traditional German costumes.  I used to joke that the dirndl was the German’s idea of a Wonder Bra) “it is a mom cut, she totally looks like someone’s mom,” I repeated back to my friend.

“You’re not used to having girlfriends are you,” my friend said to me.

“What are you talking about,” I tried to knock the defensive tone from my voice, now I was just curious, how did she know that.

“You just don’t tell a girl friend that her new hair cut makes her look like her mom, it’s just not kosher,” my friend explained.

“Oh, I was just telling the truth,” I said.

“I know, she probably knows that too, but it’s just not the nice way to say it,” my friend continued, “you didn’t really have girl friends in high school did you?”

“Nope,” I said.

And to a point that was true.

But there were girls I really wanted to be friends with, some whom I actually got to reconnect with after high school that was really quite amazing, the power of social media, girls who I thought were smart or kind or funny, girls I wanted to hang out with.

And it happened sometimes, I got to be with a group of girls, I was in a peer group, I can see that, but my family dynamic was so messed up, I could never really have friends over.

The friendships that might have developed never really had a chance to flower.

Then there were times, when looking back with some perspective, that I just didn’t trust women, I had a mom who didn’t have a lot of girl friends and if she did, they tended to be women she was partying with.

It has taken time and effort.

I have had some girl friends too that were not good for me and I saw myself needing to get out of the mix.

I have learned.

And loved.

And lost a few relationships, but also kept a few too.

That one dear friend, the one who was so insightful about my not having girlfriends, well, going on 21 years now, 22 maybe.

Not bad.

And new girl friends at school.

Having classmates I want to hang out with and who want to hang out with me is a huge gift.

Women who want to hear my story and I theirs.

It is a lovely reciprocity.

We all have stories.

Some I connect with better than others.

“You just have such a big heart,” my friend said over tea.

To be seen.

To be validated.

To be known.

It is a powerful thing.

And to be told that I am attractive for being my colorful, exuberant, authentic self is such a gift.

First, it encourages me to continue acting from that place of self-love, if only to show other women it’s doable, commendable, and available for them too.

You want to dress as a princess?

Please get the hell on it.

I was in the shower, just now, washing my hair and wondering when I was going to have to retire the hair flowers.

I wore a white daisy in my hair today.

And a chiffon shirt in dandelion yellow with white polka dots.

I felt light and free and full of spring vibrancy.

I realized that I was never going to be too old to wear flowers in my hair and that I was going to give myself the permission to buy some more flowers for my hair if I felt like it.

I digress.

It was just nice to be myself and to spend sweet time with a dear new friend.

We also had dinner and I felt so warmed and lightened.

Blessed, really.

I am such a lucky girl.

Really.

The luckiest girl in the world.

I have the best friends.

Ever.

I do.

 

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