Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Jupiter Girlfriend: The Dichotomy

She's sparkling, ethnic, dark, smooth and lovely in a completely non-traditional, non-American way.

She wants desperately to be embraced, and recognized for who she is -who she sees herself to be and who she wants to be.

At once, she's a mass of hard statements and unanswerable questions.

Not just a friend, but a sister. An intentionally created bond between us that will never change despite age and time and location.

When we met, she was very wary of my initiative towards friendship. Distrusting at first of someone who would engage in conversation with her without introduction. Burned by close friendship in the past, she had a right to be wary, but was easily gathered into our bonds of being only-children, working at the same company, age, interest in the arts, sense of humor. She brought out in me a fearlessness I never knew – a fearlessness of being myself and being accepted for only that. A quick, steadfast bond. A partnership of sorts. Both in adventure, empathy and quest.

Many adventures shared, and looked back upon with laughter, amazement, and lament for times gone by. She's a risk-taker from adolescence to early adulthood – but that has been nearly reduced to a memory. She loves telling those stories, though.

She's from a non-traditional family but became my family at a time in my life; more family to me than I had known in many years.

She's an only child. And carries the pressure, self-doubt, solitude, loneliness that comes with it. She has dealt with the unreachable expectations of parents, and disappointment from parents that all only-children can know. Outwardly, she seems very confident, but has much inner struggle with outside acceptance, self confidence and worth.

She is painfully intelligent. Gets in the way of her self…emotions never dealt with in the past, reconciling these in her present and finding a way of forging ahead to the future – moving past them yet with them in order to be who she is at the same time she’s trying to be who she wants to be. An excellent vocabulary and very well read. Street smart and book smart – both come very easy to her. A very clever mind.

She knows pain, both physical, emotional and psychological. A Survivor.

She was dealt a hard hand throughout her life, constantly running into obstacles some of her own making, some not, and persevering. Still always with the question of "Why must I be the one who has so much to overcome?" Living proof of Murphy’s Law: if anything could happen, it will happen to her. Nothing in her life has ever been easy, except for her own intelligence. Her survival is nothing short of amazing when listing all that has happened to her. Constantly having to put up with life handing her problems in the most simple of circumstances. Knowing that this will never change. Believing that God has and always will give her obstacles because she always proves that she can persevere in spite of them. Not understanding this, not liking it, but not shirking it either. Always on a quest to understand herself and those around her. Sometimes short of temper and quick with a harsh word, but never slow on an apology when one is necessary. Very self aware.

She has a quick wit, but a quick temper, easily annoyed, sharp tongue. Often outrageous in demeanor and behavior. Yet, she's so compassionate and sensitive. She has a natural dramatic flair, often mistaken for exaggeration or carelessness. But that's not her. Things are just felt very closely to the heart, and this is why I love her.

She's frank. She says it like it is. Not maliciously, but as a true Sag., she has often put her foot in her mouth without ever realizing it. Shockingly direct at times. She means well and that is what you always remember.

She had a big attraction to danger but that is mellowing due to her relationship and struggle with getting her life status where she wants it to be (in location and marital status). She's in a hurry to get life started the way she sees it should be for her. She feels behind schedule.

She's creative but also very mechanically and technologically inclined. Computers and technology come very easy to her and she understands it all as if it is second nature. She doesn’t believe in her own creativity, acts as if it is an accident. As sophisticated as her outward appearance can be (it was when I first met her, this has softened a lot over the years), her home is full of feminine touches and warmth. I remember coming to her apartment for the first time and was sure it would be very much full of leather and chrome and very sparse and streamlined. What I found was lots of mauve touches and deep wine colors, some lace, soft patterns, candles and lots of eccentric knick-knacks. Expressing what was often hidden under the surface. It was and is always spotless in spite of her claims to the opposite.

An excellent cook. Loves the good things in life; fine food, fine wine, music, fine art, literature.

Never still or idle. A doer; never stagnant, no moss growing under her feet. Motivated, driven. Naturally organized. High standards.

Idealistic and refreshing. Childlike in her enthusiasm and in the way she experiences things and situations for the first time. Playful. Full of laughter. Silly, loud, boisterous and sometimes when this it not appropriate, but it always works for her. Never apologizing for who she is. Willing to change and grow, yet not compromising of her values, morals, or uniqueness.

A lover of children and passionate about all animals. A lover of the outdoors. A studied dancer, having grace and lack of grace in many situations – sometimes at the same time.

Absolutely, she’s one to count on. Possibly because she has felt she had so little to count on in the way of friends and authority figures in her past and sometimes present. Warm and generous to a fault – sometimes to her own detriment. That is probably the best description and first I would use for her - Generous. An adopter of both people and animals. Always making room in her house, at her table and in her life for someone or something needy, and never asking for anything in return. She has the hope of returned friendship, yet she will never take advantage of that or count on it for herself. Something about always feeling unworthy in her youth…be it because of past wrongs done to her by friends, men, or parents….she doesn’t expect much from people, but is very hurt if kindness, civility and honesty isn’t returned to her. Wants to be counted on. Wants desperately to have unconditional love in her relationship. Offers unconditional love to her friends. Wants to be able to count on someone who will not let her down as others so close to her have in the past.

Parental, yet somehow this is due to lack of empathy and nurturing on the part of her parents who were children themselves when they became parents.

She wants to become a parent, the kind of parent she didn’t have, yet curses time and circumstance as it ticks away the 38 years of her life.

Deeply religious but in her own way and on her own terms – translating Catholicism into something she can live and breathe and practice. All the goodness without the judgment.

Misunderstood by many. Perhaps an acquired taste to some, but one that is familiar to my palette and that I want as a part of my daily diet.

Loyal. Always there for me. Through thick and thin.

Celeste. The definition of friendship.


Lynne said...

What a beautiful characterization of your friend. You are very insightful to have described so well all her qualities. I'm sure she'll be thrilled to read this blog.

edieraye said...

I wonder if I have anyone in my life who knows me well enough to describe me as thoroughly as you have your friend. That in itself makes your relationship special. What a beautiful tribute!

rebecca said...

thank you, lynne. i hope she likes it.

i thought about that, too, edieraye...it would surprise me if someone did know me that well.

in any case, it was fun to do.

i wasn't really looking for how well to write it, but more to be able to get her description into words.

granted, i have a ways to go with structure, voice and all the other stuff about serious writing, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Celeste said...

WOW..for the record, only you could possibly capture me that way. I am speechless for perhaps the first time in my life...I'll be calling you...

Love, "mommy"