Becoming your Own Best Friend

My best friend lives far away. And although we talk to each other several times a week, both of us feel the pain of not being able to sit across the table from each other sipping a cup of Joe while discuss the day. We often sigh and dream aloud, “What if we lived in the same town?”

Summer visit with Barb in Colbert, WA

“Hey, do you want to go to dinner with Gary and me tonight? Then, catch a movie?” Barbie jokes.

“Sure, over the weekend, let’s just sit in a Starbucks and talk.” I play along, and then we moan.

Barb on her back porch

Yet as much as we wish this were reality, our reality is that distance forces us to be apart. Daily we face the fact that the one person who knows us better than anyone else on the face of the earth will never stop by just because, “Hey, I was in your neighborhood.”

So when your best friend is far away, life forces you to become your own best friend. Now I’m talking about “a woman best friend” in this post. I know that my husband is my best friend as far as the rest of me goes. But having another woman who has known you the greater portion of your life and still enjoys your company on a regular basis is a priceless gift.

Lord knows my husband listens to my complaining enough to warrant male best friend status. He even tries to offer helpful advice,

“You’re a friendly person. You’ve just got to invest more effort in trying.”

“It’s hard to find a close-by best friend when you’re over fifty.” I argue in return. “By now, everyone has their best friend and women don’t take kindly to best friend poaching.”

Even though he is extremely patient, I know my ranting eats his brain. So this morning I decided to try. Try improving my skills at becoming my own best friend, that is. Call me chicken, but until I get this down, I don’t think the former will happen. I needed to remind myself how to become my own best friend once again:

  • When I write my thoughts and feelings each morning, I’m becoming my own best friend.
  • When I take my disappointment and write it into blog posts and manuscripts, I’m becoming my own best friend.
  • When I take myself on creative dates—as Julia Cameron encourages in her book, The Right to Write—I’m becoming my own best friend.

  • When I spend time doing what brings me a sense of accomplishment, I’m becoming my own best friend.
  • When I decide to focus on busting through those obstacles keeping me from my goals instead of obsessing not having a best friend close by, then I’m becoming my own best friend.
  • When I dare to get to know and work with another writer—my wonderful new online writing partner, Kay—I’m becoming my own best friend.

 

My daughter, Elya, understands a principle of writing productivity. “I write better when I’m lonely, sad, or mad,” she quips.

As an aspiring novelist, she processes her pain by creating characters, conflicts, and scenes. I may not be writing a novel, but I am converting the fodder and folly of my life into fruitful reflections.

Becoming my own best friend means transforming disappointments into discoveries. And along the way, I stop to chat with the most treasured friend I could have ever hoped to enjoy these past thirty-six years,

“Hi Barb, I need to talk. Do you have time?”

“Yes, what’s on your mind?”

9 responses to “Becoming your Own Best Friend

  1. That settles it….we’re moving back to California! What a neat post JoD, but could you please photoshop the photo where I look old and tired and ugly! Cause you know how beautiful I “really” am! ha ha ha ha! The side of my face looks like an old lady apple sculpture!!! LOL
    I feel exactly like you……..and boy oh boy do I wish we could get together for coffee after a day like today! Better idea! we’ll take a flask/thermos of coffee and go sit by the river and talk k? Even though I have also had to learn to be my own best friend ….I don’t think I want to sit by the river alone today….. :)) LOVE YOU, B

    • Ah Barb, I don’t want you to have to sit by the river alone either. We’re just going to have to travel more before we get too old and feeble to walk up and down those plane ramps. I love that pic of you because you so love me in it 🙂

      Ok, I’ll photoshop you a bit.

  2. I loved this post. I’m slowly becoming my own best friend as the years go by. I mind it less and less. I love my friends, but time and distance drives us apart most times!

    • Amanda,

      I like what you wrote and understand what you have experienced. “…time and distance drives us apart most times!” I often think of this process only happening to those of us in our later years but you are young. I guess this is just part of life.

  3. JoDee, this is a beautiful post. My best friend of 35 years only lives across the city but I haven’t seen her in a while. I’m going to go phone her now!

  4. JoDee – this is a beautiful post. Several of my nearest and dearest live within walking distance from me, yet months can pass before we see each other. I love my “alone” time; it’s so peaceful.

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