What About Your Friends?

For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses.

-Rebecca Traister’s book

Female friendships are a topic I’ve avoided writing about. I have so many thoughts around the subject and yet nothing I felt would add anything meaningful to this blog. It’s true that I become wholly self-aware and self-conscious around the topic. However I’m here, attacking my trigger.

Where do I begin? So let me say that the age of online friendships is a gift and a curse. I blame Facebook. With the click of a button, you “Friend” someone. Is that all it takes? A passive, mindless act? You may never personally message that person, write on that person’s wall, or even have to remember that person’s birthday (FB does it for you.) But you made a new friend. On the other hand, when I learned of my acceptance into Howard University, I took to Twitter. I couldn’t anticipate the people who extended themselves like @PeaceLuvNicole. We met within weeks, and that made the transition a bit easier. There are people who are eager about taking the relationship offline, and I love and appreciate that. I started becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that I could meet some quality people by just initiating the gesture. Although I dealt with general anxiety from moving to a city where I knew 2 people and had no family, Twitter peoples helped through the process. 

Everyone is quick to “like” my minor triumphs and “heart” my Instagram photos — passive interaction has become the default setting, the status quo.

-Felicia Sullivan

I can make friends easier online. You learn a lot about someone based on what they post. It’s not the ideal way, but it’s easy, less risky and convenient. It’s passive. Trying to make friends in real life involves risk. Meeting strangers hoping and praying it leads to something can be disappointing.

Does she like me?

Does she think I’m talking too much?

Am I talking too much?

She’s so fashionable. I wish I could dress like that.

I’m 30 years old, why is this so difficult?

Truth is, I have a lot of standards because I invest a lot when I care for someone. To me, my standards are like the bare minimum of cultivating and sustaining a friendship.

  1. Thou must not be flaky. I’ve experienced a lot of people that will make plans one day, then inform me the day of that they can’t make it. REPEATEDLY.
  2. Thou must spend quality time. This is my love language, not negotiable. It’s the main reason why I make the effort to see friends that don’t live nearby. We connect when we are actually together.
  3. Thou must show REAL LIFE effort. Check-in with one another, attempt to go out and do stuff. You know, real basic and mutual.

I understand that different people need different things from friendships. I’ve always wanted a group of “girlfriends” that I could count on to do life together with. My history with friends has never amounted to that. It’s not to say it won’t happen, maybe it will take some adjusting of expectations.

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Some posts worth exploring:

What the Market Will Bear: The Long Game of Female Friendships

Sorry I’ve Been a Shitty Friend: A Multiple Choice Form Letter

What About Your Friends?

Life be Life-ing

“Now I use the word happiness very loosely because happiness is not a place where you can live. It is more like a space we cross through periodically, sometimes more frequently or for longer duration than other times…”

It’s October 7th and I’m sitting on my couch debating on whether I want to cook dinner or pop something ready-made in the oven. My blog has been unfamiliar to me for awhile. Radio silence in August and September. Those are very busy times for school-based therapists. Not only is work gearing up speed, but life also be life-ing. You know what I mean. Life continues to be life- victories, upsetting moments, change of weather, change of mood, we loose daylight, changes, changes, changes. Some more drastic than others.

Fall and spring are two of my favorite seasons, in spite of being born in the summer. Fall reminds me that there’s no place like having a home to call your own. It is about getting cozy on the couch, drinking chai tea latte and baking pumpkin spice cake. It’s a season to prepare for the cold winter, because as we know, winter is coming. Fall is also about taking advantage of what’s left of the year before we usher in resolutions, new intentions, and the realization that “damn! Time flies.”

I’m in another transition time. It’s been stirring for a little while. It’s not comfortable and can be scary to think about, but it’s something I want. There’s more places for me to see in this lifetime, more to do, and the DMV area has been real. I’ve had highs of highs and lows of lows here. I got my Master’s degree, a professional license, life-long mentors, and an experience at an HBCU. I fell in love in all its glory and pain. I got my own apartment. I bought my first 2 cars (not simultaneously, yet.) I have a retirement plan. I’ve developed a love for painting and art. I’ve come to appreciate what this move meant to me, and how it has propelled me into what I consider to be an “adult.” Not only am I proving to myself that I can take care of myself financially, but I’m dedicated to working on my mental health by staying consistently in therapy. That’s my life right now.

Adulting and life-ing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. But today I’m thankful for the support I have around me, those I love and that love me, my career, my passion and my drive. There’s nowhere to go but forward.

-She

Life be Life-ing

#SimpleJoys

Image20. The prospect of playing Phase 10. Only because I’m not 100 percent good at it yet.

19. Walking barefoot on my hardwood floors.

18. Girls Night.

17. Wearing a new outfit.

16. Waking up and feeling beautiful.

15. When the sun shines.

14. When someone does something you don’t expect.

13. Connecting with someone online deeper than superficially.

12. Orange juice in the morning. Orange in the afternoon. Orange juice in my drank!

11. When your favorite movie is on TV. Coming to America or Along Came Polly.

10. Seeing bus drivers ‘honk’ at each other.

9. When someone replies instantly.

8. Looking at old photographs.

7. Remembering there are good leftovers in the fridge.

6. Handwritten letters.

5. When people remember your birthday.

4. Having a day to indulge in all of your favorite things.

3. Making a banging home cooked meal.

2. Effortless conversations.

1. Meeting someone you know/hope will be a long time friend.

Adapted/borrowed from Just Little Things.

#SimpleJoys

Meet My Friend, Amir: Video

Amir is Arabic for prince, ruler or prosperous.

My first question to him is What is your name?

AFTER YOU WATCH:

The SLP growing in me wants to point out that Amir, at 3 years old, did exhibit a little bit of stuttering which is quite common at this age. Since I wrote a whole research paper about stuttering you should know that childhood stuttering is the most common form of stuttering and some children eventually grow out of it, while others don’t (for reasons not quite known, only speculated.) Stuttering is considered a fluency disorder, because it disrupts the “fluency and timing patterns” of speech and is characterized by 3 features: prolongations (draggggging out a sound longer than is necessary), blocks (airflow and movement/sound is completely stopped) and repetitions. You may be most familiar with repetitions, as it’s one of the most obvious signs that someone stutters. Repetitions is when “a sound, syllable or word is repeated several times to the point that it interrupts the flow of speech.” We hear Amir saying ‘and, and, and I‘ when he’s telling me about his family, he’s obviously a big talker who wants to share this information with me so I can say his excitement is probably what is causing him to repeat the word “and.” His repetitions occur in a short moment in time and don’t prevent him from getting his point across so I don’t think his parents have anything to worry about at this point. But I would tell his parents to be mindful about it as he gets older, since the longer-term stuttering occurs more in males than females (the last I read the ratio was about 4:1, male to female). [All quotes in this text are from Justice, 2010]

Not like I have the power to go around diagnosing people anyways (just yet), just observing the world around me with more critical/clinical eyes now. Grad School, go easy on meeeeee!!

Another critique I have about myself is that I’m very controlling around children (and in most relationships, as a matter of fact). The video sounded more like an interview than a conversation; I like to be the director. Sometimes certain therapy techniques require we let the children lead and initiate by allowing them time to show us their interests. I wonder if I will have a hard time with this, since I’m always thinking about what to say/ask next, how to lead the child or focus his attention on a specific task…it’s something I’ve been thinking about.

If you’re an #SLPeep, do you find it hard to not go around making assumptions about speech and language difficulties with kids in your family or complete strangers’ speech? How do you keep yourself from not jumping to conclusions?

Feedback welcomed.

Meet My Friend, Amir: Video

Receptionist Commandments

  1.   Thou shall have patience in abundance. Especially on the phone and dealing with arrogant a**holes that believe their call stops everyone’s world.
  2. Thou shall not chew or click and clack gum; use silent mints instead. 
  3. Thou shall not consume excessive liquids as relieving yourself is only allowed once every 4 hours.
  4. Thou shall keep a hand-mirror handy to check teeth status/coverage after meal and/or snacks.
  5. Thou shall unnaturally greet and smile exuberantly, but especially those employees that avoid eye contact.
  6. Thou shall always look busy behind your desk, most especially when the boss passes by.

And most importantly:

7. Thou shall not pass gas while thinking the coast is clear; the parameters are never to be guaranteed solitary.

What are some receptionist practices that irk your nerves?

SOUND OFF!!

PS- Guess who got a joby-job?!

Receptionist Commandments