Please welcome me (Hasty) to #BeREALationships.🙂
Relationships aren’t something I think people get right or wrong. They just ARE whatever they are. A relationship can last a lifetime but I believe many times they literally last a few short hours or even minutes. Did you make a connection? Then you formed a relationship.
re·la·tion·ship the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
I have had many relationships both successful and less successful. I refuse to think of any relationship as a failure because ultimately I gained wisdom from them. If I were to examine my strengths, one would be that I am forgiving. I have been told it can be a weakness. I am not convinced.
Like most humans I crave connection. I love meeting new people and getting to know them. I love the internet for that reason. Easy connectivity.
One of the most important relationships I have is with my best friend Lizzi. I met her over the wires and was instantly wooed by her. That smile of hers. The way she uses (and makes up her own) action words. And the way she hurts and worries and fusses like I do. I saw so much of myself in her and yet we are so very different.
Lizzi and I recently published a journal. We wrote a poem and decided to share it in journal form so others could write their own happy love stories in it. After publishing the journal we decided to take questions from people and have a bit of fun. We turned them into an interview and then answered as if we were the other person, after which, we switched and responded to their answers. We both got a bit confused but it was fun.
Before I get to that though, I wanted to list the things I thought made our LONG distance relationship work.
RESPECT – We really listen to each other. We respect our differences and sometimes (as is the case with good relationships) we inspire changes in one another.
DON’T TAKE EACH OTHER FOR GRANTED – Sometimes it is easy to dismiss the people you are closest too. You stop communicating because… you feel they will always be there for you. Lizzi and I try to talk at least once every day. She is so much better at it than I am. But she has taught me a great deal about showing affection in everyday ways.
While I don’t think it is good to dismiss your friend it also isn’t very healthy to constantly worry if the other really cares about you. We are both fairly clingy and dependent on each other but much less now that we’ve built a good foundation. Knowing how we are, and growing to trust each other helped.
LOVE THROUGH THE PAIN- Mental illness can make communication really hard. I know Lizzi and I both suffer from fairly severe bouts of depression. We see ourselves in each other in these instances. We offer our love as a resource to overcome whatever challenge we are facing.
PUT BLAME WHERE IT GOES – Lizzi and I never ever blame each other for anything. We make it a habit of always blaming ourselves. Sometimes the blame is on the mental illness. If we feel the self blame is irrational, we step in for one another and assign the blame to depression. We aren’t broken – we are battling.
DON’T USE EACH OTHER – So many times a relationship is dependent on what someone can do for you or how you can help them. It is normal to help each other but sometimes there isn’t anything else. I can’t think of a single time either one of us asked the other for something.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE- Speaking for myself. I just love Lizzi. I want the best for her and if I can help her I will. She doesn’t have to do anything for it. I feel blessed by her friendship and am always surprised by all the good things about it. I don’t worry about losing her. I simply enjoy who she is.
YOU ASKED & WE ANSWERED
Is there a book written by somebody else that you love/identify with so much you wish you had written it? – Katia
Hasty – I feel I am going to be an utter failure at this. I have the worst memory for these details. They take time to stick. And Lizzi… well she loves so many wonderful things and people. I would imagine though it will be someone I haven’t ever heard of and it will be something inspiring and beautiful.
Lizzi – I don’t think this is something she could have remembered because it’s not something I’ve *got* – there are many books I love and am inspired by, a few I identify with, but none I wish I had written instead because I could never have made them as wonderful as the real authors have done.
How’s that whole vegan/meat-lover thing working out? – Byron
Hasty – She doesn’t judge me when I order meat and I support her in her effort to stay vegan. We had a party when she last visited me and I let her make things that were vegan and I made things that weren’t. We did pretty good.
I do try not to eat things that she really would like to eat but can’t. I don’t want to be that person but sometimes (especially with a 12 year old around) it’s hard to avoid.
Lizzi – Hasty’s very sweet in trying to make sure I don’t feel left out, food-wise. I try not to be a prick about being vegan, and I manage it most of the time. I would find it a LOT harder to maintain this particular set of principles if it weren’t for the knowledge that eating dairy would turn me into a walking rash.
What is her biggest fear? – Brick House Chick
Hasty – I think her biggest fear is maybe discovering she won’t be allowed to come and stay in America. Other than that maybe snakes.
Lizzi – LOL! I LOVE SNAKES! I think they’re wonderful. I *was* going to say I don’t really have a fear, but actually the thing which makes me most anxious is the tenuousness of my future and whether or not it will be possible. So yeah. That.
What was your first IRL meeting like? – Mary
Hasty – She drove up into the driveway with her BlogWife Beth. She was quiet and I remember hugging Beth first because I was too nervous to actually meet Lizzi. I was afraid she would be shocked at how different I looked in real life. But we hugged and made our way into the house and it wasn’t even 5 minutes before we felt like the old friends we were.
Lizzi – I was quiet. I was secretly a bit nervous not about how *I* felt, but about how Hasty would feel. I knew for me it would be a pinnacle moment, and it was – like she said, within 5 minutes, perfect.
In ten adjectives, how would SHE describe you? – Gigi
Hasty – Determined, passionate, caring, emotional, anxious, absent minded, clumsy, forgetful, beautiful, and loving.
Lizzi – As ‘absent-minded’ and ‘forgetful’ are both kind of the same and ‘emotional’ and ‘anxious’ have some degree of overlap, I’ll add ‘Inspiring’ and ‘Creative’ and ‘MAGNIFICENT’.
What’s her Death Row last meal? – Beth
Hasty – I imagine it would be filled with lots of the things she tries to avoid in order to stay healthy. All the yummy delicious carby things.
Lizzi – *hangs head* probably.
What’s her shoe size? – Beth
Hasty – Same as mine. We have had some fun shoe shopping together. And also she left me some shoes I wear often and always think of her.
Lizzi – ^^^I love that! *twinklyhappysmiles*
What’s the thing she most likes about you? And the thing she least likes about you? – Roshni
Hasty – Hmmmm. I don’t think she would ever say this but I am not a quick responder so I imagine she would like for me to find more time to Skype and such. We don’t get enough us time that’s for sure.
Likes most? Maybe that I don’t hide my mental illness. That I write openly about the not so pretty things in my life.
Lizzi – She’s right. I would never say that. I know Hasty’s super-busy and does such a lot for other people. I don’t feel our friendship is in jeopardy and I know I need to let her get done what needs to be done without me pestering.
I DO like that Hasty’s so open about her mental illness, but that’s not the thing I like most – the thing I like/love/utterly adore most is how unafraid she is to love, and how determined she is not to let circumstances or other people’s influence dictate how she behaves or responds. She is incredible, and such an inspiration to me.
To what do you attribute the friendship you’ve developed? – Ned
Hasty – It is definitely Lizzi’s love for all things communication. She is so good with connecting with people I fall down in awe of her ability to make friends with nearly EVERYONE. She is so generous with her time. She also finds all those small ways to make someone feel super important to her. I am so very lucky we are friends. She does all the hard work and I reap the benefits of her loving soul.
Lizzi – I *knew* it would be my ability to be the burr which can never be removed HA
What music is she listening to most these days? –Samara
Hasty – I don’t really know. I think she hears something and if it speaks to her about someone she loves she adds it to her playlist. I think she attaches music to people so depending on who she is thinking about will maybe be her go to song for that moment.
Lizzi – Yeah – it’s a complete mixture and changes day by day.
If she could have a super-power, what would it be? – Samara
Hasty – To be able to change the world with her words. To be able to move people to action to end abuse, homelessness, and open the most stubborn of hearts to a better world.
Lizzi – To use words to inspire people to compassionate action would be *glorious*. I wish. I SO wish!
What’s her secret talent? – Kristi
Hasty – She knows how to soothe someone into an instantaneous comfort. She knows how to sit and support someone through a storm without words but with the tips of her fingers. She has a very powerful calming presence.
Lizzi – That’s fantastic! I’m so glad of that. That’s an excellent talent and one I hadn’t really recognized! HOORAY!
What’s her favourite holiday? – Kristi
Hasty – OMG I have NO idea. I am not sure she is a big holiday person but I want to say Christmas because she loves making things for people and she loves God.
Lizzi – Spot on – it’s Christmas, but not for those reasons. Or, mostly not for those reasons. It’s for the traditions and the fact that this was one time in my childhood when we were mostly all peacefulish with one another, and it was bright and twinkly and sparkly and exciting and felt utterly magical. At Christmas I felt most like I belonged.
What’s her irrational fear? – Kristi
Hasty – AGAIN no clue. But my guess is losing a close friendship. She values them all so much and she is always so worried to lose them.
Lizzi – That’s a big fear and a constant one, but I wouldn’t say it’s irrational. I know I’m good at losing friends – tried and proven – just by being me. My irrational fear is mountains. I don’t know why but they’re huge and austere and so cold-looking and I’m worried about them looming over me.
What was her first car? – Scott
Hasty – I always think of her on a bicycle so….. other than the van she drives for work I don’t even know if she owns a car now.
Lizzi – I have a Ford Fiesta Zetec, that used to be my Grandad’s. My first car was also a Ford Fiesta. They’re small, efficient, and you can fit damn well near ANYTHING in them.
What’s the biggest way she challenges you? – Christine
Hasty – One step at a time. Slow down. Breathe. She challenges me to look at myself with a clear vision and a more reality based perception.
Lizzi – I’m glad of that. Reality is so tricky sometimes, and I know Hasty does the same for me when I’m struggling, especially when I’m lost in my brain. We really help one another a helluva lot, and I’m so endlessly thankful for her friendship.
I would like to thank everyone who asked a question. I actually learned quite a bit. You can find what Lizzi thought I would answer on her blog Considerings .
Also if you want to purchase a copy of the journal you can find it here on Amazon.
“People so often say “Everything happens for a reason”, and whilst there are usually trails of cause-and-effect, quite often the ‘reason’ which can be drawn from a situation depends on what you put into it. Occasionally, though, it’s pure serendipity and life can spin on the dime of chance, altering its trajectory through happenstance. Both things were true for us – we ‘met’ online and somehow (perhaps it’s a poet thing, or a writer thing, or just a people-who-are-right-for-each-other thing) we clicked, fell utterly in Friends, and have become keystones in each other’s lives.
We have both been blessed by the unconditional flow of adoration, compassion, encouragement, understanding, and acceptance that transcends the miles between us, and is strengthened each time we meet. This poem was written from our hearts, one to the other, in support, solidarity, and love, which remains bright and shining between us, even on our darkest days. If friendship is the pinnacle of love, then may we ever enjoy this apex. We believe the sentiments our poem definitely go further than the two of us. We hope you fill this journal with heartfelt words and then… give it to someone you love.”