‘Til 7 am

Rachel was my mini-me. She’s on PFresh board. It was decided that she was not my mini-me. She told everyone she’s withdrawing from the University for the remainder of the year and planning to be back Fall 2017. Today is her last day for this academic year. She never really stopped being my mini-me.

I see so much potential in her that I desperately would love her to reach. After last night, I think I might be able to be of some help – any support.

Colleen might seem like toughie, but she’s a kind soul. She and Rachel have never been close – butted heads sometimes, actually. She invited Rachel to hangout with me and Colleen last night – it was supposed to be our wine night, but it became a wonderful and multi-focused 8-hour conversation.

We talked about love, relationships, personal development, politics, social issues, economic issues, TV shows, PFresh, and our friends. There were ups and downs and in-betweens and it was wonderful.

I shared my story of my male relationships and how they all got me to where I am today with Anthony, and Rachel cried and Colleen clapped. I had wrapped them both into the story and they actually cared. It was such an amazing feeling. Colleen said she was incredibly impressed with my introspection and was enthralled with my ability to be so aware of the big picture. I could not feel more complimented.

Rachel made me question what “health” means in family and relationships. To me, your mental health includes a certain amount of failure, or you’re not healthy. Relationships experience conflict, but if there is perfect and pure communication – it’s healthy. Well what if there’s not pure communication? Nothing is perfect – so that means there are no healthy relationships. Well there must be some. That means my definition of a healthy relationship is off. Interesting, right?

Let it be known, I live my life expecting everyone to disappoint me. I hide my true feelings and opinions because I expect everyone to be selfish and disrespectful. I’ve trained myself to believe the ultimate goal is always, always being the bigger person. For the first time ever, someone has given me reason to believe in people a little more.

That’s Colleen. A few weeks ago, we had a fantastic, introspective conversation that completely fixed almost every conflict we’d had over the past 2 years. But nothing is fixed completely overnight. During this conversation, me and Colleen got into another conflict – but this time, we resolved through the lens we discovered weeks earlier.

Colleen made me realize that there’s not one form of high intelligence – but I still believe very, very few people on Earth are truly intelligent. Colleen loves argumentative styles. Mine includes disclaimers and validation. So does Rachel’s – she validated me through my conflict with Colleen. Much of the conflict was caused by the motivations I assumed she had and the condescension I thought she was harboring against me – I was wrong. Colleen is not a validator, but  she doesn’t need validation and she asks questions to understand. She said it was interesting to watch me and my mini-me interact with her. She didn’t feel ganged up on or anything, but she was interested in how I needed validation and how Rachel being there helped me. She said she thinks that if the shoe were on the other foot, and the third person in the room had her argumentative style, it wouldn’t have benefited her, as Rachel benefited me. That’s so interesting to me. Even though, in every conflict, I tell all parties that I will be the one to be different in the future, Colleen confirmed that she also could be different in the future. She said something to the effect of, “Just like a couple weeks ago, I don’t want you to think this is just your fault. I’m to blame, too. Feel free to tell me that – I also deserve it.” Which is a thing people don’t say in this world – besides me. There is nothing so freeing as to have your best friend be the bigger person while you’re also being the bigger person. Because that means you’re both the level-headed, intelligent, confident ones.

We agreed that it’s super weird having a best friend so hyper independent. We also agreed that it’s really, really cool. We have conversations plenty of people will never have in their lifetime.

God bless Rachel and Colleen. They are cherished additions to my life.

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