When I was five both my parents lost their jobs at the same time during the pre-Clinton recession. I was the youngest kid on our Santa Barbara Riviera block and the rest of the kids refused to allow me to play with them, except the much older ones who would, in short intervals, play with me more as if I were a toy than a friend… But man did that change quick when my Dad told me we were moving away, “If there's anything you want to do here, do it while you can, because soon we’ll be gone and you won’t have the chance anymore.” I went straight outside to the front yard of Sarah’s house and told those girls the very same thing…
“We’re moving away, so if you want to play with me, then you better do it while you can, because soon you won’t have the chance anymore.”
We spent as much time playing together in my last two months there as we did in all the years I lived on Chiquita put together.
For a number of reasons lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Central Coast streets I grew up being driven through and beaches I grew up running around on, with a lot of the very same people who were with me, sharing in those times… Both young and old, blood relation or not, combined these people are the reasons I am the woman that I am today.
The two women my age I am closest to I still stand in awe of, amazed at who they are, and that they have remained my trusted and respected peers through so much; they are the healthy competition parents wish for their children to have in life. I feel so grateful that somehow, these friendships have morphed throughout the years with the ebbs and flows of life into the space where we are now, and they continue to inspire me.
Mainly, they offer genuine help.
Never is there shit-talking, or gossip, it’s always supportive and loving – everything that is said without the other’s presence is said as if they were sitting right there, in words of pride for accomplishment, and hard-to-hear annoyances alike. We can bring one another our deepest, rawest feelings: our insecurities, weaknesses, frailties, worries and the rest of life’s hard adjective, and here between us they are welcome, maybe even with more kindness than we can offer ourselves. Imagine what we could do if it wasn’t just a few girls we felt this amongst, but what if we opened up our circles to feel this with more souls? Where would the world be then?
My sister-in-law sent a photo of my nephew with his flag football team – their arms all woven into each other’s shoulders, massive smiles across their faces on top of their grass-stained little uniforms – and as it pinged in to both my Mom and my “House of Proffitt” family chat, I could hear my Dad outside on the phone with his own childhood friend. Laughing away, my Dad stood in our backyard in Ojai as his nearly life-long friend I’m sure was doing the same thing in South Bay.
I saw the line the universe laid out right there in front of me: a moment captured of my nephew just laying down the foundation of beloved friends, my own hangover enduring after had spent the night enjoying my own, and my Dad’s, nearly seventy years into his.
Across all time and space, the one thing that remains universal, are the feelings.