The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Monday, May 15, 2006

If she could see what I see

She is one of the most intelligent people I know. Growing up, I was always one step behind her in school. I took the ACT (Southern version of the SAT) three extra times just to try to outscore her.

She is absolutely stunning. In our "Thelma and Louise" growing up days, she was always noticed first. She has such natural beauty, people just turned around to look. I got attention for being the outspoken one. She got attention just for being beautiful.

She has such an amazing relationship with her family. Her younger brother went through some tough times yet her family stuck together and it made them stronger. I have always admired that.

She is confident. Not in a "ooo, look at me I'm gorgeous" way. She has actual confidence. She carries herself with grace.

She grew up with dreams and goals and ambitions. When we were twelve, we used to lay in the grass and stare at the stars talking about our futures. She was going to be a doctor and I was going to be a lawyer. Our kids were going to grow up together just like we had.

She is stubborn. If you can imagine, she's more stubborn than me. Being stubborn got her to where she is today. Sometimes it's a good thing. Right now, it's a bad thing.

She said to me on the phone last night "I just can't figure out how things got so messed up." Her husband left her last Thursday. She is the best thing that has ever and will ever happen to him and he has never deserved her. He left her to check himself into drug rehab. Presumably, this means he will be back. She told me she's just tired of it. She is sick of people asking her what she is going to do because she just doesn't know what to do anymore. She doesn't know how she let it get this far and how to fix any of it. I held back tears because I know how hard it is for her to admit this to herself. If I could do anything to take away her hurt, I would.

I did the most important thing I could think to do for her. In a 'tough love' way, instead of trying to build her up, I tried to tear her down. I wanted her to get back to what was really inside of her. No advice or love or words of wisdom from others are going to help her make the decisions she needs to make. She needs to get the strength from within herself.

I spent the next two hours peeling back the layers she has built to keep out the hurt. While those walls may have served one purpose, they are also doing a huge disservice by keeping the smart, beautiful, confident woman hidden. She has become this cynical, unhappy, resentful person. I know my best friend is still in there, she just needs to know it too. I reminded her of what an amazing wonderful beautiful woman she is. I reminded her that no matter how seemingly bottomless the hole she has dug for herself, there is always a way to fill it. I said some things to her that I knew would sting, but that I was aware she already knew deep down. No matter what happens in her life and how bad things get, I will always see my friend for the wonderful person that she is. After 18 years, that part of her has not changed in my eyes and it never will. I just hope I can help her to see what I see.

It's hurts her that so many people around her don't truly know who she is. It's hurts me that she has lost sight of it herself.