Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Fun Never Ends

On a trip to Minnesota to find housing, my father and I stopped by the Mall of America. Of course, this was before I lived here. We walk into the MOA and I promptly had a panic attack. Tears were streaming down my face, my breath came in short jerks, and I motioned to my father that I had to leave. This was not an untypical reaction to crowded new places for me. On my first trip to the bookstore on campus, I also had a panic attack that ended only when I threw my books down on the nearest available horizontal surface without purchasing them, elbowed my way through the crowd, and ran outside to take deep breaths for an unmentionably long time.

My bestest friend came to visit me here last week. It was the first time she had ever been here. Of course, every girl from the Midwest wants to see the MOA. So I took her. And it was with great confidence and aplomb that I led her through the tortuous maze without a negative word spoken about it being a portal to hell.

Props to me for finally accepting life in the city (yay! I gave myself props!). Three years later and I am almost a full-fledged city girl. The panic attacks have nearly stopped. I will never defend Minneapolis in quite the same way that Carrie Bradshaw defends New York in Sex and the City, but if I could give up country music, maybe, just maybe, I could pretend that I'm not a country girl. (Sorry for the SATC reference - my boyfriend is out of town and I may have rented several seasons to watch....hours and hours and hours....since I've been watching so much I realize 1) all problems can be related to a SATC episode and 2) television is a tool of Satan.)

Because bestest friend was in town, I could reflect on trends in my life. I have made friends while in grad school, but my closest friends, the friends I call at 2:00 in the morning when those panic attacks do sneak up, are from long ago. High school, college, OH MY GOD, I just realized that the person I call most frequently is a person I MET IN SECOND GRADE. Anyway, the point is that it's because I have a persona that I've developed since coming here. I think it's to deal with the stress of the city. Anyway, this is not the real person who I am. And the people who have known me the longest know that the act I am putting on is bullshit. And they call me on the bullshit. And since they do, I don't even put it on with them. I can be the person I was before I came to Minneapolis. The person who didn't have panic attacks. The person who was so naive she didn't know that loving Garth Brooks music wasn't cool. The person who cared deeply and passionately and was loyal because she thought she would receive that same loyalty in return.

So with my bestest friend in town, I was able to cut the act. I could whisper mean comments in the movie theater and not get told I was too mean or (worse yet) to shut up because someone else is taking the movie seriously. I was able to get lost in downtown St. Paul and laugh hysterically about the predicament instead of pretending I knew where I was. I didn't have to pretend I knew all the countries in Africa because she wasn't judging me based on my knowledge (or lack thereof). I was able to fall right back into inside jokes that haven't seen the light of day in five years. I was able to me for the first time in too long. And I did all of this because the loyalty is there. There's nothing I can do to her or say to her that would make that loyalty change.

I feel like the loyalty might change with some people I consider my friends here in Minneapolis. It's not that they aren't wonderful people who have supported me through many tough times, but if they heard that story or knew what I did that one time, would they still want to be my friend? After going through so much drama in the past year with personal relationships, I wonder if I'll ever be able to develop a friendship as sustainable as those from times past when I was a different person.

I cherish those friendships all the more knowing that they don't come around all that often.

2 comments:

  1. thought-provoking post, NGS. Inisight-inducing. Makes me realize how relative things are. I mean, I know the Twin Cities are cities, Twin CITIES, right? But they don't feel like "cities" to me because of New York CITY. They feel like all sprawly and open, not like a canyon made of steel and safety glass with thousands of people crammed into it, all swimming in different directions. Don't go to NYC, ok? Or else go on Sunday and stay in Battery Park near the river. Or better yet, watch it on TV, the tool of satan.
    PS. I too dislike crowds. but you probably figured that out already.

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  2. Who can turn the world on with her smile?
    Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
    Well it's you girl, and you should know it
    With each glance and every little movement you show it

    Love is all around, no need to waste it
    You can have a town, why don't you take it
    You're gonna make it after all
    You're gonna make it after all

    How will you make it on your own?
    This world is awfully big, girl this time you're all alone
    But it's time you started living
    It's time you let someone else do some giving

    Love is all around, no need to waste it
    You can have a town, why don't you take it
    You're gonna make it after all
    You're gonna make it after all

    ReplyDelete

 
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