No Pretense; No Tension
Is it possible I’m actually invisible? I mused as I sat in the “Old Gym”. Never mind the “New Gym” had been constructed 20 years prior. In a community changing at the speed of icebergs, where I sat would forever be known as the “Old Gym”.
I felt where I sat – old, tired, unnoticed.
I still had difficulty fitting in and making friends. I thought it was my “outsider” status. I’d only lived in the community three years. I’d be the “New Girl” in the “Old Gym” for at least a generation.
I wanted my peers to notice me, to think me interesting and desire to include me.
In a split second I’d formed my plan.“I’m moving to Paris,” I announced to my classmates.
My dishonesty was rewarded with immediate interest. As the questions flew through the air, satisfaction settled in as a temporary residence. In no time, my pals asked questions my loosely concocted story couldn’t answer. My web of lies grew wider and more complex until even I had no idea what I’d said.
How I wish I could go back and whisper in the ear of the teenage version of myself. I would tell her…
…pretense and dishonesty doesn’t garner lasting relationships.
At best it creates tension in them and at worst destroys them.
As women, if we were honest, aren’t we still tempted by pretense? Sure we may not make an outlandish claim based on relocation to a foreign country. But I’d be lying if I said I’d never dressed with other’s approving looks in view of my mind. I’d be dishonest if I said I never told the best about my children to validate my mothering.
Twenty-five years later, I’m still the “New Girl” — I’ve moved 17 times in 41 years. Making friends is still a challenge but one I conquer through honesty, not deception. I’ve found when I present a real woman who some days yells at her kids and other times writes sweet notes on their lunch napkins, I don’t have to go looking for relationships. They find me.
In our plastic, competitive world, women are desperately seeking authenticity in their relationships.
So I wonder about us…
Could we be friends?
Could we mutually agree to set aside pretense to grow a relationship with less tension?
Let’s meander down the road of adult friendship together.
I’ll be real and tell you I’ve still never visited Paris, besides their airport for a layover and you can tell me about the time you laughed until milk squirted out your nose. Authenticity will build a beautiful, tensionless friendship.