Today, I made a new friend.
I don’t mean that I met somebody new, although I did meet two new people, Crystal and Janu, earlier today at a Sunday brunch hosted by Bahar, a friend of another friend, Bryan. Brunch itself was scrumptious – a cold pasta salad, breakfast casserole, sliced up hotdogs in a spicy sauce, and pink lemonade bring it all together. I was given mine in a glass cup, which was adorably classy. All the pasta, potatoes, eggs, and meat kept me full well into the late afternoon. I may have overeaten a little bit.
When I say that I made a new friend, however, I mean that today, I met a person whose response to my usually controversial stance of not wanting children and spurning marriage was “I’m with you there.” It has been a strange and oftentimes lonely road, this decision. Close friends have either discouraged my desire to not have biological children by saying that Mike and I would have beautiful offspring (and maybe we would), or by dismissing my decision and telling me that when the biological clock starts ticking, I’ll want kids, too.
But Bahar is different. She shares my beliefs about children, owing in part to the fact that we both share the experience of being physically and emotionally affected by extreme hormonal imbalances – not a fun thing to have, boys and girls. Since these illnesses are hereditary, we both came to the conclusion that having kids was out of the question. We both do not want to have biological children. I realize that this is such a very personal decision, and that making (or not making) little human beings with your partner is your choice, but having somebody who shared that idea was such a relief. For both of us, marriage, as well, was not a necessity.
I opened up to her today and confessed things that I usually don’t until at least a few months of knowing them. Sometimes it takes years, sometimes it never comes up. Maybe it was the experience of hormonal imbalance that Bahar and I shared, maybe it was because both of us needed somebody to talk to. Maybe, in a way, Bryan bringing us together was meant to be. Whatever the reason may be, finally finding a person who doesn’t condemn or belittle you for your choices and your beliefs is akin to turning a corner on some random street path and seeing a unicorn: extremely rare and emotionally breathtaking.
I told her about my experiences while growing up, a torrent of memories that normally would have taken months of friendship to spill out of me. More than anything, I guess I felt compelled to justify my complete lack of faith in the world to this beautiful human being who had taken the time to listen to my story and actually relate to what I was saying. I’ve said before that hope is a double-edged sword: it can bolster your failing faith, or it can kill you with kindness. This afternoon, hope was restored to me. I am not alone in this universe – there are people who understand me, from all the trouble with my illness, socially awkward little brothers, the experience of the present/absent parents, to the issues of future choices and how they will affect our lives. There are people who understand and accept this. I am not alone, and that is such a hopeful thing for a jaded, cynical, and scarred person like me.
Today, life has struck a chord with me that it very rarely does. Today, I met a person who understands me. If this isn’t the greatest of things, I don’t know what is. And so the Summer 2014 continues to bring me so many surprises. I am overwhelmed. We really are never truly alone. We just have to keep reaching out in the dark, hoping to find someone doing the same, until we find those who are searching, too. Keep the faith, everyone. Keep the faith.
Where I was and what was playing: Safe in 1008, and Sunday Morning by Maroon 5.