“you’re unflappable“, he said.
tonight, after a typical long day’s work of remote sessions, crisis management in the newly experienced realms of my patients and general errands of my own, I landed at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I had a social phone call scheduled. I actually have to schedule my social phone calls because I work so much.
before I headed into the restaurant/penthouse that overlooks Columbus Circle and much of New York City at large, I went to the ladies room. I took off my thick black hat that usually leaves a rim around my forehead. I tied my unwashed hair into a partial bun and, since I didn’t have a compact mirror, I took a picture of my head to be sure it didn’t look too crazy (now pictured in this blog). all this right before some scheduled calls, one of them being an important social catch-up.
my social call with with my long-time friend Kieran: he lives in upstate Vermont. we went to University together in Boston. we were always same-page. we lived in the same dorm freshman year. he seemed to understand me from day one. every year or two, we get on these long calls like no time has passed. every few years we seem to see one another in person and it is like no time has passed. this particular catch-up tonight was not really different than usual, but it hit me a little bit different than usual.
you see, male friends have always been a fortunate strong point in my life. I have many male friends who are happily married and I have never dated them. I feel close to them like I would a brother, and perhaps if geographical circumstances were different I would have married them. in any case, I highly value the strong male friendships that I have maintained (and, in some cases, the incredible women they have brought into their lives). Kieran, the friend that I caught up with tonight, has been a sounding board in my life for over a decade. it doesn’t ever matter how long it has been since we last spoke, we always pick up and start again like zero minutes have passed – we see eye to eye on politics (imagine that!), humanity, science, health and beyond. he is a science, techie, bio guy. I resonate with that, even though my focuses have taken me into a creative and ethereal arena. hey, I couldn’t get EVERY degree on the planet…but I am certainly working on a major merger in my professional and extracurricular interest careers.
anyhow, tonight struck me slightly differently than usual. maybe it was what I have been garnering and focusing on specifically for the past number of years that is gestating so loudly that was met with a much-needed conversation, or maybe it was the fact that I have lost some of my personal connection to pieces of myself that I actually knew decades ago. not to date myself, but yes, I was in college long before social media. I didn’t have a cell phone for much of it. I know I look young, but I have seen and done a whole lot more than my seemingly timeless appearance (no botox yet – thank you Bikram yoga and meat/dairy-free diet!) might suggest. when I forged friendships back in the day, it was just a different kind. the kind where there were no phones to real-time stalk someone. it was the kind that just took at face value the conversation and the person. and maybe you spent a few hours spooning – not making out, even – just to get the “feels” for that person. these are the connections that I will always hold in a different regard than all the rest. the early ones. the ones who knew ME on a specific level. Kieran is one of those people. after college, I had his favorite beastie boys tee shirt for like 7 years. I finally sent it back to him UPS. tonight, as I was filling him in on my latest, like I do every few years, and in between jokes about the times we went to the meet-and-greets with the cast of the Howard Stern Show, he said to me something that just hit me strongly. he said, “you’re unflappable. you were always unflappable”. I asked him what he meant, even though I kind of knew. he explained that at age 18, just by looking at me, he could tell that I was the type of girl no one could ruin, impact, or “take down”. his words kind of came as a shock, because I always considered myself so SENSITIVE. particularly when I was young. I was the kind of person – and still am – that persons of aggression confuse in terms of kindness for weakness. however, it quickly resonated with me that I have become unflappable. so, what was our conversation really about at that point?
it was about two things. one, the way people saw me both was and IS the way I really am. the internal me. the intrinsic me. on my end, it took me years to actually BE unflappable, or so it feels. but in reality, we always are what we ever were and ever will be. so I realized that this person, whom I know for almost two decades, always saw the real me. the real me IS the unflappable me, but my current conscious self only realized in recent years and perhaps even months just how unflappable it intrinsically is. yes, I actually am unflappable. but I sure didn’t see that or feel that in my late teens or early 20s…or, did I? it was confusing – tonight I found myself time-traveling back to the cafeteria in my dorm building, wearing my crazy outfits and acting like I didn’t give AF, and asking my current self whether I actually DID give AF or was I just faking it until making it? I think perhaps both. perhaps my inner and outer fields were merging at that very moment in time, and perhaps they were both solidly authentic. perhaps Kieran met me at my true gestation process. now that is something I can get my head around.
and as we continued our very long conversation of nearly 2 hours, I realized what I already know, but in very comforting form: those who see us SEE US. it doesn’t matter what the outside world dictates, suggests, or who tries to impose upon our truth. little is damaged by way of the actions of others around us as it would pertain to us. what we do, and what others do, boomerangs back at SENDER. every. single. time. like my blog posts about karma etc. though I know this and though I teach this, tonight was a beautiful reminder that not only am I unflappable — a quality that I unwittingly worked so hard for, for all of these years — but that I have always been such. Kieran sees my truth. he has always seen my truth. these are the quality relationships that I will always invest in. it is the way I run my business. it is the way I run my life.
we are all unflappable in a variety of ways, and sometimes we don’t realize it until we actually process the psychological, spiritual, emotional and even physical effects of a notion we intrinsically subscribe to. sometimes evidence of that subscription is years later, even long after the original obvious imprint of our unflappableness. how are you unflappable, and when did you finally notice it after all these years? excuse me while I listen to my Cranberries CD.