Friday, September 16, 2011

You Get What You Need

     Do you ever listen to a song a million times thinking you know exactly what it means and one day…BAM! That singer is singing something totally different. Sometimes, I’m pleasantly surprised with a deeper meaning than I’d originally thought (Insert “Homeboy” by Eric Church). But most of the time my response is “EW! I didn’t know they were singing about that!” (Insert any Lady Gaga song). So many “good” songs ruined… *sigh* Life is full of mixed messages and simply unexpected ones.

     When I first picked up Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares, I thought I knew exactly what I was getting. Flooded by all of that girly, happy sentiment from the preceding books in this series, I was certain I’d get the answer I wanted. My Question: Do I really have to make new friends? Can’t I just stick with the old ones? The introvert in me has been dreading it. All of that stress trying to make new friends. Then, some will end up making other/better friends, some will skip town, and some will be kidnapped by cows in cool-whip armor (10 points for that reference). In the end, you do all that work for only 1/5 of the friends you started with! Let me tell you---it’s tiring being an introvert. No, I’ll just skip the headache and the heartache. And what better people to support my opinion than the 4 friends who’ve stuck together since birth? Sisterhood totally has my back.

     Then, I opened the book. I won’t give away too much, but it’s pretty obvious that the fab 4 have let themselves fall apart in the 10 years between the last book and this one. 

Brittany’s Internal Monologue: Great. But honestly, I’d never let this happen to my friends! Never mind them all deciding to get married and move far, far away. We’ll still get together. Who doesn’t need a break from their spouse? Like Bre. We’re still friends and she got married like forever ago. Then again, there was that one canceled lunch date. But I forgot I had to work. When was the last time I saw her? Crap. I’m just like them.

     Life-changes and distance are hard to compete with. But life is a book, and you have to keep reading. Fear not. By the end of the novel, you’re reassured that sisterhood is indeed everlasting. After all, who would read Sisterhood Broken or Sisterhood Ended?

     Right before the sisterhood reunites, Carmen brings me my real answer. After a dead cell phone, a rude train attendant, and some serendipitous seating, Carmen makes an unlikely friend. Two long nights of talking lead Carmen and I both to have a revelation. We don’t have “that certain skill some people use when they need to hunt and gather people to love them” (311). Our hearts are “the most exclusive clubs in history” (312). Yet, there Carmen sits “clinging to a man as though she hadn’t first seen him two nights before, but had known him and needed him and depended on him the whole time, from the very beginning” (311). Way to be a traitor, Carmen.

     Okay, okay. If I’m being honest, some of my best friendships started just like that. What is seemingly chance never is. So maybe I’m not convinced that I need to make a ton of effort in friendship-making. I do have a sisterhood that’s everlasting. But I am reminded that every person we meet is given to us (and we to them) for a purpose. When those meetings occur, I’ll at least try to force my heart to “expand its membership” (312). And with any luck, fate/destiny/karma/God will do the hard work for me. 

                            Not knowing
when the dawn will come
                                    I open every door.
--Emily Dickinson

Writing Music: “Son’s Gonna Rise”* by Citizen Cope and “Strip Me”* by Natasha Bedingfield
*Caution: Song titles may not accurately reflect the meaning of the song

1 comment:

  1. I have the same problem. Blast our introvertedness! I stumbled upon a really great article about introverts, actually. You should read it.