Day 200 – new haircuts, old friends

It is a sparkling, beautiful day for a haircut. I tell the hairdresser that I would be totally comfortable with a mohawk, but I think he wants to test the waters and see how I handle it before he goes chopping too much away. Either way, I am left with an edgy cut and Krystle and I spring out into the street, bumping into my friend, Chris, who I haven’t seen in years. I know when I am in the flow of life when I keep running into old friends. A warmth and a deep smile come about when you see each other again and the energy shifts to immediate laughter and excitement. But then again, when I am with Krystle, there is always laughter and excitement. We sit down at a cool little book store/cafe/bar that Chris works at and flick through a book about Marilyn Monroe. It is hard to tell that this woman was a size 12 and would now be criticised for being too fat. These days even at a size 8, women feel fat! James, who has the unfortunate nickname of TBag, meets us for more laughter. The three of us together are like an explosion of energy. Kelly comes down for a shirt visit after work, I contact another couple of old friends and as we roam about Surry Hills checking out all the bars along Crown and Foveaux, one of our friends is considering opening a bar here. We find Mulled Wine at Button Bar and I am in heaven. It is like Chai and Wine made love! Perfect for a cold winter night. We eat amazing food at the Dolphin and dance at El Loco. When my friend Carla arrives, she immediately joins our small circle and it is like the five of us have known each other for lifetimes. Maybe we have? Or maybe it is just the kind of friendships I make are usually with amazing and beautiful souls, people who are easy to get along with and jump straight into life and conversations. Carla is the kind of girl that hugs you and calls you babe when you get introduced. She is a fashion designer who spent years living in Paris and with her dark hair and striking eyebrows, has a smile that could light up a whole city! I don’t know this now but when I wake up I will still be smiling from this energy that we have created through our connections and our laughter. If friendship could sustain me, then I would never need to eat. If laughter could quench my thirst, I could walk through a desert. If music be the fruit of life, then let’s dance forevermore!

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Day 196 – trusting friendship or trust in friendship

I realise as I stand with my two best friends that it has been a long time since I have allowed a girl to make a connection to me. I had a series of really intense friendships over the past few years that all seem to have ended badly. Best friends can almost feel like a relationship sometimes and the key factor in breaking up with those friends was when one of us got a boyfriend. Inevitably, the boyfriend felt threatened or jealous of the closeness I had with my best friend, was worried she didn’t like him or that she was telling me to break up with him. Ultimately, I would spend more time with my partner and ended up losing the friendship altogether. It has hurt to walk away, but I also trusted that it was for the best, that we had grown apart and that it wasn’t all my fault. But for the longest time, I couldn’t allow myself to trust girls. I didn’t allow myself to make close friendships. I didn’t want to hurt another girl by not being there for her when she needed me, so I kept all my friends at arm’s length. I hesitated if they said they loved me. I didn’t call all the time and I isolated myself. When I broke up with my fiancee, there was the realisation that regardless of that isolation I felt, my friends were still there for me. I made new friends, new connections in India, in Bali and in Sydney. I started to trust friendship again.

The measure of a good girlfriend lies in what she says to you. You know that she moves from acquaintance to friend when she can be honest about what you are wearing. You know that it moves on to good friends when you call each other just to say, “Hi, what’s doing?” and you know for sure that she is your best friend when she tells you a secret that nobody else knows.

Day 173 – a luminous friend has a gravitational pull stronger than the sun

I actually got to sleep before 10pm last night so when my alarm goes off at 6am, I am happy to just lie in bed doing breath regulation. I realise how long it has been since I last did this. Exhale ten seconds. Inhale five seconds. I watch the second hand move on my watch in the darkness. It is so cold outside this bed. At 6.29, a whole half hour of watching my breath, I finally get up and get ready. The sunrise is beautiful as I drive down to Cronulla. There is a beautiful running track that leads to Kurnell. I still feel tired, but the run fills me with energy. I have a long and slow day at work before teaching yoga. My life feels like I am sprinting just to keep up with it. I don’t even have time to go home, so I get ready at my friend Krystle’s house. It is her birthday today so we get pretty together like girlfriends do, sharing makeup with our glasses of wine.

This girl is amazing. I have never met someone so incredibly grounded and self-assured. She is the kind of person that will randomly hug herself tightly and say, “I just love myself so much!” She sees the glass as neither half-full, nor half-empty, but with the knowledge that you can always fill it up again! She is also the kind of independent woman who responds to a meditation CD with the thought, “You can’t tell me what to do!” She is vibrant and energetic. Her energy is infectious and since knowing her, I think I tend to jump around a whole lot more. She curses the hairdryer with her Irish accent and then applies her ‘drag-queen’ makeup. We go out and she spends half the night running around to say hi to all the people she knows. I haven’t eaten dinner, so I rifle through my bag and find some dried strawberries that I brought back from India. I completely forgot I had these. They smell like India and I am taken back to my friend Rupali, who, even with her broken leg, insisted on going out and trudging through bucketing rain just to show me a famous mosque. Krystle reminds me a lot of her, actually. They have the same radiance, the same high energy, and the same strong independent personality. I realise I am also wearing an outfit I bought in India for $8 when I was with Rupali in Pushkar, that same day it rained so heavily. Sitting around talking to some friends, a man tells me he wants to jump across the table and kiss my forehead. I am a little shocked, so I say, “forehead is an interesting choice. It is almost a little fatherly. May I ask why you would kiss my forehead and not my hand or my cheek?” He told me that he believed the forehead had a special quality about it, that it had a strong energy and that he really liked my energy. Where do these people come from? It’s like I am a magnet for spiritually minded strangers who talk to me about energy. It isn’t like I am dressed like a hippy. Although this jumpsuit is from India, it is black and has been carefully matched with bright red pumps and my favourite red lipstick. This is carefully orchestrated fashion. You wouldn’t know I was a yoga teacher looking at me today, especially with a glass of sparkling in my hand. And yet, here I am, talking to a perfect stranger about the power and attraction of the third eye centre in the middle of the forehead. Thankfully, this man stays on his own side of the table, and my forehead remains unkissed.

With Krystle radiating like the sun, her gravitational pull so strong that we all bond around this central person, I have made such close friendships that I am now feeling deeply attached to Sydney. I tell her that for the first time in a long time, I am not looking at flights to Africa or India or Paris. I don’t feel like I am running away anymore. I feel like I am running towards this brighter future. I feel like I am present and enjoying being here now and now here. Thank you, Krystle. Happy Birthday. xx