I was helping my 9 year old son Donnie clean out his backpack a few days ago. He was handing me a bunch of papers and in the midst of the stack was this piece of art…
When I saw it my heart broke. My son is a good kind hearted kid. He is emotional and tender. He cries when he’s sad and I don’t tell him to “buck up” or “be a man”. He loves to pretend. He has a hard time sitting still and listening for long periods of time. He knows a lot about Pokemon, and did before Pokemon Go came out. He loves to play legos, for hours, and for the past few years has been using his birthday money to buy lego sets. He has a hard time reading. He doesn’t care what his clothes look like as long as they feel right. He loves to talk. He is very passionate. And he has a hard time making friends. But it’s all he wants.
When I posted the above image on my Facebook wall the response was overwhelming and somewhat unanimous, we all “wist” for friends. Most of us feel lonely. Forgotten. Overlooked. Unloved. Passed by. Unworthy. To some extent or another.
I know I do. I have a few really good authentic friends. Girls I can tell anything to and they are really there. They hear me, they hold space for me. But they all live so damn far away. And sometimes I really want one of those friends to go to the park with me but Idaho and Arizona are not a day trip away. And sometimes that thought makes me REALLY mad at God. Like…why would He bless me with these great friends who I rarely get to see? Why?!
I don’t know the answer to that.
So I stay home. Or I do go out but it’s just with my own kids and I don’t get to know other people, other women. Because I want real close relationships and I want then RIGHT NOW. But they take time and they take bravery and I don’t want to wait. I want to skip right past the pleasantries and the talk of the weather-because if I want to know about the weather I will just check the app on my phone or go outside-and I want people to know me, and I want to know them.
I don’t want to be lonely anymore and I don’t want other people to be sitting in their homes, behind their devices like I am, feeling lonely either.
So here is what I’m going to do. I am going to encourage all of you (and me of course) to put down your devices and electronics and get in touch with someone, a friend or someone who you want to get to know better, and do some art together.
For the next two weeks if you use the code “iwistihadfriend” in my etsy shop you can get 50% off your purchase. That means you can buy one drawing for the price of two, one for you, one for a friend. Then, you need to actually call that person (or text them because you better bet I’m probably not calling anyone…too much anxiety), and get together and fill in the drawings. At the same time, in the same room. And maybe, you will be able to talk to them and really get to know them.
I am going to commit to doing the same (aaahhh…this is freaking scary!). Then, when you are done, tell me about your experience. I’d love to hear how friends are being made. How maybe comfort zones are being breached. Involve your kids. Involve your neighbors. Let’s be the change and maybe, just maybe, help one person who is sitting alone right now in the quiet of their own thoughts and “wisting” they could just be seen and heard.
If I get some stories I will feature them here. Or, you can write about it on your own Facebook page or blog or other social media. I will use the hashtag #iwistihadfriend. I am always amazed by the courage that I see in others. And sharing our experiences is part of building connections. So let’s get out there and be the friend we “wist” for.
Side note: I had some folks ask about buying my son’s art. It can be purchased here. Any proceeds will go directly to him (to further his art career and his lego collection, lol).