Thursday, May 26, 2011

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" Proverbs 27:17.

Everyone needs an honest friend. One good one who isn't afraid to tell you like it is. Gratefully, I have a few. One of them is my dear friend, Courtney. Interestingly enough, she used to be one of my clients when I was in Technology Sales. She worked for my largest account. Somehow she and I unwittingly got into a conversation about her husband being a pastor at a well known church in the area one day. I revealed that I was a Christian. We formed a bond based on our faith that no one would understand unless you are one of us.

We grew to spend equal time discussing business and matters spiritual during our phone conversations when I'd call on her. I left my company and she left hers. We traded information and pledged to stay connected, we both made good on that promise. Everyone should have someone in their life they know will follow through. It is such a blessing when you realize who those people are in your life. Cherish them.

When my husband died, she came to visit me. It was a long drive for her and she left a husband and two small boys at home to come be with me during an overwhelmingly difficult time in my life. She recognized a need to show up as my friend when I was too weak to articulate my desire to see her. I never forgot that. Everyone should have someone in their life that anticipates your needs when you are too weary to know what they are yourself. Return the favor.

Since then I have, as no one should be surprised, had several ups and downs in my recovery process from this ordeal. She has dutifully listened to me during our times on the phone and in person, trying to understand me and respond with the most thoughtful and earnest assessments and advice that she can derive from my sharing. I hope I have done that for her at least more than once. Everyone should have someone in their life who listens to you. Don't over do it.

Recently she came to see my new house. I was very excited to show her the modest, cottage style home I had been renovating since the winter. It is finally at a place in the finishing where I am willing to let people come see it. Walls are painted, furniture is in and window dressings hung. Just a few things needed to complete its makeover. She is my friend so I knew she'd be happy to overlook the few minor details. We wandered into rooms and up the stairs to the top floor where my daughter's room, a tiny bathroom and my office are. I gushed over my daughter's room. It is my favorite. The walls are sky blue, at the request of my four year old, with white furniture and curtains. The accent colors are bright pink, green and yellow. I know it sounds garish but it works beautifully. We turned tail and walked into my office. I picked a spa palette pastel aqua color the paint sample referred to as 'Sea Glass' with my dark walnut futon for extra sleeping space, and a few white lamps and candles.

I was in the middle of winding down my tour when her head dropped to the floor. She pointed to my iMac and printer sitting on the floor and papers strewn around in a semi-circle. "Why don't you have a desk?" she asked in a matter-of-fact tone. I wanted to make light of it but she continued, "You need a desk". Her insistence gave pause to what I wasn't able to bring myself to consider. I was deliberately, yet subconsciously not making the purchase. Courtney is a career consultant. Her job is to identify road blocks in someone's career and assist in transitioning from one to the next. In short, she has heard all the excuses people will give to tell her how and why they can't succeed. I knew I would not be glossing over this conversation with her. "Mental block." I uttered. "Why?" "Because if I buy a desk and set up my office then I really am working for myself and writing actually is what I do now." she had helped me break through. "Buy a desk.", she ended the conversation and we went downstairs. There was nothing else to discuss. If I wanted to make the commitment to my new career then I had to follow through on making it happen. One of those things is getting all the right tools to do the job well.

Courtney was not afraid to tackle the subject and she loves me enough to not let me go when she knows I need to talk about something. As I write, I am sitting at my brand new, dark walnut, simple writing desk, in a funky fabric covered dining room chair I thought would be perfect for my writing space. The finishing touch is my brushed nickel desk lamp to highlight my keyboard so I can type at night. I feel like a big girl now.

Everyone needs someone in their life who is not afraid to love you enough to be honest. Find out who that person is for you and never let them go.

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