Friday, May 20, 2011

Step 8: Dear S.

Step 8: Dear S.
K & Company scrapbook paper "Life's Journey".
  Collaged photographs, stamps and printer copies
of clips from calendars and scrapbook paper.

My friend S. had been there for me for eight years.  We met when our sons were both in 2nd grade.  They became best friends, and so did we.  She has made art with me, read tarot cards, attended meditation sessions, helped me move quite a number of times, painted apartments, taken me to and from car repair shops and in general watched me struggle as an artist and single mom.   She had been family to me.

We share these things: creative drive (I am an artist, she a writer), the desire for meaningful work, a raised Christan, now Buddhist, philosophical perspective, mama bear protection of our GT sons, a wish to improve the world through teaching, and the choice to move far away from the place we grew up, each by ourselves many years ago, to make a life and remake ourselves in Colorado.

We certainly went through a period in our friendship when the ice began to get thin.  Maybe the 8th move?  The 5th request for car assistance? Not sure, but the emails got briefer and the meetings for coffee less frequent (she often has to buy).  So now we are in a pattern of closeness alternating with distance.  She tells me life has taught her patience.  She means her sons, and also me.

Now she and I meet for coffee, when time allows, and I regale her with the funny and sometimes sad stories of my very own human circumstances.  She still mostly pays for coffee but I repay her in novel fodder.  It makes me laugh, and sometimes cry, think one of my claims to fame in this life is to appear as part of a composite character in the books written by my writer friends.
My ebb and flow in my friendship with S makes me look at my struggles with debt, under employment and over spending.  And just the starving artist cliche that I've unreeled as my life.  I've just started looking at this in terms of the 12 Step's 8th Step.  This is making amends to those who have been hurt by my struggles with dependence and Independence.
Recovery means telling the truth about how badly I've run my financial life.  Recovery means making amends to those I've hurt.  Recovery means being a better mom to my wonderful son.  Recovery could mean actually marketing and selling my artwork, getting a job that pays me what I deserve, spending more wisely, saving and paying my bills on time.   

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