I came across some letters between 40 yr old Anita and her 60-year-old friend, mentor, and former college professor Ruth.
The letters are deeply personal and without a hint of pretension…refreshingly so.
Stuff you would never tell another person, unless you trusted them explicitly….
They cover many of the same issues I wrestle with as a man, and we have as couple.
The letters that I have read so far have covered things like the inner angst Anita was having at turning 40, such as:
” I looked in the mirror today. I didn’t just glance to fluff my hair. I gave myself a good, long look. First, I cocked my head for a general assessment. Then I leaned in for the scarier, unforgiving version of my own reflection.
For the first time, it was a forty-year-old face staring back at me. A smidgen of cheek sag…a bit of something turkey-like beginning on my neck…and some forehead frown lines all staking their claim on this once-unmarred facial frontier…”
Anita’s inner struggles to find a balance between career, motherhood, marriage, and her personal needs.
She had questions about sexuality in their marriage of 18 years.
She wrote about the struggles with an ongoing pattern of anger in her life….
There are a dozen additional letters that I have yet to read, all on topics of substance.
If you’d like a copy of these letters you can get your own copy of them here.
CS Lewis wrote: “We read to know we are not alone.”
Do you have a person or three with whom you have this kind of relationship?
I hope so.
Someone(s) with whom you can unpack the nitty-gritty of your inner world? Someone you trust explicitly..someone who won’t judge you. Someone with whom you can be completely honest and share the most, off the wall, bizarre thoughts that occasionally (or regularly) flitter through your brain?
Not to worry, we all do it.
I have several such relationships, and that is not by accident. Back in 1995 for reasons that are not relevant here, we left a local church group I had sunk my emotional roots into…deeply. Unfortunately, 95% of my closest relationships were people in that group, and by and large, the intimate conversations with those people came to a screeching halt when we left.
Swore I would never, ever again, keep all of my relationship eggs in one basket, in one spot. One of the spin-off results of that decision was to start keeping in better touch with a handful of people via e-mail, interacting on things of substance in my life. That impulse eventually morphed into me starting my first blog.
Same dynamic, just on a larger scale.
Spent some time with a young couple last night that are struggling. Towards the end of the evening, that came up (their struggling).
I was glad they felt safe opening up to us.
Nothing harder for me than “festering” relationship stuff where I feel stuck.
Those of you that occasionally or regularly interact here on this blog. I appreciate it.