Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Who's Your Person?

"I get by with a little help from my friends."
                                                           - John Lennon

On one of my favorite t.v. shows, Greys Anatomy, there is a recurring "bit" involving Christina and Meredith. As Christina once said to her boyfriend, Dr. Burke, "She's my person. If I murdered someone she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor."

Most of us, if we are lucky, have at least one "person".  That one friend or family member who we can always talk to.  The one who we know won't judge us (unless we need it).  The one who our life events "are not real" until we tell them.

For me, that person is my sister. As I sit here typing, I find myself getting verklempt at the thought. If we had a theme song, for me it would be Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans' "Count on Me". Most of the time we think similarly, but when we disagree, we can debate and then agree to disagree.

First and foremost, we can always count on each other.

A few folks were nice enough to share with me and you who their person is -- what this relationship means to them. I hope you will listen to Whitney and Cece as you read their stories and think about your person. Then call your person and tell them that you love them.


My person is someone I've literally known my entire life. Our parents were all college students together and we were put in the same crib during their weekly bridge games. We've seen her parents’ divorce, both remarry. We've been on vacations together. We confided in each other during our teenage years, became roommates in college--which didn't work out so great, but it didn't destroy our friendship. I was in her wedding as a bridesmaid and soloist. We drifted apart for a few years. Life simply took us in different directions, but we'd always seem to reconnect. We're both mommies now, helping each other through the landmines of parenting and giving each other pats on the back when needed. She's someone I can call and say, "I need to hear I'm not going crazy for having to listen to pre-school DVD's and shows for my 4 year old". She calls and asks me if she's doing the right thing when it comes to her 12 year old son, who she's raising as a single mom. Even with her living 3000 miles away, our friendship is as strong as ever and I have no doubt, will literally last our lifetimes.
Patricia Walters-Fischer
Founder Smart Cookie Parents

Let me tell you about "my person" -- Tara. She is a military spouse like me, and military spouses call their "persons" their "battle buddies." Tara and I have been through deployments, started a business together, and we've weathered/are weathering the life of an Army Wife and mother of Army brats. We're like the real-life Army Wives and like Meredith and Christina, we've had good days and bad days, but ultimately we hug it out and are better for the experiences we've had. We've been battle buddies for about 5 years now. Because she doesn't judge me and I try not to judge her, we should be set for another 5+ years of this Army Wife Life together. I look forward to being a retired military spouse with her some day, talking about the good old days, mentoring the young-uns, and being forever grateful we had each other to see it through.
Starlett Henderson
Army Wife Network

[My person] would be there no matter what. She is the person I trust even more then my husband. We talked about the trust we have with each other and support. We both agreed if something went wrong, we would call each other before our husbands. We have been friends for over twenty years. I think 23 to be exact. I can tell her anything. As a friend who is really more than a friend, she is like a sister. I can tell her anything, but I have to expect her response will be true and honest. The same goes for me.
Diane Lang
Health & Wellness Counselor

I am so fortunate to have some amazing friends in my life, so I have quite a few who I could count on and lean on. That said, the person I would call first most of the time is my friend, Ann. She is the most open, caring, non-judgmental, supportive and amazing friend in the world and has been there for me in ways big and small for over a decade. When my boyfriend of 4 years cheated on me with 22 women, she was there, offering to pay for therapy because I couldn’t afford it (meanwhile she was dealing with her own boyfriend drama). When I could not get to her wedding due to a job loss, she forgave me for having to back out of being a bridesmaid two months before the wedding (which I still feel horrible about). When I have good news, she’s the one I want to share it with first and mostly, she’s someone I think about often and take an active interest in her life and her happiness. I feel so blessed to have her in my life and learn something from her every time we talk--best of all; our conversations are like little vacations--always a gift.
Brenda Della Casa
Author/Columnist/Dating Coach

My husband is [my] person. We met when we were sixteen, dated for two years of high school, dated other people throughout college, studying abroad, and graduate school, but always got back together vacations and summers. We ran up huge phone bills before the day of texting and instant messaging. We are now in our early 40's, moved 1800 miles away from our immediate families, and often have days where we don't have time for anything other than exchanging information about kids or schedules. But when we do have time together we have so much to discuss. We remind each other to see the humor and levity in situations which might not have seemed so funny at the time --work conflicts, children conflicts, moral dilemmas, etc. We know from where and whom each other came, and have basically grown up together with each others' friends. I feel very lucky and worry about the day that one of us is not there for the other one.
Julie Arnheim

My "Person" is relatively new in my life, in the grand scheme of things. We have known each other for many years but grew closer after working together on some Fraternity alumni issues. After a particularly grueling year, we ended up falling into a night of deep discussion where we truly "found" each other. He has since become my partner as an artist and entrepreneur. His name is Chris. I can safely say that I connect with my friend and collaborator on a level that I have never be able to connect with anyone in my entire life. We see the world in much the same way. A great deal of our time is spent discussing “what’s the next big thing”, analyzing human nature and feeling some level of pity for the masses who still live in "the box." We see the world the same way because we don’t care about owning homes, wealth or popularity but we see these things as simply tools to do good works.
Mr. Arash

That would be my cousin Suzi. We're more like sisters, which is weird because she has two sisters of her own.   I, on the other hand, am an only child, so it is nice to have her as my go-to-gal for things in my life and vice versa.  Suzi and I have been hanging out together, sharing lunches, shopping, drama, trauma and everything in between for probably about 17 years now. She's my person because she can call me on my BS if necessary and I know if she does I need it. She tells me to apply anyway for that job that seems like it's too big for me because she has faith in my skills. She also is there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on.
Angela Watson

I met my person, Anna in 2002 when she joined the sorority I was in. Since then we have been close friends. In August of 2004 I moved to California and since then we talk every night. She is the one person I can tell anything to and I know will always have my back. We also have similar martial and divorce experiences. She is the one person who won’t judge me when I tell her something crazy I did. She is also there when I need a good kick in the butt.
LJ Maggie

My person is my friend Kathryn. We go through thick and thin together and whatever it is, I can always tell her. She helps me build my business. She is there when one of my critters dies. She is always there for me! We have known each other about 10 years now. [We] live only a few minutes from each other’s houses. [We] are family to each other’s family. And I have no doubt; she would help me move that body!
Dee Finch

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