Friendship Hotline: Real Texts. Real People. Real Friendships.

 

"Friendship Hotline, Erica speaking! How can I help you?"

Person who's just like you & me:

I have an old childhood friend that I haven't spoken to much in six months. We've been friends since we were little, always thought we'd be maid of honor in each other's weddings, etc. But it's not like that anymore. We've just lost things in common except for our spirit...just on extremely different life paths...

I harbor some ill will because in almost six months of living in my new apartment she hasn't asked how it is or congratulated me....yet she's gotten upset in the past for me not keeping the friendship alive and keeping in touch so that's made me not want to ask how she's doing---

yesterday I decided to extend an olive branch and text her to say I love the pictures she's posted recently and hope she's well yet I've received no response back and she's found the time to post on facebook. It just reaffirms to me how she is only interested in herself. "It just reaffirms to me how she is only interested in herself- she once posted a status saying she will no longer be answering people's texts because she receives too many. I'm examining my feelings and I feel annoyed and hurt but maybe she's not ready cuz she feels slighted by me like I do by her. Idk it's just always all about her.

And I wanna just say goodbye to the friendship and what it was because its easier and were two different people now but then I wonder well will I invite her to my future wedding because she's my oldest friend? Like idk---I'm just mourning the loss

 

My Response:

I hear you loud and clear. I pulled 2 bits that I want to shine a light on because they affect the rest of it:

1. "I harbor some ill will because in almost six months of living in my new apartment she hasn't asked how it is or congratulated me"

When we set expectations for people's behavior, based on what WE would do, we set ourselves up for disappointment and upset every time. It doesn't mean we shouldn't feel hurt by it, it just means that unless we make our feelings and needs known to someone, we don't really have anywhere to put those feelings if someone doesn't meet our expectations. (This goes for ANY relationship) 

2. "It just reaffirms to me how she is only interested in herself- she once posted a status saying she will no longer be answering people's texts because she receives too many"

Personally, if she posted something like this on Facebook, is her friendship "style" and her clear lack of value for friendship even in line with your values and what YOU'RE looking for in a friendship?

My philosophy is, move toward the people who move toward you. (I DON'T mean wait for others to show they love you before you show them back. NO NO NO. We definitely do not withhold love out of spite. Like, no.

I mean, despite any hopes, dreams and expectations for what friendship was going to look like, (being in each others weddings, etc.) look at the reality and move toward people who are making an effort to move toward you.

Perhaps it's not time to move toward each other today…?

Person who's just like you & me:

Wow yes I agree with all of this. I guess it's in my nature to want to give love and I've been trying to live out what you once said to me which is to not wait for people to move toward me or generate plans or cultivate a friendship and just do it if u want. So I have been, but I guess sometimes in doing that we can get disappointed in how someone reacts

My Response:

Yes. It's both. Nothing (especially relationships) is black & white!

Sometimes we extend the olive branch even if it's not extended back to us (WITHOUT expectations or resentment!)  and other times, we don't because we value people who also extend branches to us.

Person who's just like you & me:

It's hard to fluctuate between the two sides, you know? Because I like black and white a lot of the times....do u find it hard to not harbor resentment should you put yourself out there and not get what u wanted in return?

My Response:

Not anymore; I don't take things AS personal as I used to. And I'm more mindful about my intentions behind doing things. Like, am I doing this with an expectation of something in return? Or am I truly doing this out of my purest heart? 

It's not bad to want love in return! In fact, we must receive love in return for ours. But everyone's love language and values are different. When we set parameters around specific behavior that we expect from others, that's where we need to check our intentions in the first place.

Person who's just like you & me:

How did u get to that disciplined mindful place? I'm trying so hard now through reciting daily affirmations specifically regarding my romantic relationship but it's so hard to be mindful and honest w yourself and not just say 'fuck it I'm gonna do this and if they don't give me in return then fuck them.' But I know that's unhealthy. I'm trying to not be like that anymore.

My Response:

One day, one conversation, one situation at a time, girl. 

Nothing is permanent and we're just humans who have needs. 

I'm not any more disciplined than anyone else; I just don't make the time to suffer in my relationships (IN GENERAL). There is still plenty of suffering but it's more situation-based, not relationship-based. Meaning, things come up in healthy relationships that need to be addressed, but the relationship itself is healthy. The friendship is reciprocal enough for me. If it's not, well, then obviously the level and the type of friendship will naturally change into something else.

It can be organic and natural. It doesn't have to be "I'm just not gonna be like this anymore". That's too black & white for our precious and fragile little hearts.

I know your heart. I know where it all comes from for you, friend. and you're amazing just the way you are. You're enough, your love is enough and there's nothing about you that you need to "fix". You're not broken. We are all evolving and life/relationships are a process. No need to rush or drastically change the process! Let things unfold...

Person who's just like you & me:

Beautifully said....sometimes I wish I could hang out with you in person and hear this while looking at you, lol. I like coming back to these kinds of texts they make me feel good. 

My Response:

<3 I'm SO glad to hear this. I Love you. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Person who's just like you & me:

Nope.

My Response:

Great! Thanks for agreeing to be here!

*END*

Comment below if you can relate or have any thoughts, questions, concerns, etc.!

Wholeheartedly,

Erica

 

The BEST Advice for Creative Writing

 

So then some guy said, "If you let Titanic take you down with the suction just for a moment, you'll gain enough strength and wisdom to swim to the surface. Don't fight it."

"That's beautiful", said Jennifer Aniston. And she did exactly that. Making her way to the ocean's surface, she realized she'd been holding on to the giant, brand new, recently submerged placard with 'Titanic' engraved in it, using it as a flotation device. I was watching this all go down, literally, when I heard my iPhone ping from the bottom of the ocean. Oh. Shit. "I have to go down there and get it, Jen!" My eyes and mouth widen to take a breath big enough to, um, chase the Ti...ta...n....ic for an i....ph...oneeee. (Um. Okay.) And that's when a voice says, "Erica, you've gone off the deep end in this dream. Wake up...wake up...WAKE. UP."

My eyes open and for a moment. I'm bummed I'll never find my iPhone and then I realize where I am, and that my phone is in the living room. I hobble myself out of bed and over to the couch to grab the phone. The thing lights up like the 4th of July and it's a text from a friend that says, Hey Babe, If you could give me one piece of advice about writing creatively, what would it be? And if you need to follow it up with more, I'm all ears.

Perfect! What a perfect question! These are my favorite kinds of texts, b-t-dubs. (That's 'by the way' in 2016 lingo. Keep up). I answered the text right away, as 4 main tips for creative writing popped into my head without even thinking. And I want to share those tips with YOU! (+4 extra ones that add a much needed extra somethin' somethin' when I write.)

1. FOCUS ON THE STORY, NOT THE SENTENCE- Have you ever spent way too much time editing a photo on your phone, drafting a text or writing a story/blog post, like me? Great! Yea. On the one hand, it could be an act of great care and consideration for your intended audience, to find the perfect filter for IG, the perfect response to a text and the perfect descriptive words for a story. And yet, it's all a bunch of hooey if you're not first focused on what you're actually wanting people to hear. Be careful not to lose track of what the whole thing is about and intended to be used for in the first place. Typically, what we want to say takes a lot longer to draft than what we actually want someone to hear, because we're busy scrutinizing things that don't make a ding-dong-dang difference if the story is shit and doesn't go anywhere. Trust me, the sentences and big words and grand images will all fall into place (with room for grammar and spell check, of course) if you keep your focus on Who-What-Where-When-Why-How, first.

2. WRITE WHAT MATTERS TO YOU IN THE MOMENT- Guys, I can't even tell you how fast I'm flying through this blog post. This topic matters to me all the time, but right now, in this moment, it is SO fresh in my mind because the text from my friend was my "call to action". If you've ever met me, even for 30 seconds when I sampled your cheese at the deli counter at Whole Foods, you'd know I have a lot of feelings about a lot of things all the time. But when it comes to writing, when I'm truly moved, I MUST take action. And so must you. You're a writer. You're always going to write, no matter what...but when you feel particularly inspired, take advantage of that in the moment (even if you have to pull over into the parking lot of a random high school, and write a poem that was exploding out of you...do it!)

3. TAKE NOTES ALL. THE. TIME.- This one complements the above tip. If you cannot sit down and complete a piece in the moment, THAT'S FINE! Keep a notebook and a pen handy (i.e. an iPhone with a Notes section) and write down the image, word, phrase, etc. as it pops into your head. DO NOT assume you will remember it later. YOU WON'T. Write it down. AND THEN put the whole thing together ASAP, as the idea, feeling, inspiration is fresh in your mind.

4. SHOW. DON'T TELL.- Boy, I tell ya, nothing sucks the essence right out of a story faster than reading a long-winded pile of nothingness because the author was trying to describe an event, but actually ended up explaining it. For example, if you're a writer, and you're story-ing (my made up verb) about a cold day, don't tell me that you're cold, show me 'cold'; blue, shaky, desperate, icy, longing, not cared for, not looked after, hopeless...etc. I always have to remind myself to give my readers more credit; it's a scientific fact that what we don't see, we will make up and what our mind isn't shown, it will fill in the blanks. This makes for an incredible reading experience; allowing our audience to fill in some blanks, to step into our shoes, with room to wiggle around and find themselves in our words. It's a gift we give to our audience.

**Some Extra Personal Touches that Make Me a Better Creative Writer**

1. OILS- Duh. If you thought I wasn't gonna list essential oils as a way I enhance my creativity and overall being as a writer and human, you don't know me at all, and we should see a counselor. Here are the 3 main oils I use when I sit down to write:

* Focus Blend: This includes Patchouli, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Lime, Ylang Ylang and Roman Chamomile. All intended to keep me focused and engaged so I don't OH! SHINY PENNY!

*Clary Sage: The Oil of Clarity and Vision. I rub a drop of this oil over my chest and a drop between my eyebrows (seat of intuition/6th Chakra) for more clarity...and...vision. Yea.

*Wild Orange: The Oil of Abundance. This oil is associated with the 2nd Chakra, which governs creative energy, pleasure and enjoyment. (All necessities in my writing and thriving process)

*Because of FDA rules and blah blah blah, I can't tell you the brand of oils I use and trust, but if you want to learn more, let me know by COMMENTING BELOW. ;-)

2. BRUSHED TEETH: Morning is usually my peak time to write and I refuse to create anything unless my mouth feels clean. A clean mouth makes a clean voice makes a clean writing piece. Trust me.

3. MY GLASSES: Because I can't see without them and they are amazing.

WELP! That's what I have for you today, my creatives! Also, if you see Jennifer Aniston, tell her I found my phone.

Happy Writing!

Wholeheartedly,

Erica

PS: If you're curious about the process of Creative Writing JOIN MY 5-DAY COURSE! (Next round starts July 25!)