G(OOPS)

I poked around on Gwyneth Paltrow’s site, GOOP, today, because someone mentioned that there is a killer recipe on it for a broccoli and arugula soup. While searching for it, I came across some of her philosophical musings, one of which caught my attention. It reads as follows:

“What do you do when you realize that although you may have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don’t like a friend anymore? That, after time spent with this person, you feel drained, empty, belittled or insulted. My father always used to tell me that, ‘you can’t make new old friends.’ How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better or if you are better off without them?”

This, to me, was a touching entry, and showed a gentle, real, human side of a screen personality that I never really cared much for. It is usually hard (for some of us) to let go of people whom at one time we greatly valued (for whatever reasons). If our memory is even remotely functional, and not fallen prey to too many Pina Coladas or too much stress, then it’s hard not to keep a running tally of all of the good times that you share with people that you feel connected to. Having never been particularly well-adapted to Western “disposable” mentality – which seems to extend as much to personal connections as to plastic containers, Styrofoam, and diapers – I always had a hard time “letting go”. Presumably this is because I had to let go of so much from such an early age. Some called it an “attachment complex”, others blamed an overabundance of “emotion”. Some cited confidence issues and others still a “good girl phenomenon”. Whatever it was, I agree with the above sentiment, and the resounding sadness and possibility of future regret of the personal loss resonated as I read the post.

I must say that my biggest indicator, however, of whether the people that you surround yourself with are valuable to your life is whether or not you find yourself missing them. For example, I miss Stedman all the time. I miss her bubbliness and her positive, patient, grade-school teacher spin on everything (this very same quality often makes me want to kill her, but that’s beyond the point) and her total lack of self-pity. I miss Azadeh’s giggle – that woman cannot stop laughing when she gets going, and it’s the most contagious laugh in the world. I miss Ian and Williams’s humour (I think few people can make me laugh out loud like that. I mean, full on guffaw). I miss Yannis and Antarah’s reality checks. I miss Natty’s cockiness and Lucio’s energy. I miss Neelam and Diane’s warmth. And I miss John’s onomatopoeia. Often.

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