On the phone with a friend

Earlier in the day, I thought of a friend for some time.

I missed her presence. We hadn’t spoken, much less see each other, for close to two years. And definitely not since ’21 began.

Ruminating on a 22 January ’21 afternoon.

I couldn’t text because my area had electricity cut off at the time. So the network was off. I put off sending the text for around 10:00PM, after the electricity had been restored.

I went for a run in the early evening hours. When I returned to the house, I’d missed her call.

I find it fascinating when people feel the need to connect, simultaneously. Telepathy and things like this.

I texted her. She called.

The conversation lasted the equivalent of a traditional radio show. The network disconnected during the chat, but we reconnected.

The conversation went on for that long because it was wide ranging. We discussed health and the mind spaces we’re in, careers and work projects currently underway, and how to create more work opportunities.

We chewed on the intricacies of (and the nexus between) self esteem and creative work. How it shows up in the delivery of the work, or in its presentation. And, how does it negatively affect personal growth? How does it affect the ability to assess and deliver commercial value in business?

I learned about the importance of the fight to never lose oneself. About keeping alive the connection to the things that set one’s heart on fire.

We changed tack, and touched on growing up. Especially how parents ‘grow more human’ by the day. The more we grow up and run into challenges and triumphs of our own, they cease to be superheroes in our eyes. They are human.

The curtain is drawn, and there it is: life in plain and undisguised terms. It is served uncensored and cold — and you do the dishes 😉 .

It’s a chance to grow and toughen up.

A calm understanding that my parents did their utmost best to raise me descends on me. And that’s exactly what I am doing now. It’s what you are doing too. We are winging it, just like they did.

We talked mental health, at length, and the phone call turned into a space for expression about the challenges we dealt with during the previous year.

Therapeutic.

The best part about the conversation was the clarity it gave me.

The whole of December ’20 and January had been focused on how to change direction with my work. I asked myself questions about the sort of projects I want to work on, and how I want to do that work. 

Do I even want to continue to write?

The phone call, the stories and a fresh perspective shared with me, answered questions I needed to work out.

As always, it was good for the soul to be on the phone with a friend. A long conversation, punctuated by laughter and comfortable silence.

Oh, damn. Check the time: 03:29AM.

By THEMBA JAY

A wordsmith. I write and edit. I speak and facilitate public conversations.

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