Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Friends and friendships

My family moved 17 times by the time I was 17.

My father was in the Air Force, so I am what is deemed a "military brat."

As much as I learned from my thousands of "new kid" experiences, countless people I met and numerous schools I attended- to quote the ever-honest Eric Roberts, with whom I had breakfast one morning as we were preparing for his extraordinary work in my feature film The Whole Truth: "Whoa. That'll make you strange."

OK, I'd much rather consider myself, "unique."

One thing I cherished deeply along the way was friendships. I took them so much more seriously than the kids I met because they actually lived where they were. They knew they'd see their same friends the next day.

I knew our time was precious and I would not be there long. It was tough to leave because I tried so hard to feel like I belonged where ever we were, but was uprooted time and again.

At a very early age I realized that my "hometown" was and always will be where I am standing; where my heart is.

Which is why I have no childhood friends; I also have no awareness of having relatives beyond my immediate and small family. We moved so often I did not have the opportunity to get to know any of them with more than a passing glimpse.

Building a new and chosen family of people and pets has been a blessing.

Sorry for the verbosity - this is a very roundabout way of saying that I defined friends and friendships very early on as people who make me feel like I belong with them, and they belong with me.

It doesn't happen often. In fact, it happens very seldom. But when it does occur, it feels like New Year's eve. There's a little celebration that goes on in my heart. There's a sense of renewal.

As exciting as it is, there's also a sense of comfort, warmth and safety; like we're both better people when we're together or even thinking of one another. Over time, an authentic love develops. There's no pressure of time or deadlines or stress of performance. There is a feeling that we can be carefree without being careless; of being free without being thoughtless.

It is revered. Sacred.

And appreciated.

Well over eleven years, my best friend and I have developed a connection that has grown systematically over every day of all those weeks and months. For months at a time we emailed one another every day through times rough and rife with joy. We speak nearly weekly on Skype.

We're very different "types" of people but we always seem to have something to share or teach one another from a distance of many thousand miles. I live in Seattle, he lives in Manchester, England. I'm single with four pets - he's married with two daughters to whom he is devoted - one of whom is in college now.

In times of travail, we are the first - or among the first - people we call. His wife is more than happy to have him complain to me since he also does it with her and her "whine-0-meter" has a limit, and she knows he would never complain/whine/bitch and moan about her (he never has).

I visited him nearly two years ago for three weeks and had the most wonderful time evah! Go back far enough here and you can read the many blogs about my adventures in England, with tons of photos.

Coming from my background, it's not unusual for people to come and go. And for any number of reasons - one of which is attention. Relationships require time and attention. Generally more in the beginning, though if it's meant to be deep and rich and thrive it takes on a life of its own and fills both people with a contentment, gratification and fun that never ceases.

Friendships also feed my innovative nature - I'm a prolific creative machine whose passion for my work thrives in the company of true friends. I'm a person with few close friends, but they infuse me with energy, a joy of life and never ending inspired vision.

I'm in the midst of developing a new friendship that has all these qualities and more. Again, as exciting as it is, there is also a sensation of safety and satisfaction. Of compassion, non-judgement and acceptance.

Only history will show if it's meant to be another lifelong association.

I like to say I treat my friends like lovers (without the sex!), my lovers like friends. It just feels like the right way to show friends they are as valued as the ought to be in my life.

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  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger Digger said…

    Hey, lover! ;o)

    Wow. I have tears. And some very special friends! Proud to count you among 'em ceep. And what a great day to be celebrating that friendship. A day when America once again reaches out the hand of friendship to the whole world. Go Obama!

  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger The Entertainment Corner said…

    Friends ... true friends are so very hard to find. To meet someone who unconditionally accepts the other for who they really are ... priceless!!

    My family moved around so much when we were kids, due to the fact that my parents were not "on the same page".

    Now that I am an adult (supposedly anyway) I have found that all that moving allowed me to see things from a different perspective. Also allowing me to meet so many different types of people. I value that opportunity, even if it did prevent me from developing "life long" friends.

    Never the less, I cherish and care about the friends I do have.

  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger cp said…

    I agree - I got to see so much and meet so many people, I was exremely aware of class differences and discrimination of all sorts starting at a very early age - while at the same time realizing that we all have more in common than differences. I've always looked for that in people I meet - what we have in common. Usually it's values - honesty, integrity, caring, compassion.


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