There are no shortcuts in life. I learned that this past weekend in Los Angeles. My trip was partly work related and partly to enjoy BritWeek in Santa Monica. I was also assigned to be at a Radical Honesty workshop during the weekend. At first I thought it would just another review of an event aimed at the “personal growth” crowd. Instead, I ended up immersed in the workshop myself. It was all synchronicity.
One moment I’m in work mode, the next I am enjoying British culture near the Santa Monica Pier, and then I suddenly noticed a man on the boardwalk whom I thought I knew. My girlfriend noticed my sudden nervousness. It was Ronan. A man I met months ago who wanted to be friends. Nothing wrong with wanting a new friend except I had been reading way too much Cosmopolitan magazine issues and listening to Kathryn Alice, the so-called “soulmate expert”. Both Cosmo and Kathryn Alice convinced me that when a man says he wants to be friends, it a gentle way of him telling you to go away. Kathryn Alice also added that there was no way a man could be one's soulmate if they just wanted to be friends. It wasn't about soulmate status for me. I was responding to thinking he just wanted me around as part of his admirer's club. So my response to Ronan was snarky, sarcastic, and in my mind intended to cut him off.
What was weird about my reaction to Ronan saying he hoped to be friends a few months ago was how out of character it was for me. Several years ago I had a very similar thing happen with my friend Thierry. He and I hung out a lot and then two months later he said he just wanted to be friends. I said sure. No drama. No upset. No problem. I said yes to Thierry because my guard went down as soon as we meet. All my friends who have been near and dear in my heart for years had the same effect on me. It wasn’t even a question in my mind when Thierry wanted to pals. So what was up with my decision to metaphorically slam the door in Ronan’s face? Good question. I lied.
I said no because Kathryn Alice told me that he wanted to create a club of admirers and I was his latest recruit. Looking back, that was certainly not the case with Thierry, but back then I had not yet met Kathryn Alice and was reading Tatler instead of Cosmopolitan. Nonetheless, Thierry has since been a blessing in my life, as has Alison, Juliette, Declan, Krisa, etc. Each of them felt safe from the start. My gut instinct chooses my friends really. I was comfortable around Ronan just as it had been with the others. What is unique about feeling safe the second I see someone, is how rare it is, as I am constantly guarded around most people. It’s a habit I have had since childhood.