Announcer (definitely in the jock jams voice)
"Let's get ready to rumble.."
Loud music playing overhead and the smell of sweat fills the room.
"Ah what a perfect match. We have a tough fight up ahead, hope nobody has too much money on this one. Two back to back champs back in the ring. In the left corner at six foot three, weighing in at 186 pounds, Treeeyy Thompson. In the right corner we have Shandy Thompson, five foot four and 123 pounds. This will be a fight that will be talked about years to come..."
The bell rings... "DING DING".
I am fortunate that when Trey and I have debates they are never heavy, and violence is nowhere present in our relationship. I've said it before and I will say it again I have been very blessed with a husband that will communicate with me. Would not have as healthy of relationship if he locked himself up and threw away the key. However, this post, opinion, diary/journal, whatever you want to call it has nothing to do with our marriage. Yet, has everything to do with relationships. A little over a year ago I was asked a specific question and it hit me hard...
"Who is in your fight club?"
When I say fight club I am not referring to the movie reference or even a boxing match. I am referring to deep connected relationships, fight clubs are real and much needed. This simple question made me think, a lot, and I was destined to know who was in mine. The discussion went further and after I started to ask other people this same question. The answer I received most, was usually a single person such as: "spouse", "sister/brother", or another family member. Yet, I couldn't think of just one person. Fun fact: humans can keep up with 150 relationships - which may be why I couldn't come up with that 1 person. You know the one person they say who would you call to hide a body with? Don't get me wrong, I have an amazing spouse, one I can talk with about anything and definitely called when we found a body. Our relationship has been tested many times and it has been proven solid without another thought. Yet, since that day I have dwelled on trying to answer this question, I realized my fight club was vastly different from the other responses given. Made me wonder if I was that off from everyone else or if they didn't truly think about the depth of the question. Who knows, maybe that one person is all they need, ever. Personally, I have a lot of needs. Feel free to have a sympathy party for Trey. A friend told me the year before we got married that there are boxes that humans need to be filled, think of it like a check list. Each person has different needs that need to be met in a specific way. Not just the physical needs, but emotional needs and even things as the love of cooking food, hosting parties, or crafting. In a fairy tale world (thanks Disney) we believe that one person will fill all those buckets perfectly. In reality, that isn't true - at least for me. Since I am being honest here, although my husband, who really is amazing and I would not be as rad of a person without him, he does not check off everything on my list. I know that I also do not check off everything on his list. For example, I have no desire to ever join him on a skateboard run at Kona, neither does he since we are being truthful. But that is A-OKAY. We both know how important it is to have diversity in your main circle. One's fight club should consist of different backgrounds, beliefs, most importantly love and trust. These are the people one should be able to share their hopes, dreams, successes, failures and their biggest fears with. The ones that you know you can share anything as there is no such thing as "TMI" with this group and jealousy is nonexistent.
However, finding that circle is the tricky part... Finding these people that complete me, has not been easy. I've bled on people thinking they were there for me, yet to find out they instead took pieces of me and used it behind my back. Or worse, they saw my pain and left me alone but always showed up for the good times. What I call the "public relations friends". You still need these PR friends, but you need to know they aren't the ones you confide in. They are like your fans in the stands, but they aren't in your club; they aren't privileged with the password to get in. I know I personally am in some people's fight clubs and fill a big chunk of their check list, but they may not fit mine. I also have people that I truly want to be in my corner but for some reason just never make it in or decided to get out, which hurts but it is part of finding your tribe. Another hard lesson I had to learn over the years was family does not hold the same value to everyone. Just because you are related doesn't mean you like each other and are best friends - it may take 20 years to create a relationship or they may actually never want a relationship with you and your family. Relationships are work and require opening up and allowing people to see the good and the bad sides of you. Whether marriage or friendships, some people just don't like work and are terrified of (possible) judgement, or worse they aren't strong enough to not judge others from their outside perspective.
Coincidentally, this blog has been in the works for exactly over a year. I was asked that question last November and I am just now able to answer it. The people I found in my fight club shocked me, which is silly as our family has endured some serious life events that are only found in a depressing hallmark movie, those who showed up then were not who I expected (or thought I wanted) to be there. Nevertheless, I was and still am grateful for their support. Some of the people in my fight club have been there for me and my family forever and others just within the last few years. Life has a funny way of showing you things, as I thought I knew who I wanted in my circle and kept trying to keep certain relationships alive, when they were long gone and happy to be in the graveyard. The ones that showed up during my quest are the ones that have cried with me, laughed with me, and kept me company when I wasn't at my best - never changing their love for me. It's that friend that drives over 10 hours to see you, just to give you a hug after you tell them "I'm just really tired" two weeks prior. It's the friend or family member that is constantly texting/calling you dumb things just so you know you are being thought of. It's that person that sees through your BS and calls you out, reminding you they are human too but still love you. These relationships are solid. Each of us knowing that we can talk about anything and discuss anything within a judgement free zone. There is no fight, issue or life event we are not able to face together and our doors are ALWAYS open. My circle may be small and extremely diverse; some being parents that are battling in the same trenches we are. Some still thriving in the single world and others are happily married with no desire to ever have kids. We all come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs, which can make our conversations interesting to say the least. Yet our relationships mean so much to me. We don't all live in the same zip code but I am so grateful for them and all they do. These are who I am thankful for this year and every year.