Here are ten of our favorites.
“After the thunderstorm, Colleen and I sat on her porch on her 41st birthday, nursing warm beers. Cool air cut through what had been a streak of cloying days. Trees shot skyward, leaves jeweled in water and sunlight, reminding me in June 2021 of those I’d stared at for hours nearly 26 years earlier while sitting beside her on her front stoop the day after her dad died.
This time, she was helping me mourn a pregnancy I’d just lost… READ MORE
“If you are lucky, you will have a friend in your life who will listen to you go on and on about your complicated marriage, who will sit patiently and nonjudgmentally as you spin in the same circle, like a cat chasing its tail, for ten years. She will discuss it with you over dinner and while sipping cocktails with you at a bar; during long walks with you and your dogs; over the phone when you need to rail about your discontent. She will look at you with love instead of pity, with sympathy instead of attempts to fix…. READ MORE
“I’m lying on the living room floor, talking into the phone while chewing on my hair, just like I used to in high school. Occasionally I cackle and roll over. My voice drops as we conspire. My best friend of thirty years is on the other end of the line.
My husband glances at me and smirks as he walks by, amused by my girlish antics. I feel bad for him and most men, who never get to experience friendship like this. It’s like a river, wide and narrow, deep and shallow, always changing but ever-present…. READ MORE
“I met Alia on an app for moms called Peanut in January of 2020. I’d never had the chance to date online, and at first, I was paralyzed by the sight of each woman’s face, unsure of whether to swipe right or swipe left. But quickly, I became accustomed to that split second of judgment, that moment of trying to glean some sense of kindness and intellect from pictures of a total stranger. My loneliness was stronger than my self consciousness, and I messaged a few people every day in between diaper changes and feedings… READ MORE
“I forgot the word ‘palindrome’ yesterday. It slipped out of my vocabulary for a couple of hours, as if to go get a coffee or take a nap. I was on a hike with a friend, marching through the woods, talking about the gifts and betrayals of aging, catching glimpses of grouse and bunnies and garter snakes, and I wanted to say something about palindromes, but I couldn’t…. READ MORE
“A blue-walled loft bedroom in an old church converted into condos. A wide leather couch, piled with blankets, in a cramped but comfortable house. A two-level, wood-floored apartment filled with abstract art, dried rose petals, and light. And a cozy guest room in a college town that I still think of as home.
Most friendships involve a balance between space and attention, with both parties weighing the needs of the friendship against the other obligations and people in their lives. During the winter and spring leading up to my divorce, several friends gave me the gift of space in a very particular way: opening up their homes to me, whether they were physically present or not… READ MORE
“I’ve just made the biggest mistake of my life.”
My best friend sobs on the other end of the phone. Over two weeks back from her honeymoon, and this is our first check-in, our longest conversational drought in years. Well, until now. I look back from midlife and wonder if I left her too long, unmoored and adrift in a marital tempest she never anticipated… READ MORE
“I’m not a great friend. I know this about me. I should come with a warning label to all the new people in my life. Befriend me at your own risk!
I often can’t go out to dinner, to the movies, or the concert that everyone else has tickets to. On those rare occasions I can go, it requires planning – there is no spontaneity on my part. And then, a lot of those times, I actually cancel the plans. Cancel the plans that just took weeks to put together! I wasn’t kidding. I’m a terrible friend. The issue, as you know, is that my daughter has chronic medical needs and a physical disability… READ MORE
“I’m thinking of my friend. I see her every so often when I scroll through Instagram and the algorithms put her on the map again. It’s been decades since we’ve lived in the same city and shared secrets, and yet there is still something between us. I’m thinking of this friend. The one who saved me once. When I was at my lowest low. The one who reminded me that I would be okay. But also, the one who let me cry and didn’t tell me to stop. Not once… READ MORE
“My mom didn’t do book club. She didn’t work outside the home. She didn’t volunteer. She didn’t play tennis or golf. She talked on the phone. All day, every day. The long cord wrapped around her legs, head tilted towards her shoulder to hold the phone in place while she peeled carrots and ironed my dad’s shirts. Chatting with friends was her life’s work. Never did the phone go unanswered. It was the other person living with us. Live conversation was consistently interrupted by the shrill ring that vibrated through the house. Inevitably, once the receiver was lifted, she performed a two hour disappearing act… READ MORE
Believe it or not but this will be the tenth Small Steps workshop we’ve held since the start of the pandemic. Join us for four weeks of writing prompts, feedback, and community.
Starts April 11, 2022
Connect and learn in a safe, supportive private community with classes, live events, writing prompts, accountability groups, and more.