I got this hug recently, guys. It wasn’t just a normal hug. It was a Hug. It happened Friday night. After the Carol Brunettes performed, we all gathered at Pike Pub and Brewery for drinks and celebration. It was lovely to soak in the laughter and just be with my friends. When it came time for me to leave, the Hug happened. The Hug-Giver was Moses (who apparently has forgiven me for the awkward hugging phase). It was the kind of Hug that doesn’t end when you think it’s going to end. He just held on and I held on and when it was over, I floated away in a cloud of friend-y happiness.
More hugs should be like that. Because see, when that happens, you can’t help but pass along the love. For the rest of the weekend, I made it a point to hold on a few seconds longer than I normally would, to show my friends how much I care about them. And in return, I felt more loved and more loveful. Brilliant.
Saturday morning I woke up smiling and had a whole day to myself. After running around all week, celebrating birthdays and cramming in extra CB rehearsals, I was ready for a day of Lazy or, as I like to call it, A Day Without Pants. Because days without pants? Those are the BEST days. I snuggled in bed with a cup of tea and a bagel and Hulu and caught up on my stories. I ventured out midday to take the dog on a long walk and soak up some of the surprise sunshine that peeked out in the afternoon. I also made some brownies for a party on Saturday evening.
See, a few months ago, I was helping my friends get ready for Burning Man and as we decorated bikes and got the RV, I realized that I wanted so badly to be going with them. And so I told Keridwyn and Betty Nebraska that if they decided to go again in 2011, I’d go too. (I think they decided in that exact moment that they would OF COURSE go again 2011.) They graciously invited me to be a part of their camp (Baggage Check).
Baggage Check was having a December get together and it was the perfect opportunity for me to meet more members of the camp. Y’all, they could not have been more lovely. They were welcoming and warm, affectionate and hilarious. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much in an evening. They went beyond making me feel welcomed; they made me feel *loved*.
Here’s something I realized this weekend, as I was snuggled on the sofa with Keridwyn and Boz, old friends mixed with new: I used to be afraid of new situations, fearful of being in a room with too many strangers. I dealt with that fear by cocooning, hiding away and avoiding. Doing so allowed the fear to snowball, to seem larger than it was, to become more powerful than my ability to deal with it. It was awful.
This weekend I was in many situations with many strangers. And I got a bit self-congratulatory, all kinds of “Hey, check me out being with all these strangers and not hiding away.” But then I realized something amazing. I still cocoon, y’all. I’ve just expanded my cocoon to include these magical people who love me so much, the ones who make me brave and cheer me on and don’t let go too soon when they hug me.
Last night I had a babysitting gig. As I drove home, Christmas music playing on the radio, twinkle lights on houses all around me, I felt complete — full of love and joy and gratitude for everything in my life.
I am floating on joy, y’all. And I very much plan to float into 2011 on the same cloud of love. I will hug longer and love more.
And I vow to expand my cocoon.