Tag Archives: friendship

Opening Up

Confession number two of the month – sometimes I forget that people actually read our blog. Now, clearly I mean for it to be read and I love that you all check us out – thank you! But once I hit publish on a piece, it’s on to the next thing for me. I’ve freed up the brain space regarding that particular topic and I forget that only after I’m done with it do other people begin. Earlier this month, I shared that June had been a rough month for me. And while the whole point of the post was to say how much I love my village and how grateful I am for my friends and family around me, I hadn’t anticipated a whole second wave.  I shouldn’t have been at all surprised – you all are amazing.

As usual, once I posted the blog, I moved on. But then the texts and emails started coming in. “I saw your blog post and remembered that I have been meaning to reach out…” “I was thinking about you and then I saw your post…” And many more like those. My village was growing and an amazing thing happened as I started to share more – my village was sharing back with me. And not at all in the misery loves company way – in the thank god we can talk about it kind of way. I’m always amazed at how many similar experiences we share, but don’t know about. Struggles at work. Navigating relationships. Dealing with change. Feelings of insecurity. Not knowing what the hell we’re doing.

Once again, I’m reminded of the power of opening up. When it can seem the hardest to reach out for help or acknowledge that things aren’t going as we’d hoped, simply saying it out loud makes it okay for others to do the same. And wow – is there strength in knowing we’re not alone. So here’s to the power that comes from saying it out loud. Thank you for allowing me to share that my life is messy, complicated and hard sometimes. I hope we can all find the courage to acknowledge that and share with each other. It really helps lighten the load and remind us of the bright, beautiful and lovely parts of our lives.

– Catherine Wemette

About Catherine 

Catherine can’t decide if she’s a dog or cat person and she’s pretty sure she’s not allowed to be both. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.

The Power of a Village

Friends. I’m not going to lie to you – June was a shit month. I won’t bore you with all the gory and uninteresting details, but let’s just go with the fact that it was a shit month (and part of the reason things were so quiet here on the blog). Just when I was getting ready to kick June out and send it packing, my wallet was stolen. From a place where it should have been totally safe. And while having your wallet stolen is a pain to be sure, it’s not the end of the world. I was highly aware of my privilege – the cash that was in there wasn’t that a big deal to me. My cards can all be replaced. I can afford to buy another nice new wallet. The amount of money they got from my credit and debit cards will be replaced by my credit union and the several days it took to make that happen didn’t mean financial hardship for me. I didn’t worry about what might happen if I was stopped with my sad paper temporary driving license. I wasn’t scared to call the police and no one questioned my story or my behavior. It’s important to me to recognize and acknowledge those things.

That all said, I totally and completely lost it when I realized what happened. I mean, flat out LOST IT. I just couldn’t handle one more thing. I’ve been feeling physically exhausted and emotionally spent, and I just didn’t have it in me to deal with this, practically or emotionally. There was a lot that needed to happen quickly on the logistical front and I didn’t feel like I could focus enough to do what I needed to do. Fortunately, there are a handful of people who know what a shit month June has been and fully understand what I’ve been going through. And these people circled the wagons faster than anything I’ve ever seen. I know the saying is that it takes a village to raise a child, but I believe it’s bigger than that – I think it takes a village to handle life, regardless of your age and stage.

Last week I saw the power of my village in full force. A friend came and talked me through what I needed to do first and sat with me while I made the calls. She also provided huge hugs and encouraged me not to hold anything back and just let it all out. My husband rearranged plans, stayed home that night and provided foot rubs to go along with the emotional support. I got two sarcastically perfect cards from people letting me know they were thinking about me. A friend who’s been in close touch over the past month was even more in touch over text, checking in to see how I was doing and distracting me with funny tales of fatherhood. And another friend drank with me on Friday night to close out the horrific week and didn’t care that I got a little sloppy (let’s just be honest – that was clearly going to happen).

I value my friendships and prioritize them in my life, so I understand that these people are there for me in some of the same ways that I am here for them. But experiencing so much of their love and support all at once was almost overwhelming. Not in a bad way, just in a way you don’t normally experience (thankfully – because all this love usually only comes all at once when shit goes down and who can handle that on a regular basis?). It’s a reminder to me that as busy as life can be, nurturing these relationships is of the utmost importance to me and I’m so grateful to have them people in my life. As one person responded when I thanked her for everything she’d done, she said “You never have to thank me. You are my friend and that is what friends are for.” I’m so grateful for my village and quite frankly don’t know where I’d be without them. And while June was shit, I wrapped up the month filled with love and gratitude and that’s pretty amazing.

– Catherine Wemette

About Catherine 

As a child of the 1980’s, Catherine can name all the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins and can’t wait to find out how this will be a valuable life skill. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.

Always On and Always Connected

I got my first cell phone in college, back when Nextel phones were still a thing and I paid by the minute, paid long distance charges, and certainly didn’t text. And I only bit the bullet after a stalled car made me late for work and I didn’t have a way to let them know I wasn’t going to be on time. This was strictly an emergency phone (though perhaps the definition of emergency shifted as the cost of my minutes went down…but I digress). About 5 years after that, I got my first smart phone through work and I’ll admit to being thrilled because as a young professional, it was a sign that I was important (the naivete of youth is adorable, isn’t it?). Fast forward to 2015, and 92% of adults in the U.S. now have cell phones. And don’t even get me started on kids having phones…

This leaves us facing etiquette challenges that just simply didn’t exist ten or fifteen years ago. The Pew Research Center, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, recently released a report, Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette. It’s fascinating stuff.  I share this not to reminisce about the good ol’ days before cell phones ruined our lives or propelled us into the greatest technological era of all time (depending on your view), but I do find our attitudes interesting when it comes to the appropriateness of using our phones.

When asked for their views on how mobile phone use impacts group interactions, 82% of adults say that when people use their phones in [social] settings it frequently or occasionally hurts the conversation. Meanwhile, 33% say that cell phone use in these situations frequently or occasionally contributes to the conversation and atmosphere of the group. Women are more likely than men to feel cell use at social gatherings hurts the group: 41% of women say it frequently hurts the gathering vs. 32% of men who say that the same. Similarly, those over age 50 (45%) are more likely than younger cell owners (29%) to feel that cellphone use frequently hurts group conversations.

And while those 82% said that using phones may hurt the conversation, 89% of adults who own a cellphone say they used it at their last social gathering. 89%. Yowza. Yet, before we mourn the loss of personal connection, of those 89%, 78% reported using their phone for what Pew termed a “group contributing” action: posting a video or photo about the gathering, sharing something that happened, looking up information to contribute to the conversation or connecting with someone at the gathering. My, how the times have changed from Zach Morris’ Saved by the Bell phone…

The report goes on to talk about always being connected, the types of activities for which we use our phones and how much usage we tolerate in different public spaces. As you would expect from a research study, Pew simply presents the facts. They don’t chastise us for our behavior, nor credit cell phones for bringing us together across the globe. Rather, they present the information and let you decide what it means to you. And it’s certainly had the wheels of my brain turning since I read it. What does your connectivity mean to you? And what do you think it says to others?

– Catherine Wemette

While Catherine does now have an iPhone, she still misses her Blackberry and has made peace with the fact that she’s a luddite. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.


…and it feels like crap.

I’ve been unfriended by someone close to me and I have no idea why. I met this friend in grad school — during the very first class — and we got along instantly. He was funny and kind of nerdy — a male version of me! We were friends and study buddies through our grad school experience. Our friendship continued and grew after that. He came to my bachelorette party and, of course, my wedding. We hung out regularly for the better part of 10 years and I thought of him as one of my closest friends. We could talk about anything. My marriage. His relationships. Sex. Work. Friends. Food. Family. It was great and I truly valued our friendship.

He moved from DC to California just under two years ago and it was hard. I was sad and I definitely missed him. I finally was able to visit and we had a mostly great time. Two introverts together for four days isn’t always perfect, but it was fun. We saw each other a few more times after that when he was in town for work and visits.

Then suddenly, he wasn’t as reciprocal with texts. And soon, he wasn’t initiating contact at all. He responded to my texts but his responses were short and he didn’t ask me any questions or continue any conversations.

Then I lost my job in September. It was hard and happened quickly and I really wanted his advice and support. I noticed on Facebook that he was on vacation so instead of texting, I wrote him an email, explaining things about my job and asking when we could have a phone date. He didn’t respond. After about a week, I sent a text asking if he had received my message and asking when he could talk. My iPhone told me he had read my text but he never responded. So then I took a look at Facebook to see if maybe he was still traveling — because that might explain why he hadn’t texted me back. And I found that he had unfriended me!

I was baffled so I sent him a text asking if we were no longer friends and if he was ghosting me. I used a winky emoji to show that I was being light and fun — mostly because it hadn’t even occurred to me that it could be the truth — but that also went unanswered.

I did not call him. I was afraid of him picking up. I was afraid of him not picking up.

I did send one last ditch effort email telling him that I cared about him and wished him happiness but also asking him to at least please tell me what I had done to warrant this treatment — to at least offer closure. That also went unanswered.

And so it seems I’ll never know what happened. It’s been six months and I’ve come to terms with the end of our friendship.  At first I spent a good bit of time feeling sad, crying, and wondering what happened. I had to move through those feelings so I could move on to being angry and annoyed. And I had to spend time wondering if we were really never that close and wondering about what I could have done that was so terrible that it would cause him to react this way. I still have those flashing moments. One so weak on Christmas day that I chose to send him a text. It shows as delivered but not read.

What I do know is that I am a good friend and I was a good friend to him. Not perfect, I know that, but I don’t think anybody is. And I do think our friendship was real. I will probably never know why it ended. Did I do something? Was he going through something? Did a joke comment I made on Facebook get misinterpreted?

I’ll also never know if a phone call would have made the difference. I have chosen to believe that whatever had happened to cause him to disconnect from me had happened prior and that if he wasn’t interested in working out whatever the issue is with me that a phone call wouldn’t be the magic fix.

I do know that friendships ebb and flow. I also know that some friendships aren’t meant to be lifelong. I didn’t think this particular friendship fell in that category. I truly thought we’d be 80+ sharing a drink and having laughs about that time we arm wrestled in the piano bar at Banana Cafe.

This experience has forced me to find peace and to do something I’m not very good at — which is moving ahead without a resolution. It’s very hard for me to fall asleep if I’m in a disagreement with my husband or to finish a conversation that leaves a decision up in the air. In this situation, I had to find resolution within myself because I’m not going to get it from my former friend. It still hurts. It still makes me sad. And, despite being angry, I still occasionally miss him. But that’s ok. I’m moving on and will devote my energy to friends who want my friendship. Like Bette Midler sings, “you’ve got to have friends to make the day last long.”

Bobbi has lived in DC for 20 years and only recently went to the top of the Washington Monument. When she’s not actively being a lazy Washingtonian, she enjoys playing tug with her dog, Camden. You can reach her here to share any of your DC spots that she may or may not visit.