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Thoughts On Time & Holding Grudges From #Wisdom Well My Guest Post

Guest Post: Wendy Abrams | October 8, 2021

Are You A Grudge Holder? Re-evaluate The Grudge.

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No matter how enlightened we want to be, grudges happen and can rob you of precious time with life’s best gift … love. I learned that lesson when I reconnected with my old best friend at a hotel lobby in New York after not speaking to her for almost ten years.

 

I live in LA, she lives in NYC, but we managed the distance and the years until we didn’t. We’d known every aspect of each other since childhood, and then I buried my love for her after we hit a fork in our lives. I built a grudge, feeling left out of her world and not expressing it well. After her second child started crawling, our communication styles and attention shifted. My feelings of hurt and the distance created a wedge that robbed me of knowing her girls, being in her inner life, or confiding in the waves of adventure and intimacy that can’t be recapped.

We had different lifestyles around our definition of family and I wasn’t a priority. Resentment got the better of me even though I was living a full life. I don’t have the answers how to navigate that dance, but I do know that missing out on time and shutting down was just sad.

So, on one of my trips to New York, I took a chance and sent her an email. It was the holidays, I was in my 50’s and I missed her. I felt like I was on a first date waiting in the lobby of the Bowery fidgeting with my appearance and the suspense of seeing her walk through the door.

We hugged, admitted we were nervous, cracked up and went to dinner. We didn’t go over the details of our “break up” but we did delight in the contours of our faces, the sound of our laughter, the shared jokes and tender love immediately felt. Her signature was a part of my DNA; our years of closeness were some of my best. Expressing feelings, needs and putting your ass on the line is worth the risk instead of just getting mad or closing the door. Trust me, my old style of holding a grudge gave me no joy. Having the courage to reach out did.

We took a cab to her apartment so I could see her grown-up daughters who had no recollection of me from when they were little. One was in college and the other in high school. They were babies and toddlers the last time I saw them.

Our New York reunion was eight years ago; from there, we’ve cobbled together a new chapter. In March 2020, as Covid hit, she was in LA working on a movie. We had dinner and our tender underbellies were showing. “I’m sorry I couldn’t express how I was feeling back then. I feel like we lost so many years,” I confessed tearfully, feeling the weight of the time missed again as the world was shutting down. The urgency of the moment made me even more sentimental.

"I always felt like I was disappointing you because we were in different places," she said. I had expectations that messed up my ability to express my truth. Making some noise, asking to be seen and heard is worth the risk. I don’t always get what I need, but I do cherish what I have and that is resilience. The art is in the navigation and I’m still learning.

Maybe it takes a health scare or a milestone birthday or time. Managing expectations doesn’t hurt either. They oscillate based on the different seasons of our lives. She sent me notes I had written her in high school to remind me of our love and I sent her the notes she wrote me. I would get a text during the pandemic, a photo of us, a memory, a blessing and I felt seen again like opening up a treasure chest instead of a wound.

Loosening a grudge and finding a new path to someone you care about, and being willing to do it takes just a phone call or a text or an email. It’s ok to hit send, your life might transform.

Wendy is a writer and communications consultant based in Los Angeles with a focus on conservation, storytelling, nature based resort design, the slow life and people and places that inspire. She is a nature lover and also a fiction writer working on a collection of stories called Uncomfortable Women. She blogs about the slow life from travel to thought leaders at onslowlife.com and loves to savor the present moment and replicate her beloved Mediterranean with alfresco meals for her friends and family in her Spanish courtyard.


10/19/2021