Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mysteries of Relationship



You know how some people, by virtue of who knows what, bring out the best in you? Other folks have the opposite effect. I wonder why? I'm sure some component of personality is part of the equation. If I really like someone, it seems natural that I would be the best possible Reya when I encounter them.

It hasn't always worked that way, though. When I'm around certain people - people I adore - for some reason I shrink into myself like a collapsing pumpkin after Halloween. With others I get maternal, never appropriate except with actual children. (I wonder what that's about.)

The impact of some people is great, though. I think of my boss at the San Francisco Symphony. He was ill tempered at times, and extremely demanding, but I always brought the very best of myself to that job. When I told him I was leaving the Symphony, both of us cried. My Kansas City friends N. and D. brought out a wickedly creative facet of my personality. When we got together, we didn't hang out, we co-created. It was a blast. I love them so so so much to this very day and probably forever.

Bloggers, too, bring out a creative facet in me. And a sense of connection with the world beyond the borders of DC. Bloggers make me think, inspire in me a sense of wonder, and open my heart and mind to so many different ideas. THANK YOU!

Yesterday I was emailing back and forth with an old friend who always had the finest possible effect on me. During the worst year of my life, he and I (and a few others) co-created not only our high school yearbook but some truly hilarious short stories, comic strips and drawings. This man is someone who can bring out the creative, celebrative best in me even during the worst of times. I ask you, is there any better friend than that?

32 comments:

tut-tut said...

Your posts and photos have a very stirring effect; thanks for thoughtful words and images.

Evening Light Writer said...

This very lovely post brought out the best in me..a quote from one of my favorite writers Anais Nin:

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

uought2b.a.dog said...

I know what you mean, Reya! Some people are easy to be around and others are difficult.What's funny is I usually get along with the difficult people better than others? Wonder why?

janis said...

Oh Yes! I too, give different characticists to different people. I find myself very Motherly to many people, I get more Creative around some, and more Invertive around some. However, I feel blessed that I am surrounded around many loved ones that truly bring out the best of me.

mary said...

Your posts are so real and thought provoking - I always read them but seldom comment as I am a bit intimidated by your intellect......maybe I'll get over it ...... but know you have a powerful and good impact on my daily thoughts.

Adrianne said...

I think this might be the main reason that I'm going to miss Julie G. so much -- it was impossible for me to anything other than joyful, kind, and good-humored in her presence. I've been spending a lot of time recently pondering why I am so devastated by the death of someone who I only saw maybe 10-15 times a year and then only in a professional setting, but I think this is exactly why. Thank you, my Reya, for presenting the solution. This is so very helpful.

willow said...

I definitely connected with this post. As a libra, I try to balance with most people, but it is truly easier with some, than others.

You are lucky to have such a treasured friend.

JOY said...

How do you come up with such great topics to write about? I struggle with that a lot.

Great topic - I've been with people who totally bring out my humor which is apparently buried deep because I have a hard time finding it myself!

Your blog provokes a lot of thought. That's good!

e said...

You are indeed fortunate to have such a friend. Did you play in the symphony in SF?

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Great post. There seem to be a few more people who bring out the best in me; while a few others bring out the worst, causing me to over-react to them, not good. But the vast majority are those from whom I hide my deep thoughts. Most are seemingly more religious, more conservative, less open, less interested than I, so I hide, like your "collapsing pumpkin after Halloween".
Perhaps with me it's a self-confidence factor or lack thereof. Just wondering ... in most aspects of my life I feel pretty confident. Hmmm...

John Hayes said...

This is a great topic, & one I've thought about considerably over the past several months. It seems that I've been inspired creatively both by people with whom my relationship have been healthy & positive & by people with whom my relationships have been problmatic. Generally it seems that the music & the blogging type of creativity spring from "positive" relationships & the poetic creativity has typically sprung from more chaotic relationships. It's something I'm trying rather hard to figure out right now....

ArtSparker said...

It's lovely that you are in still in touch with someone from high school - One thing the internet did well by me for was putting me back in touch with some wonderful friends from decades past.

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who wonders about this stuff.

My friend W is one of two people who boosted me through high school with whom I'm still in contact. The other person was my very BFF. She rocked then and she rocks now.

This morning I was thinking that those stories we wrote probably were not as hilarious as I remember them to be. Thank goodness they were never posted on Facebook. They're long gone, composted. Dust to dust. Thank God!

Steve said...

A friend who brings out the creative is always a good thing -- I can say that to you wholeheartedly, since you do that to me!

It is funny how some relationships take on certain tones. I still treat my brother like an 8-year-old, to his endless frustration -- since he's almost 40!

Elizabeth said...

So true.
We are a;; chemaeleons (sp) - more or less
some people turn me quite poisonous and others much better.

deborah said...

there is no better friend
and Arch Wrisinger was the BEST
when I found out he had died, I cried
I'll call you this weekend
love and love and love some more

runmotman said...

Friends, it seems all of mine have moved away...the friends you make in school always bring back the best memories; but on occasions we meet again, it is like we were never apart, that's a real friend. I think i need a dog.

Larry said...

Hi, Reya. A belated Happy Birthday to you! I wandered over here from Rebecca Clayton's blog and I've enjoyed reading your musings and seeing your photos. You are a very insightful writer!

I noticed Lori Witzel's Chatoyance blog on your blogroll. She's another of my Blog Kindred Souls.

Dale Rogers said...

I know what you mean, with some people its like oil and water, they just dont mix. I am lucky, I am still friends with my best friends of childhood. One of them I have known for twenty-five years. Another for twenty years. I always warn someone I like that once I decide to be your friend there is no getting rid of me. They just laugh.

Squirrel said...

My friends from college are my bestest ever friends still--they know me so well and i know them -they describe me the same way so I'm guessing I'm the same old me with people. - I'm lucky to have 2 old pals living very nearby all these years later and see them every week. I know what you mean, when a friend is feeling down and needs you, you like to be there for them, to help.

TheLibra said...

I always say my best friend from high school brought out the worst in me like a true friend does. She didn't do it in a bad way...she just made me more mischievous and I had some great laughs around her! I think it's just that you can really be yourself (for better or worse) with the people you are most comfortable with.

Lisa said...

i am very strong in who i am, unless i am with my parents and my sister- then i dont know what happens- i just become NOT ME- interesting post , thank you xx

Patty said...

Finding a true friend is like finding gold.

I love your photos. We are almost neighbors. Well, kind of.

I would like to see some photos of your dog.

BTW, a Happy Belated Birthday from the Maryland Eastern Shore.

Lover of Life said...

I really related to this post. It is amazing how different people bring out different people inside of me, too. And sometimes people you love have outlived the friendship, we've taught each other everything we needed to, and everyone needs to move on. Maybe that's why we always need to be open to new friendships.

Ronda Laveen said...

A friend who brings out your best during your worst times is truly a gift. And so is one remains your friend even when you are at your worst. Namaste.

The Family Julz said...

you make me smile!!!

Merle Sneed said...

You make brilliant points as always. For me, "I am what I am."

Reya Mellicker said...

Merle? You always bring out the best in me.

Delwyn said...

I think that there are people that you resonate with and people that you don't and you can often tell this within moments of meeting them.

Then I think there are some people with a special talent to draw the good and interesting and creative out of you and these are people are gifts.

Pam said...

I agree with Lisa's comment - my parents and my brother bring out the "not me".Interesting!

hele said...

haha, i know the collapsing pumpkin feeling which is why it is such a relief to me realising that people don't have to immediately like me. I can push my roots down and puff my pumkin cells out a bit over time.

With regards to why different people affect us differently, I like the idea expressed in role theory (Arnold Mandel) that some people saturate a role. As a result we find ourselves stepping into their polar opposite since this is now the only unoccupied role.

Bee said...

Loved, loved this one. I think about this a lot. I suspect that my husband does not bring out my best/fullest self; and he suspects this, too. But what to do?