How do you learn how to be a friend when the media only shows catty women, who fall apart over silliness? We have to get beyond the poor character development of movies and tv shows like “And Just Like That” if we want to develop actual friendships.
In this 5th episode, the MC’s go maybe a little too deep, into the sad portrayal of female friendships shown on the Sex and the City reboot and discuss the challenges of overcoming the perceived normal, when it comes to true relationship building. We’re still learning and growing because wisdom really does come with age, so listen in.
“Things” to Think About From This Episode:
For full transcript, go here: https://tinyurl.com/ATT-Ep5
Continue the conversation about finding yourself in friendships with The Magical Cartographers in real-time!
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Show Music: “Mojo” by Noise Cake
Mel: Hey, Hey everyone. Welcome back to All The Things With the Magical Cartographers. Today we're talking about friendships, real friendships, not the, oh, we went to high school together and we were BFFs and we wrote on each other's sneakers but really talking about friendships and why they're so crucial for our transformations.
Our resident Pluto fan Ish will definitely be talking all about the transformative qualities of our friendships, but we've been having a lot of conversations about endings and beginnings and since that's what life is, and we always have those. In our last episode we really stressed the importance and the value of having friends by your side to get through all this shit, because it's not easy and we need to have folks around.
And so, we had a conversation before, we were talking about the Golden Girls and we were talking about Sex and the City, really more about the reboot, but we had a conversation about the visual representation in the media, at least of friendships, female friendships, and what we know of them on screen and off screen and how that really does show up in the real world that you can have great friendships on TV, but that shit might not happen for real in real life and vice versa. Maybe that's a good place to start Jocelyn is in this conversation of this, reboot of Sex and the City and, I don't know, did everyone watch, the original Sex and the City.
Yeah. Everybody has given me some yeses there. And so we haven't all watched the reboot, but Jocelyn was saying how she only watched the first episode and that's because
Joceyln: Well, I'll qualify this a little bit because I wasn't a raving fan of the original show. I watched some of it and it was fine. I couldn't relate to it, but I thought some of it was clever or interesting or whatnot. so I watched some of it.
Then I came in to watch the reboot and I was pretty much like WTF, who are these fake people? I mean, that was one of the things about the original show. It felt like they were presenting relationships and friendships among women that I wanted to be a part of, or, like here are air quotes, mature women, having friendships with each other in a way at the time I didn't have, and I didn't know what those looked like.
And the reboot was like, I wouldn't want to know these women. I wouldn't want to sit at brunch with them. So that first episode, it was like the first five minutes I started fast forwarding now, and there's going to be some people who are like, wow, I love that.
And I'm like, oh yeah, fast forward, fast forward. Oh, this happens. Then this happens. Now they're being catty to each other, and it just felt like the intrusion of air quotes “Real world”. It felt like what was happening behind the scenes was getting in the way of what was happening. And again, I couldn't relate to it.
I mean, I look at our friendships and our relationships that the four of us have, and I'm like, what I'm seeing on TV are not women. I want to know.
Mel: Yeah. Yeah. And that's why I don't watch reality shows like any of the reality, the Housewives and the whatever, because I don't want to believe that that's how people act, especially women.
I mean, yeah, I guess it happens to some degree, but I don't want to be a part of that.
Ish: Well, it's the story that society keeps putting out there. that women are catty women. Women can't really be friends. Women talk behind each other's back, whatever they're jockeying for whatnot, looking at each other's man or woman as the case may be.
So the reality TV shows are not really reality because if they were to record what really happens, I think in the majority of friendships, it wouldn't sell. It wouldn't make it on the map cuz there's no drama. So they create drama. It's interesting if you read a lot of what reality TV stars say after shows are done or whatnot.
So I go, yeah, it was completely scripted. I mean, even going to find a house is completely scripted, Yeah. So it's not really reality. It's just, wrapped up in this package, it's entertainment, I mean, I'm not saying all friendships are great or whatnot, but I don't really know women that act like that. I really don't.
Mel: Now Ish, Did you watch the original Sex and the City?
Ish: I did. I didn't watch every single episode, but I actually thought in the beginning that Sex and the City was more compelling then it was towards the middle and towards the end, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions, but I definitely think in the beginning it was like, here are these women they're living in the city, they're living their life, they're struggling.
I love shoes and there's Carrie, she's got her shoe thing going and she'll go spend her money on the shoes, I think it goes back to what Jocelyn says there was, especially for me in the early part, it was relatable and it's just not relatable to me now cuz I don't feel, first of all, I don't think I have friendships like that. And second of all, I don't want friendships like that.
Mel: I mean, for some context sake, for anyone who didn't watch the original Sex and the City when it was running originally. So I don't know the years off the top of my head, but at the time on television and in fairness, we still there's huge gap, that we didn't really have shows where you saw female friends just hanging out where they were the lead characters, that you had female leads with different personalities who could show up as whoever they were.
Mel: And there was a whole show about it that came on every week. That didn't exist when the original show was out there. So, some of it was about just being able to have someone to identify with. Even if, for me, just like Seinfeld it's like, how are there no Black people that you run into anywhere in New York city, but, okay.
But it was beautiful to see like this range of women who were just living their life, even if there were lots of pieces that I didn't identify with, I was happy. I was just happy to see women as the lead characters in their own stories.
Joceyln: I looked it up. It was 98. So, and what was really groundbreaking was here was Samantha a successful woman with a sex life. I mean, and it was like here, she was having a, a healthy sex life with multiple partners and it wasn't like, oh, you slut she wasn't slut-shamed.
I'm trying to remember how old I was at that time. I was in my late twenties and it was like, most of the women I was hanging out with that time were already married, were already getting married, were already in these relationships and watching women in the, in the big city of New York, it was like, oh, wow.
They're, here's the here's women doing things that I'm not seeing in my own peer group.
Mel: What about you KJ? Did, did you, did you watch, the original?
KJ: I was just thinking about that. I actually didn't start watching it. So we grew up, I didn't have cable. I didn't have HBO. I didn't have cable and so, I didn't watch it while it was on. I only got into it. It was, I think, before it was before the movie came out, but it was after the series had ended. So I think it was, so I was in my late teens. I had just graduated from high school and so no, I really didn't see myself in these women.
But as I, I think it was, it was during a time when I was sick and staying home from some classes one day in college and a girlfriend had introduced me, she had the DVDs of the series and she's just like, this is something you can watch while you're sick. And that's how I got into it. And so all of what you were saying earlier, all of you ladies, is that I didn't relate to it for the most part.
Even though Carrie was, I guess, as portrayed as the one that really didn't have a lot of money, she still it's still right. It's still
Mel: She still could spend two grand on a pair of shoes
KJ: On a pair of shoes. That's where I was like,
Mel: And pay rent in New York city.
Joceyln: In her own apartment.
KJ: Exactly, exactly. So that's why I was just like, wow.
And she was a writer, which is what I wanted to be, right Jocelyn? So I was just like, so is this, it just, it just didn't quite connect, connect with me. So I actually, I actually relied on, or I learned what people told me I should think about the show instead of actually come up with my own idea of what it meant.
I enjoyed it when I watched it while I was sick and as I caught up with things, but it was purely on an entertainment factor, not because I related to any of the women.
Mel: And I, I will say I did watch it. I was a faithful watcher of the original and it really wasn't until after it was over and, hindsight kind of kicked in was like, what? Right. And so when the reboot came out, I, because I am a faithful watcher of whatever, I will watch a series until it's like death, no matter how terrible it has gotten. And so I did kind of like, begrudgingly watched the reboot of it cause I wasn't really sure where they were going to go.
And I think that all of the pieces that we couldn't see back in the nineties when the show was on, like the sun was really glaring on the problems of the way that these women were portrayed. That really was so glaring to me the whole season. And, I think that there was, from a writing perspective, I mean, I could judge, I guess the writing of the show and whatever perspectives, but the biggest challenge for me, and I think for a lot of people who watched the original, was not having Samantha's character back on the show.
And so, according to tabloid media and social media, Carrie and Samantha, the two main characters in real life never really got along. And it was a struggle when they worked together years ago and it apparently was impossible to get Kim Cattrall, the actress who plays Samantha, it was impossible then to make it work where she was coming back on the show.
I don't know who to blame, whatever, but the challenge for me is, in the show they wrote the storyline where this character was no longer around and friends with them after decades of being friends, because Carrie, the other main character, stopped being a client of Samantha. Samantha ran a PR firm and because Carrie no longer wanted to be her client, Samantha somehow became this bitter bitch who moved to Europe. I think she moved to London or something, and just wanted no parts of anything. She didn't even speak to any of these women for years.
And that was frigging problematic for me that you would, of all the ways that you could not have a character be in a show, I mean, you killed off people in the show, you could, anything could have happened friendships end naturally in a million ways, but for you to go through the process of creating an entire show, a franchise around female friendships and the bonds that we create, and then to negate all of that by suddenly now saying the one character who was like the most loyal friend, that she would somehow be so petty and so bitter, that she would just throw everybody's friendship away, like was so freaking problematic to me.
Joceyln: They might as well have just killed her. They might as well, had her cancer come back out of remission or whatever happened, because that would have been less problematic than this whole storyline that we never saw.
KJ: Yeah. Well, it'd be, it'd be more realistic if they would've followed up on a natural storyline that they had already explored,
Ish: they had been gone and then they came back and all of a sudden there were three and, and it's very, mean girly, right?
Oh, well, you don't get along, so I'm not going to talk to anybody else, so we're not going to talk to you. And that's really problematic in, I think in this portrayal. I just, there are so many shades of gray in friendships and I don't know. It's. It's always about, I think that the way that TV shows and movies, it's like, you either are friends or you're not it's all or nothing.
It can't be that these two had a falling out and other people still talk to each other. You may not choose to ever have a group thing again, and I understand that they had to write something to explain why this person was not there, but it just seems like they could have had this storyline that Samantha and Carrie's characters like no longer had a friendship.
They could have written that storyline, but they didn't have to involve the other three characters. She could have moved away.
Mel: Well, it didn't have to be petty
Ish: Like they could have had back and forth emails from Samantha to the other ladies or what I don't know,but that's not the way that's not the way that friendships are.
Joceyln: Yeah. And I think, to that end part of this is that they had to create the drama to keep the story going. And in reality, one would expect, or one would hope in 20 years some of these women would have grown up.
Ish: That was mic drop.
Joceyln: I was watching them and they're like, what? They're like 50 something now, the hell. There there's there's like, no, they're still these cardboard characters. I wanted them to have grown up. I wanted the storyline to have matured and not still be wrapped up in this petty cat fighting sort of, I mean, there's so many other stories.
They could have explored so many other store directions that they could have gone and they just went for the low-hanging fruit. They just went, what for, what was that? Back to our reality TV, they just went for what was sensational instead of, instead of really pushing it, like the show had appeared to push it back in the late nineties.
Mel: More than one thing can be true.
You can, you can not just be friends with someone and not like some of the shit that they do, but you also can have differing philosophies on life right, and still respect that you work together or that you have to co-exist in a meaningful way. And, and that's okay.
Ish: Well, and also too, I think, um, how do friendships play into your individual transformation? Right? Because friendship can be incredibly powerful in good and bad ways in transformation. And who you decide to surround yourself with becomes very important in that transformation. It can expand it or it can narrow that truly.
I mean, I, unfortunately I think that there are a lot of women that drop their transformation because of the relationships that they have around them that are not supportive of. expansiveness and exploration.
If we wanted to take it back to Sex and the City and the Golden Girls, it dawns on me that there's a difference there for me in that where the show, the Golden Golden Girls feels like it was really expansive, right? Like they supported each other and they were all very different women.
And when the show took a different direction, they let each other go in ways to grow, but that didn't mean it was the end of their friendship. And I don't think I really see that in the, in the Sex and the City, whatever it is redo.
KJ: I feel like because we started, talking about transformation and, and Ish said it just, you know, like how nice is it? We actually all have been together on screen or in conversation the four of us in quite some time.
I don't feel like a day has passed. And I am also very, very aware that I, that I've missed you all. And I feel very, very loved and surrounded and comforted just by listening to you talk as I'm coloring and as we're just sort of reviewing.
Like, I feel very safe here, reconnecting ladies in this way.
Mel: I mean we don't, we don't have an old school traditional, we all live in the same neighborhood and we can hang out friendship. We each live around the country in three different time zones, but yet we not only find ways to stay connected, but our friendships are not based on, like, I have to talk to you every day if we're going to be friends.
KJ: Yeah. I was thinking about when we started sort of planting the seeds about what this conversation was going to be like, and it started a few weeks back and in my life in particular, I remember saying to you ladies that, I'm moving through a pretty, pretty, significant family emergency right now.
And I knew I could count on you all. If I would drop a message in our, in our chat or send over a quick audio note to you that you would get me, you would get it and you would get me and I didn't. It might've been a couple of weeks. And even in this case, like before us meeting today, it's been a couple of weeks where we've actually gotten together to talk and, and officially catch up.
But I remember feeling so grateful for the ease at which I knew, A: that I could reach out to you, all of you for anything and, B: that I wasn't, you didn't hold these expectations for me as well, which is, it wasn't like, girl we haven't heard, we haven't heard from you and, and you're not, you're not talking to us or texting us every day.
KJ: No, it was more like we're here. What do you need? What do you need? So like Ish had said that the pandemic really revealed my priority relationships in my true, my true friendships and my true like ride or dies, And then the last six weeks for me with this family crisis has also revealed that.
We haven't been together in this capacity in sometime, but I have such ease and comfort and familiarity in surrounding right now, just by talking with you ladies about something that was sort of, seedling a couple of weeks ago, but now it's coming into fruition in an interesting way.
We opened up by pulling some cards and we had this dynamic conversation about what those cards meant for us. I can't do that with everybody, but I know I can do that with you.
And maybe that's what it's about, is understanding with friendships that each one provides a particular surrounding need depending on what, what the moment calls for.
And so I can't have this conversation with just any women, but I can have it, I know without a doubt and I can pick it up, like that with you ladies. And so that's sort of my take on all of this, which is we can talk about the realities of friendship and the way that it's depicted, but the way that I've seen it, just in the last handful of weeks in the last couple of years, since, since we've all known each other in the pandemic, like I know what I value in friendships.
My childhood best friend is like the complete and total opposite of me, physically and emotionally. And, she was a catalyst for letting me know what was going on with my family. She still lives in the neighborhood where my mom, where my mom lives. And so we literally were in diapers and we grew up as children together, but now we're in our forties and she can text and call me up and say, Hey, just wanted to give you the heads up. I visited your mom. I visited your family the other day. I think something's up. And that was how I learned truly and got confirmation that there's, there's some big things going down with my mom's health. And so for me, that's a friendship. That's when a dear friend calls me up and says, Hey, I went and visited your mom and something's up.
Just wanted to give you the heads up. And she, and I haven't talked for, at that point, maybe a couple of weeks, but she could call me. so I don't know, I'm just really humbled and blown away and grateful right now. And yeah, that's me.
Mel: Well, and, and I love that, this, the range, right that you have there of friendships, you have someone that you, like you said, were in diapers with that still remains in your life that you feel you can get feedback from that is still checking on you as a friend. And then you have us who we've been friends for a fraction of that time.
But yet you've still learned to allow yourself to have that kind of easy friendship, right? Cause you have to allow that in. And you've been able to do that. And I think for all of us that hindsight is kind of 20-20. I feel like I say that all the time, but it is difficult when you don't know that you haven't been allowing certain types of people or certain energy in your space, you don't know what you don't know.
And I, I feel like for me, there probably have been relationships in the past that I wasn't in a position to allow to happen, to grow.
Joceyln: I was going to you're saying that Mel and I'm thinking, yeah, here I am at almost 50 and I'm better at friendship now than I think I ever was. I mean, I'm way better at friendship.
I mean, I under I under, and I think I'm better at letting people in or recognizing what I need and want and then letting what doesn't fit let go.
Mel: I can say for myself, I wouldn't call them regrets. I would say there are certainly instances of people that I've had in my life that I wish I had been in a space to be, I can't say a better friend to, but be in a space where I was more available to their friendship. I was more open to, to valuing the time that we had together, and I'm thankful now that I'm, that I'm in a space where when I see people, I feel the energy of like amazing people, that I'm just like, I don't know what we got to do, but we got to stay. We got, I got to keep you here.
We have to, I think, get to that point where we recognize that because friendship isn't just in hard times right, or vice versa, sometimes we have friends like good time friends that we just go drink and have fun with and those friends are great, but allowing ourselves to be open to the people that we come across for what they can bring.
Ish: You bring up this really interesting and like really beautiful point about, if you look back at friendships and you're like, oh, I wish I was more available at that time or, the growth that happens over time like, oh, I don't want to lose these people that now I've met or whatnot. And at the end of the day, I think it really boils down to whether your cup is empty or not empty at the time.
If you're not fully able or you don't feel like you're really there where you regret not being there, I think giving yourself the grace, well, I say you, but I mean the general you, the grace to sort of be like, was I really in a place where I could really offer myself up in that way? And if you're not, it may just be your cup is empty.
And the thing about friendships I think for us, like what I really value in our friendships is that when my cup is empty I know I can come to you guys and you can slowly help me find how to fill that cup back up so that I'm there in the way that I want to be for people. And that's, I think a really beautiful thing about friendship that I feel now, like it's really important to have that community of people who can recognize, Hey, are you okay? Like what's going on?
And oh yeah, I'm just really completely drained for whatever reason and talk that out. So I think that's the perspective that I'm realizing now, like if I'm not able to be there in the way I want to be in any kind of relationship it's because I'm empty.
Mel: Yeah. I love that. I mean that's because that is our emotional center and I mean, cups literally are the emotions It's that watery, emotional energy that I think we don't often recognize what that is until we're older until we've, we've gained some experience because it's not, you can't learn about that in books.
And we don't talk about that even as a society, we don't talk about our emotions nearly enough. And so getting a perspective on, how do I know when my cup's not full, if I don't have people in my life who can point that out to me? I mean, that's, that's huge and beautiful.
Joceyln: And don't you think, there's different types of friendships? And as we get older and change our friendships change. And so I'm thinking about that in terms of like, when our cups are empty, sometimes we're not in a place also to find the kind of friendships that we need.
I mean, I would have loved the friendship I have with all of you when I was 25, but I wasn't, I wasn't there. Looking back, it's like, I wouldn't have known what to do with it, because I barely knew what to do with the friendships I had at the time anyway. And I wouldn't have been ready for this kind of a friendship. I've changed. What my expectations are have changed. I've, I've matured. And to go very quickly back to, Sex and the City, when I said I wished they had grown up, I think that's what I wanted. I wanted them to have matured into different types of friendships, and they were just carrying on the friendships they had had in their 20 somethings and that's, that's not where I am. That's not where I want to be. That's not where I want my friends to be.
Mel: Part of it is, I mean, it is the age, it is the wisdom that you get from just having lived more years on the planet and experienced more shit. But how do we do that? How do we be more mindful then? I mean, okay we, we are who we are right now today, right?
For us, for whoever's listening, how do we make sure that we are being mindful of if our cup is full or needs help to be replenished? How do we start to acknowledge the people that we either already have in our lives or start to notice the gaps perhaps, of what we need? How do we do that?
KJ: I feel like we have been extremely blessed. This is a blessing and a curse with technology. The fact that we all can reach out in the different time zones that we are in and leave voice notes for each other. If we have a thought that we would love to run by one of each other that we have that availability.
Back in the day, I used to love writing letters. I still do love writing letters and it's very, very easy now to send an email over, but I still don't. And so I have noticed that I, maybe it's the immediacy, but also maybe it's the expedience of modern technology. If I'm thinking of you, or like, as, as we talked about before, when we were in the car, driving down the 580 and the 80, and I was Voxering and texting you all going ladies, I'm on the road. I don't know what's going to happen. Things are shitty, things are bad. We wouldn't have had that luxury even just a handful of years ago and so I just wanted to make note of that, that I feel like there are some availabilities given to us now that really helps. I don't know.
I mean, the fact that other than this last summer, which we need to repeat ladies having our in-person, summit, Right. But other than that, one time we have only existed virtually. And again, If this were an opportunity given to us just a handful of years ago, I don't I, this is only a fairly new development that we're able to connect in this way. So, as Jocelyn said, I don't know that I would have known what to do if you were all in person, maybe local possibilities for me, I don't know that I would reach out in that way. So that's just sort of my thought around that. I'm so grateful. I'm so grateful
Mel: And I just think of it in terms of allowing people, right, I mean a good example, like, Ish is coming to town for a conference and I'm like, girl what time can I get you from the airport? Like, I am in a space now where I have a car and I can make time and it's important I recognize that it is important to make the time for this amazing human that I have in my life. And if I can touch her, I need to touch her, Right?
Not in a creepy way. I know that sounded creepy when I said it, but for anyone who's ever met me in person, you know that I'm hugging you.
KJ: She's a tactile girl.
Mel: I will always ask permission and I've only ever had one person telling me no, but eventually she did give me a hug, but it's important, it's important to recognize for me, that I have to make the time I have to stop what I'm doing, put it on my calendar and make a point of doing it.
Ish: But I think, also to KJ's point and just sort of thinking back and even with the pandemic and the isolation, I think during the pandemic, the isolation it just like so exacerbated it, right?
People are doing, they're moving from one thing to the next, a pandemic hits and even before the pandemic, I think I always have the sense that people felt really disconnected. They wanted more in their relationships with people and I don't think that there's like one easy answer, for anything.
Ish: And this is, I think something hopefully we'll be able to explore in the live, get really what other people's ideas are, what has worked for them. But I think one of the things is just really stepping out there and doing the things that you like to do, whether it's going to find a painting class or, just whatever it is to get around people.
And then again, giving ourselves the grace to not need to have attached so much to just one person, like letting things develop through your own interest because that's how you keep part of your cup full. And then that's how you can connect with people who have very similar interests and develop that friendship.
And I think we also need to be clear that our friendship has also developed over time. I mean I don't want people to be like, oh yeah, we just met one day virtually and like that was it. Like I just verbal vomited in Jocelyn and Mel and KJ's Voxer, that did not happen. There is a certain amount of building of trust and you extend some of your vulnerability and you sort of see where people are in honoring that vulnerability.
But I think where I'm different now than I was years ago, like just thinking back at the age of 25 as Jocelyn is talking about that time, I think now that when I extend vulnerability and the person can't or doesn't meet that vulnerability, I don't take it as personally anymore because their cup may not be full to be fully ready and then I'm like, okay, now it's not the time, but it may be at some other points in time.
So I actually, I've kept myself more open. I feel over the last even like four to five years without so much judgment about, oh, well did they, didn't like respond in kind. Now I'm like, oh, well maybe they couldn't because I know I haven't in the past responded in kind.
Mel: It reminds me of a person that was in my life. I didn't know her that long. We were friends and we had become really fast friends. This was about 12, 13 years ago. And I can just remember we spent time together, we hung out. She was like a really sweet person, very kind. But at some point I recognized that I really didn't know anything about her.
I had shared, shared, shared, and my first instinct was to be like, okay, you have just been selfish with this person and haven't shut up and given her space to even talk about herself. So fall back a little bit. And, and I did that, and it wasn't the case. And I kind of let it slide.
And then at one point, because I did feel like I really want to know you, I want to be around people who, you don't have to tell me your deep dark secrets as soon as we do a shot together or something, but to me that vulnerability is important. That you are willing to at least open up some, and share some of who you are with me.
And so at some point I said to her, I said, I really have been thinking about our friendship and it feels very one-sided to me, it feels like I don't really know much about you and I really want to. And I'm sorry if I haven't given you that opportunity or if I haven't allowed you to feel safe or whatever it is, but I want you to know that I see it and I want things to be different.
And she of course was like, oh no, no, it's not that, I just I'm not used to talking about myself so on and so forth, but after that, like she's still, nothing. And there was just this switch, you'll hear me talk about this switch that just goes off. And when that happens, it's like this disconnect for me. Because I do attach to people emotionally, and I don't have the energy to be everywhere. So there's, fortunately I have this safety mechanism that kicks in and it's like, nope, you got to let that one go.
And I just said to her, like I can't be your friend anymore. I really, I need to feel more emotionally connected and I'm sorry that you, for whatever reasons, you're not able to be that way.
And we stopped, we just stopped communicating all together. And Ish I really love that idea of vulnerability, and I think that you have to be able to see it within yourself from both sides. How, how willing are you to be vulnerable with another person and receive those vulnerabilities and feel comfortable that you can handle it, that you can take it on.
Joceyln: Yeah, that's hard. I mean, I know the situation you just described, Mel it’s like, I think I've lived that over and over and over from both sides, because there's been parts in my life where I'm just like, Hm, no, my cup is not full. I am not here. I can't be the friend you want me to be, and it's not personal, but I can't go there because it's too scary. And sometimes that's because you're really afraid of being hurt, I think as well. And so, yeah, I, you're talking and I'm like, oh yeah, I've been there.
And then there's been the, yeah, I want more of a friendship as I start maturing and evolving and wanting better friendships and not like the disposable teenager, high school, summer camp, whatever kinds of friendships, then it's like, there's other people who aren't ready to, they aren't ready to be vulnerable and come along either.
So I think. Yeah, it's just, how do you be fearless and vulnerable?
How are you embodying both of those things? Because that's really about relationships. How can you be willing to throw yourself into the fray and get wounded?
Mel: Yeah. I think that's the reality and, and we've talked about it in different forms, that whole willingness to put yourself out there and I get everybody isn't like that. And I feel like I respect that. Maybe I don't, but I feel like I respect it.
I mean I guess when you think about your core values, That's pretty high on my list. Realistically I can help people all day long. I can support people all day long. I joke all the time that wherever I go, I leave there with like a new best friend who's shared a thing in their life or who's crying, and I recognize that that's going to happen and I'm okay with that.
I actually feel some kind of way now if I have a conversation with somebody and they don't break into tears, Cause like, oh my mojo is off today.
But for me, there has to be some reciprocity in a friendship beyond just gossiping and chit-chatting and I'm not an everyday friend where I'm going to be on the phone with you every day, but I need to know that when I need you for good news or bad news that you're there and that you're going to share that. I don't want to feel like a burden and I don't want you to feel like a burden.
Ish: Yeah, as you're talking Mel like, people want to feel heard, be seen, and the reciprocal of that is also really important.
You know we talk about, some people may not, that's not maybe something that they want, in their life but I think a lot of times it's because they haven't had a good experience. If you're raised in an environment where you didn't feel safe with your emotions, it trickles into everything. And you build the wall, you build the barriers and then you move through life like, oh, no, like I'm not going to allow myself to open up because it's too, it's too scary. And then there are points where you can hopefully have like interactions with people where it's different.
Going back to that question, how do you create that for yourself? You really do have to think about your core values. I think about my 18 year old and I see these friendships that she's had. She's been doing the last couple of years of high school in another place and the friendships she's developed and I'm like, wow. When she left, her friends that were here that she's known since the age of like five, she comes back and they're all like waiting for her and I see that and I'm like, ah, they share their emotions with each other. Like they've got that really solid bond. They've transcended that.
So I think that encouraging that in our younger folks to really find those people, and I think they did that through their activities. Her group here was dancers and the friends that she has at school now are non-dancers, but she's found friendships in a different way and it's just really nice to see.
Mel: KJ when Ish was talking, I was thinking about your workshops and I believe it was the last one that I came to, I remember doing an activity at the end around boundaries and we had to draw an image of a container to teach us about boundaries, and it was to sort of clear space within ourselves and actually send it externally.
KJ: So I was asking everyone to create a container for boundaries. yeah.
Mel: And do you, do you remember what I drew? It's funny because in my mind it made sense. And when I showed everyone, they were like, oh my gosh, that's incredible, I drew this little like glass vase.
KJ: Was it the wall of China?
Mel: Yeah. I drew this wall.
It was like the great wall of China with a ladder. Yes, because in my mind everyone's supposed to be my friend, they just don't know it yet, and so I want to have space for that. So my maybe very expansive boundaries, they exist, but I sorta want them to include everybody until I need to kick them out. If that makes sense.
KJ: You were making it permeable, you didn't make it. There was a possibility for some invitations to come in and climb the ladder and come to the other side. But it is a great wall, right?
Mel: Keeping the armies out
KJ: Keeping the armies out. But here's the ladder for you? Yeah. yeah, I thought it was Brilliant.
Mel: It was just, it was just funny, the differences right? I mean, most folks had like
KJ: A Jar,
Mel: Right. Like something that they could hold in their hand and that makes total sense. And when I saw it, I was like, I totally did this wrong, right.
And I loved the fact that even in that space, people were vulnerable enough to not only share how they could identify their boundaries and what they needed, what they still had to create for themselves, that they also were like, oh wow, but yours is freaking crazy and amazing.
KJ: No, that's what's so fantastic is that, that was a, I felt a really prime example of a boundary. There is a brick wall. Ensuring that armies and countries were protected.
KJ: But you were, you were saying this isn't a permanent thing. There might be some opportunities where we can collaborate and I'm inviting you in. You didn't have ladders all up and down. The wall had like two ladders right? You had one letter here and another one, maybe a mile down.
Mel: But I think even that KJ, for folks to be able to focus on what are those values? How am I laying those out? How, how am I going to visualize those even for myself, so that I know both sides of it? How I am going to keep myself safe and how I can allow myself to also be vulnerable.
KJ: And it looks very different. Like, like you've said, to your point to everyone's point so far.
Joceyln: We should do that during a live, wouldn’t that be fun?
Mel: I joined Jocelyn in her last, “Fireside Chat” where the amazing Ms. Joyce was leading the conversation on rejection and when you think about friendships and you think about these vulnerabilities, and you think about the things that you need to help fill your cup, because there are going to be rejections, how can you find people around you who are going to help you reframe the uncomfortable things in your life so that you can be available, so that you can grow and be better?
I mean, that's part of that friendship and I loved that conversation, Jocelyn, because it's so important and we don't talk about it enough, as that being a part of our jobs as friends.
Joceyln: Oh yeah, absolutely. And it's always interesting to see what people think when they start thinking about rejection, especially in terms of friendships. And it's, sometimes you're not fully rejecting a person and sometimes you're not in a place to accept a person and it's not a personal rejection. It's just like my cup's not full. I'm not here.
You mentioned something a few minutes ago about the frequency of friendships, and I'm thinking about the different types of friends. Do you have the everyday friend? The once-a-week friend? The… I have friends that I haven't talked to in 10 years and they could call and it's just like we talked to each other last week.
And so I think, we think friendship has to be, there's acquaintance and then there's friendship. And we don't have a lot of spectrum for what's in between the cold acquaintance, this cold feeling of acquaintance and this idea that friendship has to be do or die. You have to have one best friend who is everything and fulfills every need, for 40 years.
And we don't have a lot of that middle ground of what you can have different friends for different things at different times. And I think we tend to be very rigid sometimes in what we think a friendship has to be.
Well, if it's not what I saw on Housewives or Sex and the City or whatever, it's not a real friendship. And you can have two people that like, just sit in a room and say nothing for three hours and could be the best of friends.
Mel: Yeah, I think that brings us back full circle to, it's hard.
It's hard when we don't see a reflection of what we're looking for on social media or in these television shows and reality shows and, we don't have that opportunity to learn and to grow until we're older, usually, to start to understand what it is that we need.
Part of our hope collectively is to bring these conversations to the fore, to ask these questions. We don't have all the answers here. We're figuring this shit out now at our “today years old” we're figuring these things out now and it's not to late, right. We haven't missed the boat. We haven't lost out. We need to just keep having these conversations about this so that you get to learn what makes you uncomfortable. How you feel too vulnerable. How you close yourself down and how to open back up and find what you need, because it's going to look different for all of us.
So ladies, anything else before we close out here?
I'm just going to say that we each, if you could see our faces, we all look like we have this after sex glow, like we're all smoking a cigarette like, oh, that was everything. And it's Amazing.
Ish: Ah Mel, you just know how to create a picture.
Mel: See Jocelyn's our book coach. I feel like I should be making films.
Well, when you've said it all, you've said it all. So thank you ladies for being amazing friends, for helping me to learn and to grow and to step more and more into my awesomeness. And thank you for all the people that we're going to hopefully help when they hear this and recognize like, it's not just me, sometimes it's you or them.
Cause I'm freaking amazing, and I just haven't found my crew yet.
Make sure to join us for "All The Things Live" Tuesday night, April 19th at 5 pm pst/8 pm est