Hugs Not Drugs… Maybe a Few Drugs

In South America women greet women with a kiss on the right cheek. Men greet men with a firm hand shake or a quick embrace. Men greet women with a kiss on the cheek and maybe an embrace.

In Thailand people greet each other with a wai. [a prayer motion, hands to the heart, the nose or the fore head; depending on the level of respect that needs to be given.]

In my family we tend to give a quick hug or Hello while we try to figure out if a hug is appropriate. Or more likely than not we just say “Hi” and begin talking about what’s happening in our lives.

In Oregon, where I lived for a year, where I just visited for a week after being gone for a year and half, I embraced every person I greeted. I saw my old roommates, my roommates boyfriend, the peoples who’s couch I have crashed on numerous times, old running buddies, my old boss, my brother’s ex girlfriend, some dude I hooked up with years ago, some dude my roommates friend hooked up with years ago, former co-workers, actors and their girlfriends, the girl who’s dating the guy I dated once, that person who gave me acupuncture that one time… we all hugged. Every time I saw each person–whether it had been a year and half or I saw them at the coffee shop the morning before–we embraced, smiled and enjoyed each others body warmth.

I could write about the trails I hiked and ran on, the people I caught up with, the drama I’m glad to not be a part of in such a small town, the babies my friends have had, the engagement rings and the emotions I felt when I was able to spend time with people who are very important to me.

But I’m writing about hugs. When was the last time you got a really good embrace? Like, full body contact, arms wrapped around each other and you didn’t let go until you felt like you were ready to let go. Do it. Go give someone a hug, (maybe I’ll be lucky and I’ll see you right after you read this and I will get that hug!) But do it, find someone you care about and give a good hug. You know you’ll both enjoy it.

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Don’t Be My Friend

Don’t be my friend. I’m searching for a friendships that will leave me guiltless when I leave after six months or a partner in crime that will come with. A circle of friends that will give me community for a short time and let me belly laugh and smile mischievously as we plan adventures. Hang out with me if you’ll let me tell my stories and inspire you to make stories of your own. Most likely if it’s winter I’m dreaming of the year I spent hot and sweaty climbing Buddhist Temples and praying at the foot of a thousand year old statue, drinking warm beer and hot coffee on the street. If it’s summer I’m cursing the tourists who come here for a week and forget to notice the enormity of the Lake, the power of the Waves and the beauty of each Sunset and Sunrise we can witness each day.

Don’t be my friend if you expect me to not make a game out of mundane activities and to not connect with the people I’m surrounded with. Please remember that community is important and an interesting conversation can be had at the bar, at the beach or on a bus tumbling through a far away land. Don’t be my friend if you don’t want me to question you, I expect to be questioned in return–because I like to talk and share and most of all I like to listen. Don’t hang out with me if you can’t handle hard questions.

Don’t be my friend if you don’t want me to encourage you to try yoga with me tomorrow morning before work, or after work. If you don’t want me to try and spur up your deepest dreams or suggest you download that flight searcher app and play hooky with me to go try a new brewery. Don’t hang with me if you don’t want to be pushed into a diagonal weird direction you never though you’d go.

Don’t be my friend if you don’t want to hear about my confusion of ‘life’ and how I might be ‘missing out’ by not being ‘somewhere else’. Don’t be my friend if you can’t attempt to reel me back in, calm me down and remind me that where I am is where I’m supposed to be for the moment. When I freak out could you remind me that there is a huge, incredible, beautiful Lake down the road that just by looking at it lowers my heart rate, softens my eyes and brings on a true smile.

Don’t attempt to be my friend if you don’t appreciate those kind of moments because those moments, those small seemingly insignificant moments, are the ones I live for. They are the times in life that we look back on to appreciate. Those moments are the ones we call upon when we’re in a bad place, in a physically or mentally dangerous situation that we think about to lower our blood pressure and remember that there is something that you can come back to. Coming back to the breath and the seemingly small moments are the ones that play a huge roll in life. Don’t be my friend if you don’t understand this.