Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Two Tracks Diverged in a Hollywood

My best friend is getting married. He’s a great guy. They too met on, two months to the day before the Former Mr. Wonderful and me. I was giddy that we were both on the same track. For several years we had coached each other through relationship failures and helped each other keep the faith that HE was out there. Now we got to share the parallel routes of our nascent relationships and help each other through the inevitable obstacles. But now my train has jumped the track and, stranded amid smoking debris, I watch her speed on toward that ultimate station: wedded bliss.

I am thrilled for her. I truly am. But we will never again be two single girls who get to commiserate about the Sisyphean task of finding a decent man in LA. As we fell into a silence over lunch last week I panicked I would become useless to her. She’ll be going through things I can’t relate to. But of course she’ll still have life to deal with. You need friends for that no matter what it looks like.

A few weeks back I’d posted about how thrilled I was to be on a new track pursuing my dreams of filmmaking. I talked about how even though I was living on crumbs, I was content with the knowledge I am on my intended path and loving the work I get to do every day. She told me she’d cried in frustration when she read that. Talented and smart, she is struggling to get a small business off the ground while she toils at a draining day job that pays well but leaves her empty and tired of being yelled at by one of those High-Maintenance Hollywood Executives.

I was stunned. Of course my intention in writing of my own work joy had never been anything but to inspire. My heart went out to her. And I didn’t have the courage to tell her I feel the same way when I read about her relationship bliss. “Where’s mine?” my heart laments. “What if I’m alone forever?” the familiar fear flutters at the back of my stomach. “What about the kids I want?” I try to quell the thirty-something single girl panic. “What if I put myself back out there and get hurt again?”

It’s fitting that she was the one who discovered Mr. Wonderful’s profile back on when I was sure we were in true love bliss. She was the one who had to sit me down and deal what she knew would be a devastating blow. She was the one that saved me from getting hurt worse by blithely continuing with a man who was not in love with me. I know in that way she’s been instrumental in moving me closer to that guy who will wholly love me. And I know eventually she’ll shake loose from her Exec and create a business that she loves.

Between the two of us, we have everything a girl could want. We are on a different sort of parallel tracks. She has the guy, I have the work. We are yin and yang to each other. I have to believe we’ll both have the whole package before too much longer. Meanwhile we can keep listening to each other’s divergent lives. I guess that’s what friends are for: balance.

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