A girl needs her sounding blocks. The friends you go to when you need to talk and be received without judgement. People that you can run things by, who will listen, and not try and fix things and let you come to your own conclusions in your own head.
Of course, their are friends who you can talk to about some things, and not others.
Blarney, for example, I can talk to about everything except my tarot stuff. It's not that she doesn't support my hobby jobs, it's just she doesn't really know much about what I do, how I do it, and I don't think she really cares. Bring anything up about tarot and she's like my Mum. "That's nice, Panders." is her normal response. Which I'm fine with. The "dark arts" as another friend calls tarot, isn't for everybody - and I'm good with this. When people start spouting kids and christianity, I tend to turn off too. It's not that I don't like them, just no interest.
I have a friend Kara who I talk astrology with. A fairly esoteric topic, I know I can go to her with my questions.
Gloria is my existential, "let's put the world to rights" friend - if I need to talk about the witchy stuff, Gloria is my go-to person.
Running, my topic of choice, is best discussed with Trin, Kez, Dan and Reindert. Running is a really boring thing to talk about if you're not a runner.
If I want the complete reverse viewpoint to anything I'm thinking, I call on Glen Waverley. As a man and an engineer, we think opposingly on most things. Glen Waverley will try and fix things - I let things slide. Glen Waverley is shocking when the tears come out, "Tears are blackmail" I've heard him say a few times. When somebody cries in front of me I just tend to sit there with a box of tissues and leave them to it, "Better out than in.". Glen Waverley is as logical as I am esoteric. We accept each other for this fact.
For the ratbag answers to questions, there's my Gen Why friends Em and Kitt - both sensible and bling loving all at once. I wish I was born a Gen Why. They have so many freedoms I never got. And they get to wear diamantes. Pretty.
But what of those questions you just can't ask anybody else? The really hard life questions? Who do you turn to?
As I mentioned before, my Mum isn't good with this sort of stuff. Ask her the meaning of life and she'll answer you, "That's nice, dear." My sister is a carbon copy of my Mum on most matters.
I met up with my friend Alice at lunch today, retrieving a saucepan that contained the weekend dinner party starter. Alice is normally good for discussing unusual dilemmas. Like myself, Alice is a co-freemason, a pseudo-techie-literate-nerd, well travelled and we're the same age. She's also big into sustainability and anything green (always good to have a friend who's more of a hippy than you.)
"I have some questions." I told her.
"What sort of questions? About time speeding up?" that was our latest email quandry exchange.
"Nope. Harder than that."
"The Mayan Calendar."
"Nope, but I'll talk to you about that next week one I get this stuff sorted."
"What do you need to talk about."
"I need a completely opposite perspective on things. I don't think you can help, no offence. Think I need to talk to a bloke."
"What about Glen Waverley."
"I said a bloke, not an engineer. They're different."
"Hmmm." Alice scratched her head. Then smiled. "Go talk to Mack. Mack has an answer for everything and anything."
Brilliant idea. Talk to Mack. Mack should be able to sort this.
Looking at Mack, with his gaunt, stringy frame, permanent five'o'clock shadow, ill-fitting, oversized suit and slightly menacing grin, you'd wonder if you'd really want to talk to him, let alone ask him about your existential crisis. On a good day he looks a bit like an over-excited undertaker. A father of five from the outer, outer suburbs, he's actually great value. We bonded when I cleansed his crystals for him at a job a few years ago - a seemingly innocuous start to a great friendship. He was the one that gave Alice and I a leg into freemasonry. Having a tribe of little Macks, he's forever at Auskick clinics, netball games, scout halls and school plays. He also has some of the sagest advice about. Mack and I are sure we've met in other lives.
I got him on email.
"Mack, I need to ask you something."
"I knew you were troubled grasshopper."
"There are things I know. What do you need to ask me?"
"It's a strange one."
"Is aging the same for men?"
"Well, do men get all uptight about the fact that everything is heading southward - you know, like things sag and change colour and aren't as springy as they used to be."
"Yes. But don't tell anybody."
"Men also have the hair thing. It falls out where you want it, grows where you don't want it, never does what it's told. We don't talk about that either."
"Yeah, I've noticed that." I replied.
"Why are you asking about this?"
"Existential crisis." I responded.
"Well, as you're aware, I've been on my own for a long time."
"Well, like the last time I was out there I was in my thirties. I had no body image, or at least I didn't like what I saw. Now I find myself thinking about this stuff. Just wondering about it."
"Well if things were to change, oh, you know - do men have all these insecurities I'm having too?"
"Of course they do. They just don't let anybody know about it. Well, that's what I do."
"You've never talked to your friends about your saggy, baggy bits? We girls have this as a topic of conversation now and then."
"Nope. Stuff like that is never discussed. Men talk about other things."
"Oh? Like what."
"That would be telling."
"Does that make you feel a bit better?" he asked.
"Pand, you're in the best shape of your life. The best place I've seen you since I've known you. Stop second guessing and over thinking. Just get on with it."
"Mack, I think you've just given me the answer I needed."
"Oh, and Pand, my mantra at the moment," I accept that I am imperfect. I accept that those I love are imperfect. I take things slowly. I am true to myself."
Wise words, no matter the situation.