I have been reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle and want to share it with you. It should arrive in the mail within the next few days. There are no expectations for you to read it, like it or even keep it; I could see it being a hit as a white elephant gift, regift or even bonfire fuel - totally up to you. I want to give it to you because I love it, I love you and because the book embodies the characteristics I admire in you - a strong and colorful cover encasing pages full of creativity, wit and introspection.
Many of the memoir’s stories are reminiscent of the D&M’s abundant in our friendship. One story in particular brought you immediately to mind. It is when the author recounts meeting fellow author Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) at a conference. Glennon mentions that her ‘general policy is to honor people I admire by leaving them alone.’ However at this event, she did approach Liz. Glennon and Liz clicked after brief interaction. Liz wanted to sit next to Glennon during the event’s dinner, but the formal dinner with a seating arrangement meant they were unable to spend more time together that evening.
Glennon describes also wishing to sit next to Liz during dinner along with regretful acknowledgement that the two would not become friends.
“During the dinner I thought about how much I liked Liz and how sad it was that we wouldn’t actually be able to be friends. Attempting to be her friend would be like intentionally writing a bad check. I am not a good friend. I have never been capable of or willing to commit to the maintenance that the rules of friendship dictate. I cannot remember birthdays. I do not want to meet for coffee. I will not host the baby shower. I won’t text back because it’s an external game of Ping-Pong, the texting. It never ends. I inevitably disappoint friends, so after enough of that, I decided I would stop trying. I don’t want to live in constant debt. This is okay with me. I have a sister and children and a dog. One cannot have it all.
A few weeks after the event, Liz sent me an email saying she thought we should try friendship. She sent along this poem:
I honor your gods,
I drink at your well,
I bring an undefended heart to our meeting place.
I have no cherished outcomes,
I will not negotiate by withholding,
I am not subject to disappointment.
She offered a new friendship memo: that for us there would be no arbitrary rules, obligations, or expectations. We would not owe each other anything other than admiration, respect, love - and that was done already. We became friends.”
Glennon recounts their friendship as it develops and highlights the comfort, companionship and depth it provides - with no strings attached. She ends the chapter with the following lines:
“It is a blessing to know a free woman. Sometimes she will stop by and hold up a mirror for you. She will help you remember who you are.”
I hope it comes as no surprise why this story reminds me of our friendship. More importantly, I hope you always know how much I appreciate the connection we share, the perspective you bring to my life and how much I admire you, respect you and love you exactly as you are.
Thank you for being a wonderful friend and free woman in my life.