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Life Chez Dee Episode #38: Liz and Jill

There are people you meet who you just connect with, completely gel with. The sort that when you’re with them, there is an ease about the time you spend with them. You can be yourself; you can say things that don’t really offend, not that you generally say things which offend, but because they’re on the same page as you, they don’t get offended … by anything. There’s an ease to the conversation … being able to talk openly, have someone listen, really listen, comment, give their take, without it being taken out of context. They get you. They get why you’re you. They find the same things happy, sad, interesting, beautiful, annoying. Why is that? You can’t even explain it, can’t put your finger on why that connection is there. But with some people that connection is so strong. And I don’t mean that you’ve known them for years. You might have only met them in passing in a shop, or standing near them in a queue. It might be that you’ve known them loosely only as acquaintances, only chatting via social media, but when you meet up there’s no stopping you. Today, I again met up with someone who totally fits that description. I met up with Jill who I connected with instantly when I first met her about a couple of years ago. We’ve regularly chatted, commented over social media, we’ve even met up several times in person, but not really had the chance to get together for a good old chinwag, but deep down I knew. She knew. We knew we liked, loved, hated the same things. We’ve finally got round to meeting up regularly … not that often, but making sure we put another meet up in the diary, however far in advance that might be.

We can talk and talk, we can put the world to rights, we complain about the same things, we notice the same things, we revel in the same things. We’re experts at most things and can put the world to rights in the matter of a morning. Our conversations don’t dwindle, they don’t find a natural lull, they twist and turn, the conversation meandering along, going forwards, backwards, and sideways, off at a tangent, nothing too random, nothing taboo … and we’re following each other … completely … minds totally on the same page. We’ve covered hospitals; the election; votes for women; vaccinations; Nordic walking; any walking; our sensitive souls; art exhibitions; and not being able to say no.

We even talk about this that I’m writing about now. We really think, process, analyse and talk about our minds and connections with people. We talk of those we’re really familiar with, those we hardly know, those we understand, those we don’t, those who understand us and those who don’t … and how when you do connect with someone, it doesn’t necessarily need to be someone who is in your life all the time. Those who we’ve met in passing, strangers on trains who we’ve started conversations with. And yet, hardly anyone starts conversations on train journeys now … everyone with their eyes down looking at a screen, headphones in … shutting themselves away from the outside world, from being able to see or hear or experience what is around them, never connecting with others, directly or indirectly. What is it that’s so lovely about chatting with a stranger on a train journey, or someone you’re sitting with in a waiting room, or whilst standing at a queue? Well, I love that you can hear a snapshot of their life …. I love that given you can find yourself in some situations long enough, you hear a lot of their life story … a story … of life …. of real life … and you’ll never see them again. Like reading a book … finishing the story … putting it back on the shelf … never to read again … only to reminisce.

There are those we’ve known only through meeting through social media … sometimes not even being able to remember where, or when, or why we happened to start talking … connecting … conversing. Some of those I have met this way, I have since met, some have stayed acquaintances, some have become friends, some I’d say have become good friends, and some I have yet to meet.

Having those who send friend requests on social media, or accept friend requests, may just watch, they may just comment, they may comment with something inane, something ignorable; but others will comment with just what it is you want or need to hear. A real connection, always there when you need someone to listen, when you need some advice, when you want to keep up with someone but time or distance is not on your side to do so. Keeping that connection, keeping in touch, keeping that friendship alive.

Certainly for me, in times when I’ve needed to know someone is there, invariably there has been someone. Jill was telling me of the amount of support she too has received from people who are complete strangers … and yet behaving like friends …. doing just what friends would do, no matter what the distance in relationship, or location.

We met up today, neither of us feeling at our best, both having gone through the mill a bit recently, Jill having been through it with pain, hospitals, waiting lists, and even “tablet gate”; I was full of a cold … absolutely choked with it … but we’d set a date for a meet up, and so we did. We both knew it wasn’t the best of days for us, but we were also of the same ilk … reliable. Knowing we’d arranged this, knowing that we wanted to meet up. It was freezing cold, the beach was empty, but taking that stroll on the beach was the space to talk, and the breath of fresh air we needed. Jill had her camera, and she took some lovely shots … I knew they would be, and which I’m going to pinch from her. I however, just had my mobile phone, with its cracked screen … so cracked it looks almost like it’s meant to be crackle glaze! … and so I left the photography to the expert xx

The beach was empty … and stunning as always; the air was still, and it was freezing cold … even the sky looked cold. There was a hint of pink in it, and it was magical to watch the birds soaring, making beautiful shapes and patterns above the sea grass and against that beautiful sky.

We walked back to the café for a very welcome coffee, and we put the world to right some more. train journeys; weekends away; equality and Jill receiving a LGBTQ newsletter; Christmas; Christmas jobs and offloading the work; photography sessions; pets; and my skin.

How long were we on our quick catch up meet up? Only two hours! Quite a quick meeting for us really, seeing as we can talk for England. I feel blessed to have met someone who seems to have as many stories to tell as I do, and someone who is good for my soul, and I hope she feels the same. I think we've started a regular thing now ... watch out ... there will probably be a series of "Liz and Jill Blogs" now.

Hang on! ... We can’t go our separate ways until we’ve taken the obligatory selfie … cue Jill with the phone camera. After much faffing between us with Jill complaining her head was too big; me complaining that my head was too big; Jill complaining her hair was a mess; me complaining my nose might be red (as I’ve been getting through copious amounts of tissues); Jill reassures Liz that she can airbrush a red nose; neither of us knowing where to look on a selfie … eventually the snapshot selfie is done … til next time ……..

… and I muse on the way home about how Jill thinks my skin is so smooth!

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