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Just pull yourself together, Julie.

“Just pull yourself together, Julie.” I hear my mother's voice in my head. I’m doing a lot of pulling myself together. I share my thoughts with my dear friend Eleanor, and she laughs. Eleanor has the kind of laugh that makes me laugh just hearing her laugh. She is a long-time friend and confidante. Perfectly groomed, with exceptional manners and gracious social skills, she has a surprisingly wicked sense of humour. We laugh easily together.

“Stop it,” says El, and we laugh from our bellies. Yes,

it’s an inside joke. But one we never tire of. Search out an old YouTube video with Bob Hewitt playing a psychologist that charges five dollars for the first five minutes, and after that, his expertise is free. He promises to change your life in just two words. “STOP IT.” The truth of this hilarious piece of comedy has never left us since we attended a self-help weekend together about ten years ago. And I need good friends like El to remind me not to sweat and fret about all the small stuff.

What anchors our friendship is the ability to dig deep with each other. Share our vulnerabilities, our shame and our hopes and dreams. So here I am on my road trip, following a dream and realizing that dreams are different from reality, which is neither good nor bad.

Why am I doing this? I bought a camper van in August 2022, and it stood in the street, giving me a one-eyed greeting every time I walked past it. I’d turn the other way so as not to notice its big eye staring at me.

Travelling from place to place is not enough for me. As we all do, I need “purpose” in my life. And I hear my father’s voice, “You have to have a routine, Julie.” Between my mother,my father, and Bob Hewitt, I have a lot of voices in my head. Maybe it's time to put a call in to El.

Yet, there is some truth in these clamouring voices. Nobody is going to create the life I want to lead except me, and within that life, it is up to me to create purpose. And it will take every ounce of me waking up to welcome the unknown of each day, embracing my life exactly as it is, and showing up for myself, day after day after day.

Tonight, I plan my tomorrow. One day at a time.

One day to fill up and make it the best day it can be—El and I know this is not easy. But that’s what friends are for, to hold us when we cannot pick ourselves up. To share a space without judgement, where our broken hearts spill out in tumbling rivers, and we

listen to hear, not give an answer.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends, who show up for me on different days in different ways.


FRIENDSHIP is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses, as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn…Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die. Friendship: A Selection from David Whyte’s Consolations (2020)

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