#498 Long comfortable silences between really close friends

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“Mm, want the air conditioning on or anything?”

“No, no, I’m good…”

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AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Hi Neil,
I recently got a copy of The Book of Awesome on Mother’s Day from my 2 1/2 year old (obviously my husband was behind that one ;). I love it and it’s just taking me to a different happy place each time I read one of the stories. I do appreciate the little things although this wasn’t always the case.

I’ve had a difficult period in my life and I’m still not fully on two strong legs yet, literally. 2 1/2 years ago I got an outburst of mysterious symptoms, my speech went slurry, barely audible, I couldn’t chew, swallow food, within months I dropped down to less than 75 lbs. I got weakness in my arms and legs and could barely walk. For most of this time, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and was on max doses of antidepressants – which were certainly necessary as I was going through depression with suicidal thoughts.

Eventually, I got more tests done, and 15 months later (of surviving on smoothies that took an hour to drink) (oh and did I mention I couldn’t smile – physically could NOT smile, I could not control any facial muscles) I got diagnosed with a rare disease called Myasthenia Gravis, (in short, it leads to muscle weakness due to antibodies blocking the signals from the brain to muscles). Since starting treatment I got my smile back, I can lift my daughter and go for a walk… but since there is no cure for this illness, the symptoms came back stronger so although my facial muscles are under some control, I’m generally weak and my eye muscles are affected with double vision.

This is still taking a toll but I’ve accepted things for what they are…. I think I’m HALF WAY (just like you). I may be weak, but I’m now a STRONG person inside. I now appreciate things for what they are, I look for awesome things in the everyday.  That’s why your book means so much to me. It helps me to look at life in a lighter way, it puts me in a happier place. For this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – Ella (from http://www.lifeologia.com/)

53 thoughts on “#498 Long comfortable silences between really close friends

  1. When your friendship gets to this point, it’s so great. Goodbye, days of awkward small talk. Hello, world of comfy nothingness (IF you so choose).

    :D

    That story is phenomenal; wow.

  2. wow. I literally JUST got back from hanging out with a good friend and we did nothing for a few hours once we got back from going out. Then I left to go home and as I’m going up the stairs to my room I say to myself “I’m glad me and (insert name) are such good friends that we can do nothing and still have a good time.” and then I come home and see this

    mind-blown

  3. totally sat here waiting for a picture to pop up. But yeah, this is awesomeness at its best :)

    I almost cried reading that email. she and her daughter are so cute in that picture.

  4. It’s the perfect sort of evening when I can call up my friend and say “are you busy tonight?” Only to sit quietly on the couch all night just enjoying each other’s presence. I don’t know why people find silences awkward, why fill them with endless blabber when you can just be?

  5. It bothers me, even amongst my friends, people who think a silence is something to be filled.

    Now I’m not one of the “THE TV IS ON! WE CANNOT TALK! WE MUST REVERE IT!” crowd, but there’s no point talking when you’ve not really got anything to say.

    Amiable silence FTW.

  6. Totally love the use of white space.

    Nothing good as being silent together and not feeling the pressure to say something.

  7. Haha, this is very true. When you sit on a couch with your 2 best mates, the pizza’s eaten and the movie is just showing the credits, silence is the best buddy.

  8. Depeche Mode comes to mind: “Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm”

  9. I thought my computer was broken because no picture came up……

    Then I got it and felt kinda stupid.

    Actually, just last weekend I was over at a friends and we were just sitting on the couch doing nothing for like two hours. It was AWESOME!!

    And props to Ella for pushing hard and not giving up, you rock, and I’m praying for you.

  10. I think one of my favorite moments of friendship was the last night of high school theatre.

    I was going to college far away from home (and from everyone else) and was giving up my thesbian ways, at least for the time being.

    The night we took down the set and said our goodbyes to the final show, I walked out to the middle of the stage and looked out into the seats, remembering every last night I saw hundreds of faces out there. I stood there for some time that I can only judge as somewhere between one minute and half an hour as my eyes began to water.

    Without saying anything one of my good friends came and gave me a hug, and we just stood there in, of course, silence. Soon after another one joined the group, a guy who was the very first friend I made in high school and is still very close. It wasn’t long before there were six guys standing in the middle of the stage in a quiet embrace (not without some of our gal friends taking some artistic pictures of us of course) just simply…being there. Comforting each other. Mainly me…because I’m a crybaby.

    We said very little for the rest of that night. And that was the way we wanted it.

    1. You just made me miss high school all over again. Almost everytime I think of those days I get teary eyed. Those were some really great times!

      1. Oh yes. High school was a good part of my life. Before college I was petrified that the good years, but luckily I managed to find some wonderfully awesome things here as well.

  11. That story is very moving. Thank you Ella for sharing it with us.

    I don’t have many silent moments with my friend. Even on the 4 hour drive to her house from mine and then the 4 hour drive back a few days later. I think the only time we are silent is when the tv is on….no we still talk then. We just love to chat I guess. I’m sure if there was a moment where we didn’t have anything to talk about, it would be very comfortable silence.
    I have silences with hubby a lot. Not always comfortable, but most times they are.

    1. my friends and I chatter a lot too. I don’t have lots of girl friends, so I guess I save it all up for when I do get to see them.
      The hubby silences do happen though…and they are almost always pretty comfy!

  12. Hi. I found this website about 4 months ago and just now am commenting. I read through from 1ooo to this last one and i was surprised that it didn’t go on. Then I realized that it’s still ongoing (Duh). So now Im excited to read the next one tomorrow! Just wanted to say that this website is (ahem) awesome!!! It’s a really bright few minutes in my day, so thanks for that.

  13. The comfort of silence is just so incredible…kinda like the beauty this post where type and white space peacefully coexist…it’s just so refreshing. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  14. I can’t help commenting on Ella’s touching story.
    Congratulations on your courage and attitude to life and your website, Ella. Happy to hear that The Book of Awesome is helping.

  15. I *JUST* had this conversation with one of my dear friends who just came back from Iraq. We love just driving, listening to good music, relaxing. No need to talk about stupid stuff, just sit back and enjoy the ride together – awesome.

    (and ditto – great use of white space!)

    Ella ~ your story is beautiful, as is your daughter. Thank you for sharing it with us, and prayers & best wishes to you and your family!

  16. I really love the fact that the little girl is eating a waffle in the pictures. Waffles are awesome :)
    I like comfortable silences, but I always talk when I watch tv with people. I feel like I need to say something for some reason. With some of my friends we can be silent and it’s great, others it’s a bit awkward. It depends on the person.

  17. Love this! Clever use of the white space.

    I just had this thought several days ago when hanging out with a couple of friends. We were having a discussion and we all finished what we had to say, so there was silence, but it was totally not awkward.

    I think sometimes purposely making small talk is even more awkward. Just enjoy the silence and each other’s company!

  18. Thank you everyone for your kind words and support.
    It’s been an experience for sure and I learned a lot about my friends and silent moments too.
    When you go through a difficult time, you quickly learn a lot about who your true friends are and who you don’t want to waste time on.
    Thanks again everyone and also Big Thanks to Neil for letting me share my story.
    I hope this will be a good Myasthenia Gravis awareness as well.

    This positive community that this blog is creating is really AWESOME ;)

    Be Happy and Healthy!
    -Ella

  19. oh my goodness so true
    my best buddy Connor and I just did that on Monday
    We were sitting in the sun. Just sittin’ with our eyes closed.

  20. I really love those moments…
    one of those I remember like it was yesterday.

    It was with my best friend from high school,
    every Friday we ate our lunch in a park near our school. That day it was very warm outside and our other friends couldn’t come. So we ate our sandwiches and after that we laid down in the grass.. 30 minutes passed, without saying a word. Both of us just staring at the clouds. When the school bell rang we just didn’t want to go back to class.. The feeling we had was just.. AWESOME! We walked back to school with our arm around each others shoulder, both of us never felt so connected before..
    It’s one of my favourite memories of all time!

    and I miss my friend a lot!

  21. By far one of the awesomest things to experience.

    The feeling that they just get you. The feeling of “no, this silence is not awkward, it’s in fact pleasant.”

    The feeling that the silence says it all.

    Then you smile.

  22. A few years ago, my friend and I were driving to Atlantic City from NYC (about a 2 hour drive). We didn’t say a word to each other the entire time. When we got there and stepped out of the car, we both looked at each other and laughed. That was truly awesome! We still bring it up every now and then.

    1. And I meant “Neil” … *sigh* … Mis-spelling someone’s name = NOT awesome … although I kept spelling my co-worker Neal’s name as “Neil” because of reading this blog every morning! =D

  23. I love this quality in a person. I hate hanging around people who always make any silences really awkward and they feel the need for endless chatter to fill any silence… Me and my best friend once just read for a bit when i was over her house. And the other my friend read while i was on facebook… Good times. Peaceful times. AWESOME!

  24. A few years ago, my friend and I were driving to Atlantic City from NYC (about a 2 hour drive). We didn’t say a word to each other the entire time. When we got there and stepped out of the car, we both looked at each other and laughed. That was truly awesome! We still bring it up every now and then.

  25. It’s so great to read all the positive comments and the sharing. I feel like I’m with good friends having a nice conversation. I’ll enjoy this moment… In silence ;)

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