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The Five Key Things That I've Learned From Divine

Let me start by saying that all of my friends are quite awesome. Not ordinary cool, but just a whole different level of cool that keeps me feeling like I have to constantly bring my A game while still feeling like I totally belong. No two are alike, not even slightly. They all make me feel like the best version of myself when I'm with them in a group or whether we are spending time alone. The professions don't quit. They are the smartest bunch. There are CEO's, teachers, attorneys, producers, nurses, executive assistants, artists, writers, mothers and the list goes on. Attractive in every way and more fashionable than a little bit. The creativity is endless. They all shine individually, but as a collective they are like the galaxy. My galaxy.

Divine is the Capella to my Vega (these are actual stars - look them up). We aren't the brightest, but we are two of the top ten. It's so funny how time flies. I met her about eight years ago and my goal has always been to build a better bond with her. She's just that fly. Also, we have quite a bit in common; we like to bake and crave learning to sew. We are sensible romantics, love children for their wit, but still recognize people for the true assholes that they can be and create humor out of most things with comebacks that leave many in shocked stitches. She's one of my few favorites.

During my marriage and dismantling there of, she's been a cheerleader of mine. She reminds me constantly that I'm a bad bitch and that I should always remember my worth, which I tend to forget from time to time given my current situation. Lately, because we are closer neighbors than the rest of our crew (which I've dubbed as The Panel aka Bad Bitches Unite) we are spending more time together.

So, one Sunday (my only mommy free time) I spent it with her. It was a good day and Divine as usual was dropping gems that I didn't miss. By the end of the evening, I left her and had literal notes in my pocket. They were the five things that I'd learned from her that particular day.

It's no secret that I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). However, I'm constantly functioning. Sometimes in serious pain and some days I feel like someone has kicked me repeatedly in key joints like my knees and arms. She is one of my only friends who has never laughed about this. She takes the human body and it's functions seriously. She's mindful of what she puts in hers and that she moves it quite often so that she can operate at her fairly highest level without over doing it. She walks slow with me sometimes without complaints. On this particular day, she took me to a health food store on the Upper East Side for supplements that would make us both feel better. Guess what, they did. After about two to three weeks of taking supplements and stretching my body, I was sleeping and moving better. Everything was all natural as I am quite skeptic about taking serious medication for anything. I felt like I was winning already just from that one stop. She picked up a bag of plantain chips with her purchase. "This is a good snack", she said. I was like, "I'm good". If you've tried one plantain chip, you've tried them all, right? NO. They were awesome. It may have been because I was sharing her bag. I'm unsure, but they are the best and I can only find them at that particular health store.

Next, we went to Target. Yes, Target brings us joy. I go every other week. However, going with Divine had me venturing into isles that I would never lurk. She checked out intimates and then we lingered in lounge wear. I touched some of the things that were hanging on the racks. They were so unusually cottony soft. I was amazed. She said, "I told you Target has amazing pajamas and they wash well" I was like, "Yeah, and they're actually cute while saying clever shit." I ended up settling on my favorite two. Divine, doesn't really do carts. She's about making actually decisions. All of her purchases can fit over her arms or in a small basket. I always use a cart when I'm alone. Excess Queen. Not that day.

After Target, we still hadn't had enough of each other, so we went to dinner at Harlem Tavern. It was a beautiful August night, we sat outside and soaked up the atmosphere. She started talking to me about a conversation that she had with someone regarding Life Levels. Basically, if living life had a scale from 1 - 10, what level do you think you are living at right now? I've NEVER had anyone ask me such a question. I gave it some real thought and then responded that I believe that I'm currently living life at a solid 6. I, in turn asked her, what level was she living at. To which she responded a firm 8. "Wow! I want to live life at an 8", I heard myself say. She said one of her friends said that they believe that most humans are functioning at a 2. I almost laughed with horror. Then I thought about it - they may be right. She said that another friend said that they function at a 10. I said, "10 is quite high. I don't need level 10." Then I thought, why not level ten if that is a viable option for life's happiness?

At that moment, I decided to strive to reach Level 8. I thought of what that would entail. I would be happy at home, work, have a good love life with someone that I absolutely care about with my almost entire heart. My son would be excelling in school and being a good human to himself and others (this is a mother's true wish). I would be in good health. Not achy. I'd eat balanced meals that nourished me, yet still brought me joy, as I absolutely love food. I would work out and feel great. I would be active and devote my free time to travel and ultimate relaxation. I would be divorced and leave the old me behind. I would pursue my passions, like writing and hobbies galore. I'd own a bakeshop, be a published author and own a beautiful small home in Santa Monica. That was my idea of Level 8. When I got there, I'd strive for 10. Just thinking about it was euphoric. I wanted to tell everyone I knew about the levels of life. I wanted to know where everyone stood and where they wanted to stand, but I'd work on me first.

We continued our conversation and fantasized about the levels, of course venturing into love. Divine and I are currently single and neither of us really care to be. We just continue to walk through life as good people while we kinda enjoy the wait. But, waiting has it's optimisms and it's detriments. While you're alone, you answer to no one, do what you please. However, we don't wish to be alone. I want a natural born leader and I'm sure Divine's level 10 includes a dashing husband and a growing family. Mine definitely includes someone to call my own and someone who will call me all his while he simultaneously feels and acts that way. I assured her that she was one of the greatest girls I knew and that she just keeps missing him because she needs to take an earlier train everyday. Or get to the coffee shop five minutes sooner and he'd be there, like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail". And I truly believe it and I think she does too. Divine's Life Lesson allowed me to create a lesson for myself. Never give up on love nor the idea of it. It is quite alright to fantasize about life.

Just to recap, the five things I learned are:

1. Take care of yourself. Sometimes a trip to your local health food store is what you really need. Even if it's just for lavender oil to calm you at night before bed.

2. Plantain chips with a friend is the best snack. :)

3. Target has great lounge wear. Get you some.

4. Strive for a better Life Level!

5. Be a little earlier for love.


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