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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The pearl

I recently read a quote posted by someone on Facebook: “Allow your disappointment to form a life-affirming pearl, just as an oyster does when an irritating grain of sand gets inside its shell.” The author’s name was not posted. It got my attention.

I read the quote several times. I found it quite interesting. I thought it was a beautiful allegory. Definitely a seductive invitation to look at difficult times in a different prospective. Disgusting, annoying events or circumstances can be transformed into pleasant, fulfilling experiences.

I have witnessed quite a few of those transformations. One of my best experiences has to do with my friend Barbara, Barbie, as I call her. She is a colleague, a licensed clinical social worker, abbreviated -LCSW. But overall, she is one of my best friends.

Barbie and I met at work. She came to work at a nursing care facility that had recently hired me. There were some difficulties at that time, and months later things turned into a nightmare. Seriously. We went through a lot of commotion, chaos and we all were put under a lot of pressure. We worked long hours. Multiple projects were assigned to be completed with short deadlines. Daily meetings and close monitoring made our days exhausting, unenjoyable, and almost unbearable. At times, we shared a few tears.

Barbie and I didn't seem to have too much in common beyond the fact that we both were healthcare social workers. Barbie was tall, blonde, kind and patient. I was, to the contrary, petite, brunette, hyperactive, and often neurotic. One day in despair, complaining about our jobs, we started to talk and share our disheartenment. But we also started to talk about our personal lives. Our relationship almost immediately changed. Barbie admitted to me -after we had become close friends- that she was initially guarded due to the fact that I resembled a person she had detested in her past. Today we both find that to be one of the cutest confessions ever admitted and heard.

The truth is that the difficult work environment that we went through was the best experience that could have happened to Barbie and I. We discussed our tasks and assigned projects daily. We helped each other despite our exhaustion and burnout. And as our friendship grew, we found our career and personal aspirations were surprisingly similar in many ways. No matter what was happening around us, we knew we could trust each other, regardless of the stressful environment.

Barbie and I no longer work at the same nursing facility. We pursued different jobs, but Barbie and I talk almost daily. We meet for lunch every week. We both agree that the irritating sand of harsh circumstances formed the pearl of our shiny, strong friendship. No doubt, we became best friends forever.


Unknown said...

Oh I love this post! I especially love this line, "We both agree that the irritating sand of harsh circumstances formed the pearl of our shiny, strong friendship." I have a few awesome relationships that become stronger through tough times. Thanks for sharing this post. I might have told you this but my twin is a LCSW. Social Workers are quite an extraordinaire group!!!

chocolatecovereddaydreams.blogspot.com said...

That's the type of friendship that is not only bonded through circumstance but also from the heart. I loved this story!

Aine Willis said...

Those kinds of friends are PEARLS! They are the best.

Terri Tiffany said...

I think if I had had a friend like Barbie where I just left, I might still be there. You really need good support on demanding jobs and social work is one of the hardest. I'm glad you are both still connectes:))

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

There is something special about a friendship born out of hardship

Tahereh said...

a very powerful post. beautiful.

these kinds of friendships are priceless.

thanks so much for sharing :)

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

What a beautiful post about a precious friendship. This Ozarks farm chick knows that one of the best things in life is a good friend ya can count on no matter what. I'm so tickled you've found that kind of relationship with Barbie, she sounds like the perfect friend.

Ya'll have a wonderfully blessed day from the happy hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Hey sweetie, I just wanted to thank ya'll for droppin' in and hoppin' on my blog. I sure hope ya enjoy the ride!

God bless ya and in the words of that silly old Granny Clampett, "ya'll come back now, ya hear!!!"

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

awww... how sweet of you... my pleasure!!