I over heard it in a locker room way after the fact.
“Oh, I heard too, so are they separated, or does she even know?”.
My ears perk up as I change, I am very quite. I recognize the voices and it does not take me long to realize who they are talking about. “She” is my best friend, and I can be very nice, but not weak, but strength in this moment, was a deep breath and being quiet. There was no point. To give energy to anything of this nature, was not productive, nor helpful. Just a reminder that it’s someone life, we probably know very little about, how would be want to be spoken about - speak that way.
I said nothing, I just listened, and dressed, and thought it was sad people have nothing more passionate to talk about than other people, and if I had piped in, it would be kind. It’s not my place, it wall works out in the end, how it is suppose to.
Actually, no that is not correct. It works out even better.
If you want to just stop reading my rambling here and get her book, I’ll be quiet, HERE you go. or www.trulifewellness.com because while she has two young children, a full time job, we managed a trip to Bali, in the middle of divorce, she started a business too. Typical.
If we know one another in real life, even in social media life, in some form or fashion, professionally, or personally, you’ve seen a glimpse of some of my friends. Aren’t they amazing? Beautiful inside and out, male and female.
I pinch myself most days too, as many of my friends are really big rock stars, impacting communities or companies, top of their field/ industry/ sport , influential, successful, speakers, celebrities, philanthropists, happy, the list goes on. I look around the room sometimes, like “whose the crack-slipper here?” - Me!: I keep friends very intentionally - good ones, ones that speak highly when I am not present, ones who make me aim to be a better person. If you are reading this, we are friends.
However, I have a couple, best-friends. People I see more often, just by way of life. I’ve read you can tell a lot about your well-being by the 4 or 5 people you see most. If so, good news for me.
Adding “Author” to my list of friends. Not just any friend. The friend that people ask “are you grils, sisters?”.
I’m flattered by that question by the way. I won’t get into the fact that would make me the shorter, not as blue-eyed, non-legal professional, one. She has two really rad sisters, who share her with me, Hi (A)manda and Marsha!
How do I know her? Simply put, she was in my spin class over 10 years ago. While I started over both personally - ugly cry break up (phew and grateful later), (at 29) and professionally, pretty sure she and her (then) husband paid for more than few of my single-girl dinners, race entries, and things like that when I was let go, and later, quit a job. I had this best friend, Melissa (better known as Mel in my world), doing the whole “get married, work, have beautiful children” plan, who was always a little bit ahead of me in checking the life boxes. She was also always supporting my rise, my clubs, groups, sponsorship, classes, accolades, my career, even got me to sign up for a marathon not knowing how many miles that even was! So, only because she did, and friends don’t let friends train for marathons alone, I again signed up and well, now there are a lot of medals hanging up in the garage.
So that was 10 marathons, 3 Boston Qualifiers, ago, and a LOT of miles and open doors later - for me. I’d like to think it’s for us both, and if I can hold or door or two for her, great, but there is no way to ever say, “Thanks Mel”.
This whole time, as life happened, we would run together. For the first couple of years, I probably introduced her to people as “my running partner”, to which she’d smile and say “I am also Sheri’s “friend” (air quote), Melissa” - and flash her million dollar white tooth smile.
She is so much more than my running partner or friend.
Fast forward to the last couple of years. She tells the story best, and it’s one of things that if you met her today, and I hope you do, you would think “wow, she is doing so well, she went through all of that ?”.
The thing is, when she started to write, coming out of the darkest days of her life plans being turned upside down, she wrote with the intent, to help both herself and one anyone who can relate, and have hope that happiness is possible, the unknown can be exciting, and freeing. Her path has had lots of good parts and people, and I know she wishes them the best too.
Guess why you’ll be glad you’re not my friend?
It happened for her. To the point my poor friends, when they are at they deepest,darkest, lows, sad, the worst, (for the most part), I know in my heart, so much good is going to come from this. Just sometimes, you need to be bummed for a minute or five. While I wish I could speed that up, I can’t.
There is no manual to read on how to support someone you love going through a very hard life time, one thing after another. Whether it be illness, death, betrayal, addiction, the list in endless, but instead, you know it’s their journey to live, you can just try your best to feel it too.
Empathy vs. Sympathy. Empathy is the ability to experience the feelings of another person. It goes beyond sympathy, which is caring and understanding for the suffering of others. Both words are used similarly and often interchangeably (incorrectly so) but differ subtly in their emotional meaning. I think it’s easier to be empathetic if it’s someone you love, to the point, I’d be furious sometimes (quietly), frustrated knowing she deserved so much more, wonder when is this over, and just so sad for her at times I couldn’t sleep, but it has to get so bad sometimes, that the only option is better.
Meanwhile, mid divorce, she helped me get married, her two little girls were in our wedding, though I opted for no attendants, just these two NIKE wearing littles.
I knew she’d get through it, but boy did she even surpass just how “through it”, i thought she’d get. I am not surprised at all, how high and how strong, she would (and continues) to rise, taking us all with her. It’s kinda like mile 24, it’s hard, but it too passes. She’s been dragging me along for great things since I was 26 or 27.
Well, here we are, post a whole lot. It’s interesting to read as the friend, living it all once removed, but she is so good with her words. We cried, we learned, and even went to Bali, because like that darn first marathon, she suggested that too.
So whatever moves you to support her book, order for a friend, you to become part of her, and my (fan club) story.
Maybe you like learning about how real people overcome life adversity.
Maybe you are that person stuck, or in that low place
Maybe you know someone who too, could benefit from the reminder that a change is scary but staying is scarier.
Maybe you would like to re frame a past relationship or heartbreak.
Maybe you just want to live your best.
Maybe you and I have crossed paths, and if so, it’s only because I have had Melissa in mine.
This is what she has created, and she tells it best and it’s my sincere pleasure to be able to share, in my own small way, so we can all be a part of her next chapter, her happier than imagined, ending.
I wrote this book…
to share my story—the struggles, the victories and the learnings. I suffered betrayal, loss, hopelessness, death and severe heartbreak. It was unpleasant and painful at times but through adversity I found growth. I discovered self-love, self-acceptance, authenticity and to face fear determined to live a life true to myself. My defining moment came on a retreat in Bali when I realized the spirit and magic of that island had taken me on an unexpected path to heal my heart. - Melissa Press
Thank you for taking the time, supporting her, to support others, and wherever this journey takes her, I am sure one PROUD, lucky, friend (and still the running partner).
As of this week, 11/1, she is now my north county San Diego neighbor, coming full circle, as I started fresh, moved just houses down from her in 2010 and began my own best life, so now, here we are, and she is no doubt, living hers. (and we still run - Hi from the crew on 11.3.18) just don’t tell the lifeguards. (Oh Kate :).
Side note, maybe one day, we’ll add a chapter “by the friends”. I kid, but we will be there, watching, cheering and taking all the good things coming to her, she so deserves.
The (really proud and amazed) best friend,
Melissa Press’s book is here: https://trulifewellness.com/book/
or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732717206