Vulnerable is ok…

I have a friend at work who I admire so much.  She is a young 35 year old doctor who has spent the last 4 years working in Malawi in our project ensuring that women, men and children receive access to medical treatment for HIV/AIDS and other health needs.  She loves her work – has a passion for it and for that alone she is to be admired.

However, I admire her for more than that.  She recently returned to Toronto to work with us here in the head office and continue with her clinical work.  She misses Malawi – that is her passion – and it is very possible that one day she may head back again and work there for an extended period of time.

This alone would make her anyone’s hero – however, that is only one reason why I admire her so much.  My friend makes no apology for this – she states it very clearly.  She came back because she wanted to find a life partner.  She did not want to go through life on her own and she knew that the likelihood of meeting that someone in Malawi may be small.  She came home and put the word out.  Way to go is what I say.  So often we are afraid to say what we want in this area of life – we are afraid to say what we need for fear we might seem too needy, or desperate.  It is ok to be vulnerable – it is ok not to be able to do it alone – no matter what that “it” is.

Somehow this gift of a life partner has passed me by up to this point in time – I can’t really say I understand why this is the case – many doors shut – well not many but certainly more than one- and maybe there is something in the future – that would be my hope and my desire.  I know I would be a much better person in a relationship even though I would say I have come to learn to be content on my own!  Whatever the future holds –  I know I am not ashamed to say that I don’t want to be alone and I long just like many do for a partner in life that can walk the journey into the future.

I have another friend – a medical doctor as well  who is revamping his life and his work schedule  and focused activities for the very same reason.  He wants to balance his life – he wants to make space for a life partner .   I applaud him as well!  He has encouraged me to focus on what will make life rich and fulfilling – and although work is important and a very big part of what makes us “tick”  – it is not all there is.  Relationship is so ultimately important to bring out the best in each of us.

I follow a blog written by Joel MIller and not long ago he describe what his marriage has given him.  I loved his words – the way he describes what a life partner can give is magical and yet realistic.  I have to say this is what I would love- I wonder if it is possible?

Listen to what he says marriage provides him:

A smile when you step through the door

A hug when you head back out

Mercy when you don’t deserve it

An embrace when you really need it

Someone who will pray for you

Someone who will tell you no

A friend to share the better moments

A partner to ride out the lesser ones

Laughter, affection, home

Warmth, surprise, support

Kind words, wise words, funny words

Hard words, soft words, sweet words

Welcome indulgence

Necessary resistance


Astounding intelligence and aptitude

A capacity for the new, the hard, the challenging

Love, joy, peace…..

and the one thing I would add…..more laughter – and lots of it!

I applaud my friend who talks about this so openly – it gives others courage to say what we feel deep inside.  And if it is to be I will be forever grateful.  And if it is not I know that my life has been rich just as it is.  Being grateful for what you have and who you have become through all of the experiences of life is what gives contentment.  My  father always says when I ask him how he is – “I’m content”!  And maybe just maybe that is a good place to be!!

Oh …my friend has met someone!  Good for her!


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