Sunday, March 10, 2013

Roller Derby, Friendship, Citrus

Seven-ish years ago I saw a tv show on A&E called Rollergirls. Having loved roller skating as a kid, it was so cool to me! I called my friend and said, let's make this happen in Buffalo. She connected online to a third woman, who had been on a roller derby league in her home state. We three met up at Spot coffee one day. Seven years later...the league has grown to four home teams, a travel team, a 'queens court' and a JR league for girls from 8-18. Pretty amazing stuff. My part in the Queen City Roller Girls ended years ago. I was completely invested and passionate in the first year. In love with it. But in subsequent years my interest waned. It became too political for me, to stressful. My love of it was the skating, and when I stopped skating...meh. I'm proud to have helped start the league, though. One of the other co founders was ousted and written out of the history for some bad behavior. Ousted, I could understand. But I felt that the re writing of the history set the precedent that it's alright to write all of us out. The third founder stuck in and is still super active, and she co founded the JR league. Different paths for us all.
Last night Nik and I went to a bout. And it felt lovely to see so many welcoming faces, to feel so much love, to laugh over shared histories. Some of these women I had called my friends, and through the evolution of time and events I would now call them acquaintances. As I moved through the process of leaving the league by degrees that felt strange at times. And stressful, and sad. Now it feels just fine. I love the league. I love it's place in my past. I love going to watch bouts, and reveling in the joy it brings to the women who are involved. So good, so so good.

We brought a new friend with us. (she gave us beautiful citrus that her mom picked from their yard and mailed from California) It's strange, the making of friends past a certain age. As kids it's effortless. You say, 'let's be friends' and they say 'okay' and then you're buddies. You hang out, you play tag, you argue over rules, then go right back to playing. As adults there seems more to navigate. Trust for one. We are so much more guarded as adults. There's also the latent teen-angsty-ness (that is the best word I've ever made up) of wanting to be liked. But it's been easy to get to know Jena. She's open, and funny, and really interesting. It makes me happy to make connections that feel genuine.
And I miss my unican friend, who is in paradise...and has the flu. Which has prolonged her stay in paradise. *sigh* is going to be 50+ degrees I must go. We're off for a hike today!!

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