I never heard the phrase “my people” until I was teaching in the late 1990s. It was a phrase one of my students– who I taught for two years– would use, much to my amusement, when she was bemoaning her peers. I loved the phrase and started using it. A lot. My people easily morphed into my person, and it continues to be a steady part of my slang.
So it should come as no surprise that a few years ago, this scene in Grey’s Anatomy just spoke to me. Not just because it used a phrase that I love, but also because it presented such a vulnerable truth. I, too, have my person. And I called her right away to tell her about this scene (perhaps her only character flaw is that she doesn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy). I have a few people, really,– who really recognize me, get me, understand me, and I imagine we all have our person or people. They can move away or get busy with work or family or school but, deep down, you know he/she/they are your person and you can call him/her/them anytime and that when you will do, it will be just like you never spent a moment apart.
The another night, I was reading American Wife, and there was a passage there that reminded me so much of what takes someone from being a friend to being your person:
People recognized you or they didn’t, and it was unrelated to knowing you. Knowing you could just be your name or the street you lived on, your father’s job. Recognizing you was understand you had thoughts in your head, finding the same thigns funny or excruciating, remembering what you’d said months or even years after you’d said it (page 66)
Back to me:
So, today, I am sending a Cheers! out to the people in our lives who recognize us, who see us for who we are or aren’t and do not try to put us in a box that is not of our own understanding and to each of you, who come here willing to see me however I am.