things I hope my girlfriends know
I’m one of the lucky women who has more girlfriends than any one person deserves. My cup runneth over for sure. All the stars aligned this summer and I spent two and a half weeks in VA bouncing from house to house, event to event with a bunch of these ladies. My heart was so full from the moments we shared this summer. I’d always wanted to write about friendship but never really knew where to start. It’s a topic so close to my heart that words on paper never seemed to capture the emotion I felt. When I got home I realized that more than writing to the world about how dear my friendships are to me, what I really wanted was to make sure that each one of them knew it. So all of you ladies, you know who you are, here goes.
I hope you know that you make me a better version of me.
Sometimes by force, while I’m stomping my feet and gritting my teeth. You push me to see other perspectives. Sometimes you encourage the crazy ideas I come up with all on my own. And those times that I doubt myself and think it would be easier not to try, Well, you don’t let me. I’m the girl that’s capable of sitting in my own stagnant day-to-day just to be safe. Thank you for not letting me. You have a huge part in where I am.
You need to know that I still have faith in good people because of you.
It’s easy to look around and get discouraged by all the hate around us. But I look at you and see so much love. I see you showing love, teaching love and accepting love. It renews my faith in humans to see (extra)ordinary, small town people caring enough to help and give and love. Seeing a group of people who are marching for hate is devastating. You give me hope. Because of you I can see that the majority is not the loud, marching, evil. It’s the silently working, good-hearted folks like you.
It’s your fault that I’ve been brave.
You may not know this, but remember those times that you were scared and you let me encourage you to do it anyway. Those words that inspired you, later haunted me. Like when your words come back to bite you in the butt. Because I watched you overcome serious fears. Love, kids, careers, school, moves, family and so much more. Seeing you conquer everything in front of you, inspired me. Each one of you made hard choices that changed your life. You talked me out of letting fear cripple me time after time.
You are my constant.
There have been times that our lives have gone in completely different directions. You were dating and I was single. You were having babies and I was getting divorced. You were starting college and I was struggling with a career. Your faith was strong and mine was weak. Times that I felt maybe we were losing our friendship because our commons were becoming differences. Every time I felt like I was losing you, we found our way back. Seasons of our lives only made us appreciate what we could learn from our differences. Even if you couldn’t relate, you stayed by my side. Those experiences make me more confident in us. I’m looking forward to rocking chairs and gray hairs ladies.
I hope you know that you kept me from giving up.
On days I’ve hurt so badly that I wanted to never get out of bed again. Days that made me angry enough to spray my personal justice all over facebook. Or times I wanted to key cars, ruin relationships or just run away. You stopped me. By justifying my feelings and then being there for me to let it out. You kept me from giving up. You grounded me when I felt like I might explode. I wouldn’t be me without you.
I want you to know that you are precious to me.
Nights we laid in bed staring at the ceiling telling me when I was wrong. Every time we laughed so hard we cried. Keeping each other from the 3’s. Standing outside just hugging be because neither of us could fix it. Dancing together. Figuring out life until the sun literally came up. Defending each other. Keeping each other alive. Baking, cleaning, babysitting or driving miles and miles just to be there. Saying goodbye. All of it makes me more confident to walk my path in this world. I know that you will always be there, no matter how far apart we are in miles or experiences. Thank you all for my roots and my wings.