To my old friends, my new friends, and those who fit somewhere in between….
For some odd reason, I have been in a very sentimental mood this last week. Perhaps it is the school year ending, perhaps it is attributed to wedding season approaching, perhaps it is my new found love for sappy music, or perhaps it is just part of my existential crisis. Whatever the reason, I found myself crying this morning on my way to a poms fundraiser (It was actually quite pathetic. I had to call my dad so that I could get a hold of myself before I could approach my team).
Last night, I attended the bridal shower for one of my very best high school friends. Among those familiar faces attending were former team mates, teachers, parents and siblings, all of which were monumental during my adolescent years. To be quite honest, my friend and I fell a little out of touch after we went to separate colleges; we see each other every now and then, but do not hang out as frequently as we once did, and I was surprised to be invited to be part of this special event. A popular bridal shower game, one of the activities included answering questions about the bride and groom. I actually surprised myself as being one of the top question answer-ers; I knew her birthday, her favorite food, his graduation year, which college they went to, what sports she did growing up.
The beauty of friendships is that once they are created, they will forever exist; you will forever be bonded by those heart-to-heart conversations, those embarrassing moments, those absolutely life changing memories. Forever, we will be bonded by practicing turns in the kitchen and then the excitement of making varsity. Forever, we will try to forget that one time there was a suspected embryo in the toilet and everyone freaked out. Forever, we will reminisce on winning a state championship and crying and hugging each other as we received a standing ovation from the crowd. Despite the fact that we may grow apart from our friends, we may take different jobs, we may move across the country, the bonds and the memories we created will forever be alive.
As many of my friends know, my upbringing included many challenges. As I sat at that bridal shower, I noticed the wonderful community of people who watched over me and took care of me when my own family could not. I reflected back to those candid conversations I had with those teachers, who would pull me aside to check in. I thought about all those nights I spent at someone else’s house so I didn’t have to be at my own. I remembered my coach, who, indiscreetly, was always making sure I was fed, clothed, and at practice.
Then, I thought about where all my friends are today. Some of them are nurses, others are teachers and coaches. Some are married, others are happily single. Some still live here in Colorado, others have moved on to South Carolina, Los Angelos, Chicago. But, the one commonality between all of my friends is that no one is a complete disaster.
I believe who you surround yourself with reflects you as a person. Today, I am being sentimental, because I am thinking about the amazing group of women I have to guide me in my life. I am crying happy tears, because I am thinking about how proud I am of each one of you, and how exciting it has been to watch each one of you grow up.
To the Anika’s and the Anna’s, the Brittany’s and the Brittny’s, the Jen’s and the Jenna’s, the Stephanie’s, the Sarah’s and the Sarabeth’s, the Aimee’s and Lisa’s, thank you for gracing me with your presence, allowing me to take part in your life, unnecessarily carrying my burdens, and providing me with so many learning opportunities, deep conversations, and belly aching laughs. Those moments will never go away.
I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such a strong community of genuine, successful, mindful women. I am a functioning person because of you.