This is basically a very long letter to and about my friends.
Chances are, you're going to find that very boring. I will not be offended if you opt not to read it.
That being said...
Everyone has something that moves them, that marks their character, makes them who they are. It's the piece of their soul that defines their personality and is the essence of their experience in this world. It is likely what they will be most remembered for, most revered and quite possibly their purpose in this lifetime.
For me, it is making connections with other's souls.
As a child, I did not make friends easily. I changed schools every year, sometimes even mid-year, until sixth grade I was always the new girl, always wondered about, always looked at with a sideways distrust and curiosity. This caused me to be more paranoid about what other people were thinking about me than I likely should have been, but it also caused me to be more outgoing and social than most kids my age. I was open, talkative and eager to learn about someone new and what interested them. Perhaps because I've always regarded my relationships as potentially temporary and transient? I dunno, but, what I do know is that over time I came to realize that making connections with others and maintaining them became very important to me.
There are so many friends from my childhood that I remember fondly that I would leave for a new location expecting never to see again. Thanks to Facebook I have found all but 6 of those that I have searched for but every time I would start in a new place, I would wonder and worry just how much time I had to really get to know someone and make a connection with them. I had no idea what it was like to have a friend you've known for your entire life. Though I had friends who did and I envied them. My earliest friends go back as far as the third grade and considering they are STILL my friends and I talk to them often, I'd say that's pretty damn good. There is a boy that I met once one summer when I was about eleven. His grandmother babysat my little brother and after he came to visit for one week, we remained pen pals with for the next ten years or so and still remain in contact today. I have yet to find my best friends from fourth grade, Crinn, Cindy and Charlotte or the boy that I secretly had a crush on until I passed him the "Do you like me, check yes or no" note (he checked "yes", by the way). I also haven't found my friend, Lisa, from Caro, that I met after I decided she was so pretty and well dressed that she just HAD to be my friend. Or my friend, Elisha that my aunt Marcia nicknamed "Junior Shit" because she didn't want me to be the only one with "Shit" as a nickname.
Insert convo that perfectly illustrates my adolescence:
Me: So, if you call me Little Shit and aunt Linda calls me Dippy, does that make me a Dipshit?
My aunt Marcia: Hahahaahaha...no.
(Hey, I was eleven, this was a serious inquiry)
Aside from those isolated instances, I have managed to find everyone else, or they have found me. I don't wonder what happened to anyone, not even the first boy that I ever fell in love with that broke my heart. He found me last fall and I briefly reunited with him last October. The boy I met at Cedar Point in the line for the Meanstreak and wrote letters with for the next four years? Yep. My first prom date, the first boy I ever kissed, the first boy I ever went on an unchaperoned date with. Even the boy I fell in love with when I was nine who loved that I was content just to sit next to him on a tractor while he baled hay, is accounted for. The girls I missed my first bus with, my best friends from my first high school and even from my second high shool. My large group of girlfriends that are all now Mommies that I met through other friends who knew other friends who...(you get the idea) and ten years later, we're all still together. We still love each other and we're all still close and now our children are friends with each other. I still have them all. And if you're my family, you will wonder why they aren't enough, why I could possibly want more. "Don't you have enough friends?" they ask me, and you know what? I don't even know what that means. What determines enough?
Six years ago I started blogging on Myspace. Actually, I started commenting on Myspace, the blogging came later. Over the course of the next three years of writing and reading, phone calls and radio shows, girl party weekends, blogger conventions, baby showers, pool parties, weddings and more crazy stories than there are Thai restaurants in Seattle, I have met some of the greatest people that I have ever known. Writers, painters, photographers, actors, singers, thinkers, scientists, philosophers, surfers, storytellers, mothers, fathers, friends. At first, you're just bantering back and forth over the most seemingly lame stuff, then you're calling each other whenever you can fit in a phone date, next you're making plans to meet, soon after you try to figure out how quickly you can afford to see them again because airfares a bitch and before you know it you find yourself six or seven years later with a bucket of extended close friends that live all over the world that you haven't met just once or twice, but that you talk to every day, that you're invested in, that you care about, that you pray for and just absolutely and totally love. And I'm not talking about some freaky Catfish stuff either.
You have disagreements, falling outs, mutual deleting from various social networking sites, forgiveness and re-adding of various social networking sites. You've learned about each other, from each other, you've met each other's families (who now, after about your third trip, are finding this whole thing a bit less weird). We've introduced our friends to our other friends and have managed between us to amass a group of mutual friends that is larger than I could possibly explain to you without getting the side eye. Hell, I poached one of my very best friends from a guy's Facebook wall that we both met on a dating site, I have no shame. I introduced her to all of my friends and then she introduced me to hers and between us we could start our own shopping mall. Some of the most amazing women and best girl friends that I have ever had are nestled in Atlanta and only being able to see them once a year gets pretty difficult sometimes, but it's the punch you roll with when you make friends that don't live in your city. Or even your own state.
I have collected a group of the most amazing and fantastic people I have ever encountered and have the equivalent of town hall meetings several times a week so that we can all keep up. We don't always agree, and at times because of our varied backgrounds our personalities will clash, but what we all have in common is that we appreciate the human connection we share together as a unit. Our soul's are connected.
And because now everyone else has most assuredly stopped reading this except for them, I want you to know, this post is for you.
It totally started out,
"Dear best people I've have ever known,
You keep me sane. You make me feel important. I'm not worthy.
But you know me better than that. I get down to the end of this and I wonder what in the hell I am even talking about. But, what I do know is:
- This is my first
word stuffsblog in over two years
- This is why I stopped
And to you, my friends, what I really want to say is that I love you. You inspire and motivate me every single day. Your support drives me and compels me to be a better person, to find the best part of myself and share it with others, as you share the best parts of yourselves with me. You have shown me that throughout all of my life, and the years of loneliness that I had no one, I would go back and live it over gain ten times over to be able to spend the rest of my life being supported by the likes of you. Your kindness, your strength, your tenacity and of course, your grace, makes me prouder of you than you might ever realize.You make me want to be the best part of myself not only because I should, but because I want to return on your investment, to make you proud of me.
Everyone has something that moves them, that marks their character, that makes them who they are. It's the piece of their soul that defines their personality and is the essence of their experience in this world. It is likely what they will be most remembered for, the most revered.
For me, it is you.
Your friendships have marked my character, you have helped me become who I am. You are the piece of me that defines my experience in this world. I have brought people together, I have mattered. I have touched people and got to stand back and watch them touch each other (don't touch that, Elrod). I will be remembered for who I was, regardless of what I still have yet to do. I have entered and become part of the lives of people that I might never have had the chance to meet, for I have been lucky.
I just want to thank you, from the core of my being, for making my life better for being part of it.
For me, the most meaningful experiences have been those that I've shared with you, my connection with your soul. It means the world to me that you chose to connect with mine.
This is an open letter to all of my friends, but especially dedicated to my Havenites.