Thank you for being a friend
I have this friend, Beth (she will probably be mortified that I’m writing this, as she’s not someone that needs or wants this level of attention, EVER) that is a real gem. I’m gonna tag her ass in this too just so EVERYONE can see how awesome she is. Beth is a friend like I’ve never had. We mostly just send random texts and self-deprecating humor about our slow running pace or our choice of wine over abs a lot, but somewhere over the years she became one of my people. She met me at the gym for 5 am workouts and had sunset wines with me to talk about what it means to be happy. She finds things in her travels that bring her joy and sends pictures of them to me. I watched her punch Cancer in the face, and take a stand for herself and her joy.
Beth will openly say “I don’t know the right words to say”, but she just shows up. I can call her and cry, and she says nothing, but she is THERE. . She doesn’t give me the choice to say I don’t want help or need something, she just does it. She picked me up at the airport the other day (this was forced on me….and I’m so glad...I normally just drive myself) and she had a diet coke in the car. Sidenote: Ya’ll, Diet Coke is one of those things I just recognize is a thing that is probably eating my insides actively, but I have decided life is too short and I will continue to have my daily Diet Coke. YOLO. Beth is like this. She just notices, and quietly does the most meaningful and lovely things with little to no fanfare. A few weeks ago, she brought a basket to my house that was filled with the loveliest things I’ve ever seen. This might have seemed like a nice gesture to some, but to me, it was everything. It was things that you would have had to take the time to truly know me to understand. She saw what I needed. She got it.
Then, there’s Brooke. Brooke and I started as an unlikely duo. We worked in the same role, but did our jobs completely differently. I love people, and managing a huge team of different personalities lights my whole soul on fire. Give me a difficult conversation every single day over balancing a budget. Brooke manages a budget in her head with ease, and understands business better than I could even if I had some sort of actual training in it, but finds managing people exhausting. We disagreed on things more than we agreed, but we did so with curiosity. This work relationship developed into a deep friendship, when we both had one of the toughest years we’ve experienced back to back. Little by little, we found that we just picked up the phone and called each other first. Brooke gets it. She’s not afraid to be a little weird with me, and will take a conversation about Spirit Guides or manifestation over some boring small talk any day.
In the last few months, I’ve spent a LOT of time just wandering around hospitals or Boston for hours on end while Zack slept or was getting a surgery. I had moments of pure terror when I thought I might lose my best friend, or when the pain got overwhelming. Brooke always picked up the phone. I cannot even imagine the amount of time we have spent on the phone since June. She asks what I need. Do I need to talk or do I just need to listen to her recount her day of searching for the right plant stand? :) Sometimes, it was the plant stand, ya’ll. Sometimes that’s what is needed. But she asked. She heard me. She didn’t throw some inspirational quote at me, or say what made her comfortable, but rather asked how she could support me. Yesterday, Brooke and I hopped on the phone for an hour and she “walked” with me. I sent her pictures of the things I saw on my walk and we talked about life and how short it is, and big ideas. We never gossip or talk about things that don’t lift us up. I get off the phone with her charged and at ease.
Life is short; too short to spend with people that don’t support you. Friendship isn’t only about what you need. It’s about taking the time to get to know what someone else needs, even if that isn’t what’s natural for you. It’s not about “liking” someone’s pictures or girls trips or happy hours. It’s about knowing who you would want by your side if the shit hit the fan. Who will drop everything to just be there, even without the right words? It’s also about telling these people how awesome they are, and celebrating the shit out of them. Take a little time today to celebrate the shit out of someone that leaves you feeling energized, and also take a moment to spend some more time with them. Real change in the world starts with YOU and what YOU put out there. Are you spending your time gossiping or are you actually supporting each other? Get real about it. You get to choose. I have a tremendous group of women that surround me with this sort of love. This post would be 17 pages if I wrote about you all, but please know I see you. I see you with the real talk, and the laughter and the unadulterated support and love.
Also, thanks Beth and Brooke. My world would be darker without you and I love you.