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Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Love Letter to Friends

Ahhh, four-day weekends. It's amazing what a couple of extra days off can do for your well-being. I'm happy to report that I've been working out lots and upping the intensity and things are starting to happen. I've lost another pound this week and my jeans are starting to get that awkward slightly baggy feeling that tells you your body shape is changing. It's the best feeling ever.

As for other great feelings, I feel so chipper this morning. Lots of energy and optismism to spare. But I think that a portion of that has to do with the good things that happened in the last four days. It's all lead me to be reflective of where I am in my life and the people who are in it.

I've been reflective about friendships lately. As most people have experienced, surface friendships can come and go, but the good ones, the true ones, survive the waxing and waning and endure. I recently heard from a friend who had more or less dropped off the face of the Earth for awhile. Not an entirely new thing for me, but one that concerned me only because my instincts told me that something was "up" and there was more to the story than someone purposefully ignoring me.And I was right.

When SE returned my message almost a month later, all I could do was smile. Her message was sad and she is going through some difficult times (boy do I understand), but I couldn't help but just be happy she reached out. She let me in. Which confirmed what I already knew: that we still had a worthwhile friendship. The kind worth fighting for. In the months that we haven't spoken, so much has happened in both our lives that I took the time to write and explain from the beginning (March) what's happened with me, hoping that at some point, she'll be ready to go in more detail about her life. I want to be there for her.

Thinking about SE has made me reflective of the other great friendships I'm honored to be a part of. People I wish to tell you about in absolutely NO particular order! (I promise it's not reflective of anything but my mind rambling forward).

There's CT, who probably knows me better than I know myself. Who can read into the things I say (and more importantly, the things I don't say) and be able to help me put things into perspective. CT, who I start each year off with the search for the perfect quote to start our year right. Who gives the biggest hugs (surprising for someone of her petite size), that are some of the best hugs (she can match me, which is saying something). Our people-watching coffee dates are my favourite way to spend time with her.

AL- my kindred. The friend I've had the longest. Our friendship is so special because it's endured distance (we've lived in different cities for all but 1 of the 15 years we've known eachother). It's endured spaces of time where we don't talk for weeks or months. But a simple phone call and we automatically continue on as if the time away hasn't existed. She's quirky (in the best possible way) and makes me laugh. She reminds me not to take life so seriously all the time. But she also has an amazing heart that is sensitive and caring. I'm honored to be there when she gets married next year, just as she was there for me.

And DR, my virgo companion. He's just as anal, and dramatic, and probably insane, as I am. Who never passes judgement and is accepting of my flaws- perhaps it's that we have simlar ones, so by reflecting them in each other, we've learned to accept them in oursleves. I've watched him grow so much these last years, tackling one challenge after another, with as much dignity as he can muster (I'm so proud of him). Who I can chat with for hours, or simply sit in the same room saying nothing, and both being perfectly acceptable ways to enjoy each other's company.

CF, who for all our differences, how shown me what real friendship is by fighting with me to save ours. She's the only one I have ever had any real conflict with. And in that, I'm glad, because she found the strength to be at odds with me and force me to accept that there are situations in life where you do have to sometimes start over. We have a fresh start as friends, but our history guides us too. She is warm and funny and talented. A wonderful people person, she is also somewhat mysterious. The real friends in her life, I think, are the ones who are helping her to be at peace with that side of herself, all the while learning about themselves in the process.

CB I think of as an "Earth Mother". This wonderfully grounded, peaceful person who listens without prejudgement. I've had the pleasure of watching her grow into an amazing mother and wife. She's been an ear and a shoulder so many times but is never worried about keeping score. I feel so calm and sure of myself after every conversation. It's a wonderful gift, hers.

NG is my crazy cellmate in life. We get each other. We've both struggled with life and aim to make the most of it. We openly share everything that sometimes we hope the walls don't have ears. lol. We're both hoping for so much for this next year, and are there side-by-side to face whatever may come. When I think of NG, I think of her insane beauty. She has one of the most beautiful spirits I've ever encountered. It pours out of her in her passion for life and her dedication to her family and friends. Sometimes it leaves me breathless in awe.

CR is someone who means so much to me. She's like the older sister I never had. Wise and mature, but she also has an amazing vibrancy that'll keep her young all her years. CR is the one who taught me not to just trust my instincts but to follow through on them. She taught me that we sometimes have to set our fears aside, and say something, or risk making a mistake that'll we'll always regret. I almost lost her once, but she's still here in my life and for that I'll always be grateful.

CS is relatively new in my life. We "met" through an online forum (not the first time I've done that), and discovered how much alike we are. In her words, "We are like the same person on different sides of the country". We shared an experience at the same time that many other women have sadly had to go through. We bonded over joys and sadness and our optimism for the future. CS is going to be a 1st time mom in the spring- around the same time I was supposed to be due the 2nd time. This for me is special because that time would probably be very painful for me. However, a lovely and amazing woman is going to have her miracle then, and somehow, because it's her, I find comfort in that. I've only met her in person once, but I have this feeling we're going to be a part of each other's life for a long time to come.

Sweet, sweet AW. What conversation about amazing friends could be complete with her? When I've lost my faith in optimism and my hope has been shattered, she's the one who's pep talks can break through the negativity and help me find myself again. Her random calls to say "how are you, I've been thinking of you", have meant so much to me these days. Hell, even a brief text message from her brings a smile to my face.

SL is the little sister I never had. She reminds me of me. Her energy and crazy personality fill every room she walks in, barely containing her. This vibrancy translates into dedication, loyalty and passion. She's willing to work hard for what she believes in, including her friends. She reminds me of how I want to be, living life fully each and every day.

You're probably wondering if this will ever end, but no fear, a temporary stop is at hand. Surprisingly enough, I could say so much more about each of these people and so many others. Perhaps a Volume Two is in order. More than anything, I wanted to remind myself how lucky I am. Each person in my life forms a portion of who I am- this giant puzzle being built, decontructed and re-built continually. I am so honored that all of these people are willingly to be in my life. They give me strength. Remind me to be compassionate to others and passionate in the things I do. They hold me up when I'm too tired, and give me space when the world and life gets too claustrophobic for me to handle. They remind me to be me. And they remind me that will always be enough.

I love you all more than I can express (I don't say that nearly enough). Maybe some day soon, I'll try to do just that, but for now this will have to do. This crazy adventure wouldn't be nearly as fun or amazing without you.

So thank you.

Your "Drama Queen", Linds :)

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