Archive for the ‘i love my friends’ Tag
One of my favorite things about living in Chicago is that friends are always anxious to stop by and play for a weekend. This weekend I hosted four of my OU besties: Ashley, Mike, Libby, and Jay (pictured left to right). Note: They may be referred to as Addie, Mitch, Lana & Jordan- which became their (bar) identities to increase this weekend’s antics. As for me, I may have introduced myself as Kendall a half-dozen times (or more). Yes, ladies and gentlemen. These four, along with some of my other Chicago friends, certainly partook in some shenanigans this weekend. To put it best, they’ll all be back again (asap) if not moving here after a weekend that can only be described as A*MAY*ZING.
I had a blast with my friends this weekend and certainly sad to see them leave this morning. I’m so glad to be able to provide some good old-fashioned fun and more memories from the ones we’ve created since our college days in Athens.
Song of the Moment: Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros & Cover by Father and Adorable Daughter
This may be the shortest post I’ve ever written, but I really cannot stay to chat tonight. Things have busy, but what else is new? Anyways, today/tonight i got to spend some time with my friend, Michelle, and the adorable little Max (her son) and I feel like I cannot go to bed tonight without mentioning something about the first of many amazing conversations with someone whom I know is going to be in my life for a very long time.
When we think about the concept of destiny, we always tend to relate it to love & romantic relationships. However, we fail to notice that other people- friends & mentors to name a few- enter our lives just in the nick of time. Call it destiny, fate or serendipity, sometimes you just know when someone is meant to be in your life.
A few months ago, during our second time hanging out, Michelle said to me before getting into the cab with her husband, “We need to hang out more and talk. I just know we’re going to be good friends.” Even without knowing her too well at that time, I sensed the same thing. And now, I know that it’s true. Like so many other friends in my life today, she is definitely someone who I feel blessed to have in my life.
It’s no secret on this blog…last week was not my week. Five full days of being an emotional wreck- yep, that was me. But I’m happy to report that those have come & gone (at least for now).
I won’t lie, I woke up on Saturday still feeling blah, even nearly canceling on a friend’s surprise party for later in the evening. Though after a great 4-hour play date with Michaella, I walked outside and let the cold Chicago air refresh me, as I made the decision to say f’ it and through my blues out the windows. Actually this thought went through my mind: I need to let my friends be there for me. I also felt guilty not supporting the birthday boy and his wife who orchestrated the party, knowing that I had to be there for my friends too. Instead of indulging you with Saturday night’s details, I’ll simply say that I’m really glad I went. Not only were my friends amazing, but everyone was so great too. Truly a wonderful group of people, which I believe says a lot for the fabulousness that is Bayard & Michelle.
I’m going to keep this short since I’m hopeful to be expecting a call from my darling Darlene tonight, but I want to address the lesson I learned which is surely a long time coming. Let your friends be there for you. It sounds so simple, yet it’s taken me 27 years to listen to this sage advice. Better late than never, eh? I’ve been very open about how fortunate I feel to have the friends that I do; and I’ve also mentioned the lack of trustworthy ‘friends’ in my past. But let’s ignore the latter for now, shall we?
Now those that know me know that I’d do anything for my friends; typically putting themselves ahead of me. Okay, I always do it. Anyways, last week was included a twist as I allowed myself to be very open with a few people about my emotional messiness, which allotted them a chance to be there for me. I willingly let them be there for me. This was definitely one of my Wow, have I grown moments and this realization has certainly helped me in more ways than I’m probably consciously aware of right now.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your listening ears and encouraging words. I love you all!
He asked me if I was okay, and after a few minutes of hesitation and one attempt at a lie I wrote back, “No…but I just wanted you to distract me.” This was the truth. Of course he called me back, even though I really didn’t need him to. He asked what was going on and I answered honestly, “I just didn’t want to lie to you. It’s fine. I’ll be okay.” He called me back an hour later, even after reassuring him again (via text) that everything was fine. But he knows me. He knows my lies & my truths. He knows that if I say “I’m fine” then it’s a 50/50 chance that I’m not; that I’m just saying it so he doesn’t worry. But Matt knows me, maybe too well. He’s been one of my closest friend since I was seventeen years old. He’s seen me through my worst days and stood by my side these last few years as I’ve taken chance after chance, becoming stronger & braver than ever before. He knows that I’ve changed; however, he also knows that I’m still me: Kind-hearted, selfless, hopeful, overthinking dreamer/adventurer.
Proving to be the distraction I requested, Matt and I covered an array of topics that covered the span of our 10-year friendship- including our little tryst at being friends-with-benefits. All you need to know is that it wasn’t too successful, but we had fun and we’re still friends. Isn’t that all that matters now? Moving on… it was through our conversation- even the FWB discussion and my point that we’re better off as friends (so true)– I knew that I had to open up to Matt about what’s been bothering me this week. After all, he already knew the background- which was coincidentally me at my worst.
“I feel crazy… this whole thing is crazy,” is how I started before unleashing the new background details on the situation he once knew as well as anyone else could. Unlike my mother the night before, Matt listened and advised me more than I ever imagined possible. His reassurance was comforting. His wisdom, my guide.
To be honest with Matt, I have to first be honest with myself. So self, I know you know but let me say it anyways: “I’m struggling here. I’m trying to understand why and how. And why…why now?”
It’s taken me awhile to get to the spot where I am comfortable enough to be honest enough to open up completely to others, and, most importantly, myself. Responding “No” to Matt’s initial inquiry was something I never would have done, but I knew I needed to. I knew that I need to let him in. Let him know that I”m baffled beyond belief, and that I’m frustrated. That I’m not afraid of being honest, just as long as honesty is granted to me in return. I’m not afraid of the truth- even if it will initially hurt. In fact, I want to hear the truth. All I want is the truth.
Last night while finishing my post, preparing my grad program application, and watching my daily fix of Ellen, I dodged text after text from my dear friend, Mike. I love him, I really do…but he was driving me a little crazy with all the texting. Now I really do enjoy helping my boys out when it comes to the World of Girls, but what I’ve learned from my years of experience is that you can only do so much. But I gave him as much as I could give, and will continue to do so, but as I told him, “The hard part is over. This is the chance you’ve been waiting for. Just be yourself.”
After sending that text I’m pretty sure I said this out loud, and if not then it was ‘said’ very loudly in my head: I feel like I’m in a relationship. Many relationships.
Let me rewind and share that this thought has crossed my mind many times, and especially yesterday after receiving another text from a different friend: So the other day I realized how distant our friendship is and by distant I mean not close. Of course I was taken back and responded as I saw appropriate, but the carefree version of me that I tend to be these days literally shook it off. After all, what else can I do? She’s a great friend to me and I’ve always thought I was to her. Again, what else can I do?
One of my biggest fears with moving to Chicago was that I was going to lose all of my friends. This thought was actually the main reason that I almost changed my mind after accepting the position. But fortunately my A*MAY*ZING friends proved me wrong, and in fact many of my friendships have grown even stronger these past few years.
The truth is that, like romantic relationships, you have to figure out what works for both of you. For me, personally, email proves to be the best way for me to keep in touch with people. In fact, most of the friendships that have proven the test of time & distance are the ones that I email with regularly/periodically…or mail a Pen Pal book back-and-forth to Ohio. But perhaps that doesn’t work for everyone else. Maybe I have to reevaluate and think about how I can rebuild my friendship with Jen?
In the utmost humble way of putting it, I have a lot of friends. I do. I feel very blessed to have the friends that I do and fortunate that there are so many that know me well enough and still put up with me. I’ve had a lot of ‘friends’ in my day, but right now I can honestly say that those friends that are in my life (now) are the very best I’ve ever had. I am the Lucky One. However, this lucky girl is beginning to see that she is spreading herself to thin. While agreeing with quality over quantity, I feel like I’m giving less of myself to each friend instead of being able to give much more to every one of them. Unfortunately I just don’t know how to change this.
Okay, lunch break over. Thanks for letting me clear this off my chest. If you are one of my dear friends reading this, then know that I will continue to spoil you rotten, drop everything at any time to be there for you, continue to take overnight bus trips to visit you, and always make sure that you know how appreciative I am to have you in my life.
For the second time this week, I found myself lost in thought sitting at a table amongst friends- new & old. While the places and faces were none of the same on Monday and Friday night, the thought was: Why am I not living in Ohio? Both nights, as well as Thursday night with two of my best friends, Brandon & Libby, reminded me how good I feel when I’m back ‘home’. The reason I feel good is because of the company I’m surrounded by. (For years now), they’ve shown me exactly where I belong. For some reason, Sorry Pittsburgh, Ohio has proven to be the place for me. My Happy Place. The place where I feel most “me”. The first place where I truly have always felt that I belong.
On Monday night, at a bar near my old apartment in downtown Columbus, Stef apparently answered a question from earlier in the day, but one that I wasn’t aware of. (For me), out of nowhere, she replied, “The People.” Without even knowing neither 1) that an earlier question was asked nor 2) what the exact question was, Stef’s answer clicked with me and I buzzed in with: What is “what is your favorite thing about Columbus”? Ding. Ding. Ding.
Now let me say that I’ve heard the jokes about Ohio & Ohioians before, from many stubborn Pittsburghers- especially one. And while I’ve learned to tune them out, I will continue to respond that I not only love Ohio but I love it the most because of its people. From Ohio’s simple enjoyment of playing cornhole and screaming O-H (I-O) at all hours of the day/night to their loyalty to bleed Scarlett & Grey 365-days a year. And the simple fact that every Target in Ohio is better than the best Target in Chicago. I love Ohio and have ever since my love affair with Ohio University began as a teenager. And as time goes on and I meet more of Ohio’s best, my love continues to grow. Actually, I think it’s best to say that I remain in love with Ohio because of its people. So I agree with Stef. The best thing about Ohio is “The People”. On all three nights in Ohio, I sat amongst friends perfectly content with where I was and whom I was with. There was nowhere else I wanted to be.
Tonight is the last night of my 10-day holiday break (and tour di Pittsburgh & Ohio), as I fly back to Chicago bright and early tomorrow, quite similar to how I arrived last Wednesday morning. In thinking about everything that has occurred since that day and everyone that I’ve been able to spend time with, it certainly feels like it’s been longer than 10 days. The amount of things that I’ve been able to cram into this past 1.5 weeks is remarkable. Even so, I may have to argue that it hasn’t been enough time. As I reflect on the people who have made this break so enjoyable for me, I find myself wishing that I had a suitcase large enough to pack them up for tomorrow’s flight. Or perhaps the persuasive powers to convince them all to move there with me.
Because we’re friends, or something like that, I’ll let you in on a little fantasy that my post-New Years Eve mind concocted on the ride home from Cleveland today. Somewhere between Strongsville, OH and Cranberry, PA I recreated the ever-so infamous airport scene that has been played out in many romantic comedies and TV shows. Like Friends. Yes, in my own version I recreated the infamous Ross & Rachel airport scene from the series’ finale. But before you get any ideas, let me explain that there was no boy playing the role of Ross in my fantasy. (But of course it would have been nice.) Instead, the character was played by “O-H-I-O”. Yes, I imagined “Ohio” chasing me down at the airport and begging me, “Don’t get on the plane. Stay with me. Be with me.”
Now I’m going to assume that this fantasy-sharing session brought a grin to my friend, Kristin, and she may even be already on her way to Pittsburgh International Airport to stop me from getting on tomorrow’s plane. (I love you.) But the truth of that matter is that it is just a fantasy. Tomorrow morning I will be getting on that plane, leaving Pittsburgh and flying over Home*Sweet*Ohio, only to arrive in my actual (current) hometown of Chicago, IL. And while I’ll spend tomorrow missing my friends & family, I know that I’ll be okay once I get back into my routine (aka lots of volunteering and kid therapy).
So thank you, Pittsburgh and Ohio, for welcoming me back with open arms and gracing me with 10 days of clarity and A.MAY.ZING. dates with friends and family. It was great to be back again.
And Ohio, thank you for giving me a place to call my own; making me feel that I belong; and allowing me still love you even after I left. (Remember: It wasn’t you, it was definitely me.) I will continue to miss you more each day, but I promise you’ll see me again soon. After all, you know I cannot stay away from you too long. In fact, I’ll be back February 18th if not sooner. Take care of my lovelies for me and let them know that I’m only a short Megabus ride away.
Song of the Moment: How I Love You by Rob Laufer
Me: “I feel like I can be myself.”
Julie: “That’s how you should always feel.”
For those of you who don’t yet know her, Meet Julie. The beautiful friend I made during my freshman year at Kent State and one of my dear Ohio ladies that dreams about our joint-return to Columbus…one day (maybe)- and this year I was honored to serve as Maid of Honor in her wedding to one of the greatest guys I know, Ken.
With Juls living in Akron, she plays the (over-casted) role as one of my long-distance best friends that I constantly play phone/text tag with. However, last night, after postponing a quick afternoon call while I waited for the train, we finally got a chance to chat. As always, our conversation contained many “I wish you were here to go on a Meijer run” (a familiar activity of ours when we both lived in Columbus) and plans for Ken & her to visit after the new year.
Yes, visit me in Chicago…in the winter. I know. I tried talking them out of it but they wouldn’t have it. They must really love me.
Getting back to our call, I’ll share that my conversations with Julie always end up being very heart-felt and sincere. She, like many of my girl friends, are the ones that I feel like I can’t be anything but honest with. They allow me to be myself with them. And last night, Julie literally told me exactly that. (Note the lines I shared above.) With Ken watching football in the background, Julie preached to me one of life’s most important lessons: Be Yourself. Such simple words, but exactly what one cannot hear enough and hearing them from Julie is quite impactful…because she,too, wears the shoes that I wear. In other words, Julie has battled the same demons as me: Learning to Love Herself.
Ken has helped Julie so much, which is one of the reasons I admire and adore him. He’s an Aidan and I’m so happy that Julie can call him her husband. But while he’s been able to help Juls, he hasn’t fought the battle for her. As I’ll remind her in times of weakness, she is the warrior that has fought off the dragons.
And she’ll tell me the same. Like last night, she said the words that I needed to hear, reminding me that the struggles are behind me and I’m starting to feel the way I should have felt all along. The way that I should always feel from now on.
Stef shared this quote with me a few months ago, as it’s quite relevant to our friendship and the shared bond that we have over the obstacles we’ve faced. Well this also aligns with Julie and our common struggles and personal growth. Both friends remind me that sometimes you need another to tell you that, “It’s going to be okay,” but that it’s even more beneficial to hear it from someone who knows exactly what you’re going through and can say with understanding, “You’re going to be okay.”
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one ~ C.S. Lewis