This post is hard to write. It shouldn’t be. But it is. My friends are beyond important to me. This is a majorly vulnerable topic in my little world. To let this part of me be known is opening up in a way I usually don’t. I have the weirdest view of friendship. I’ve been told that plenty of times before, so I won’t be offended in the least if you agree (this one is longer than normal…if you don’t want the bio of my peeps scroll to the last paragraph for the reader’s digest version 😉 ).
I have had the same best friend since I was 5 years old, Kirsten or Kiki as she is affectionally known around here. She is my nearest and dearest. She has saved me at my worst, and has been there to witness the best. I owe her more then I can give, and am so grateful to call her mine. From a young age it became pretty clear this was a ride or die situation. I believe families are forever, but she is the friend that taught me friends really are forever too. She taught me how to forgive, and love even when someone has wronged you. She’s had my back when it felt like no one else did. She loved me even when I didn’t deserve it. She’s the one I stayed up late with to talk about that cute boy in the hall at school, and would obsesses over the latest trends with. But then it was time to grow up, and we went different ways. But ride or die, remember? And our friendship has only become stronger because of our time to grow up, and not depend on each other as much.
Then there is Lauren. My girl. My battle friend. The one I want on my side when crap hits the fan. She’s the smartest chick I know and literally any question I ask, she has an answer to. She’s been that way since 8th grade when our best friendshipness sparked. She has so much patience with people and their faults it blows my mind! She is the only friend I can have a successful shopping trip with. She’s the one who has never questioned my choices, just supported them. She is one of the most loyal people I have ever come across, and takes being someone’s friend as serious as being their family member. She taught me to not let the BS of life get in your head, and she showed me how to use liquid eye liner in a way that doesn’t make me look like an Egyptian.
Josh. The ever faithful. The one that shows up at ten at night just to drive me to McDonalds because I’ve been craving their fries all day, and don’t want to go by myself. Josh and I used to battle it out on the playground in elementary school for the yard aid’s attention. We had a pretty good tug of war, but in the end he won. Honestly, I don’t blame that yard aid. He’s a super cool dude, and always has been. He fell in love with photography in high school and anytime you see non iphone pictures on my blog, it’s his! (sometimes even with an iphone!) He’s taught me what it means to be dependable. What it means to be consistent in a friendship, and how being vulnerable doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.
When I went to college I was terrified to make new friends….what would I do without my solid people? These are the people who had watched me fail, succeed, and try again. Did I really have the energy to start over? Would they forget me? Would I forget them? Then I learned one of the most valuable lessons out there, life goes on but people can remain. Sometimes they don’t, but if you are lucky some of them do.
Then I met Sam. She changed my life like no other. She showed me what it means to be confident. She taught me how to loosen up and live my life. She showed me what it means to have FUN. Like the kid of fun where you can’t stop laughing, and your belly hurts by the end. I have learned how to follow my dreams, and not let someone tell me that I can’t. She is hands down the most loving person I’ve ever met. She can’t look homeless people in the eye, because she tries to hand them her whole wallet when she does. We met on our very first day of college, in our very first class. Both of our lives have been through too many tornados since our friendship began, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. She is one of my rocks, and having her as a friend has made me a better person.
The last of these short bios, is Hatch. Her first name is Mariah, but we met as LDS missionaries and she went by her last name then. I will never be able to call her Mariah with a straight face. It will always be Hatch. This chick is my soul sister. One of the most natural, and easy friendships I’ve ever been a part of. Her happiness is infectious. She defended me when I couldn’t defend myself. When I broke up with my ex she hopped in her car and drove 7 hours just to go to the beach with me. Apart from our missions, we have never lived in close proximity to each other, and probably never will. With a promise to see each other every 6 months since our missions ended, we have made it work. She has shown me how interact with others in a way that makes them feel better just by being near you. She is the truest of friends, one of my greatest examples, and the most sincere person I can find.
I feel ridiculously blessed to have these 5, and somehow I have even been blessed with more. I didn’t even write about the SS7…my girl squad in high school (I am sworn to secrecy and can’t tell you what it stands for….but I can reveal there are 7 of us…). There was also Megan (famous amis) who taught me that it’s ok to be hurt in a relationship. Relationships aren’t meant to be perfect. It’s also ok to let someone back in your life, even when gossip inflates and words are twisted. Or Kristen (daddy-o) who showed me how a true and sincere Christian lives their life. How could I stop before I told you about Danielle! Aka Feebs. She showed me how to laugh. I love laughing with her, and finding the adventures life can bring. What amazing lessons these people, and even more I haven’t mentioned, have taught me.
Each of these amazing individuals have shown me things that I will never be able to forget, replace, or replicate. They have blessed my life in ways I can’t fully explain. There is a common dominator amongst them all: they have loved me for who I am. Not one of them has tried to change me, or make me something I am not. There has been unconditional love and forgiveness in each of these beautiful friendships I have been so deeply blessed with. In return I have been able to love them for exactly who they are, and who they have become. By no stretch of the imagination have any of these relationships been perfect, they have all had their moments ( I mean come on now, Kirsten and I have been at this for almost 20 years. At some points we get annoyed with each other!). But how grateful I am to each of them for loving my faults. That is really what they have loved. I am a human. So imperfect, it’s despicable. But they have seen through the stitches and loved what is imperfect. Friendship is not a casual thing to me. Maybe it is to you, but I believe It is one of the deepest bonds life can offer. I have a really hard time calling someone that I have only hung out with for a few months a friend (this is where it gets weird…) To me a friend is one of those people who show up at your door at 10 pm to take you to McDonalds, or drive 7 hours just to hug you because you just ended your engagement. We don’t pick our families, but we pick our friends. You are a product of the people you surround yourself with. With that in mind, there is a lot of power in deciding who you want to become. For good or for evil. Your friends are the one’s that get you there. They are the branches to your support system. Your family is the root nurturing you and helping establish a healthy foundation. The branches are the ones that help you become all you can be. A tree can’t be complete without it’s branches, after all they are what make trees beautiful.