Dear Best Friends

In the last several months, I’ve thought a lot about how much my life has been affected by the close friends I’ve had throughout my life. I’ve been wanting to write a thank you letter to many of those friends, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the girls I’m going to write about and to in this post. In many small ways that added up to one big way, these girls have been the tools God has used to mold me into the woman He wants me to be. So here goes:

Dear childhood besties, 

Briana, Naomi, and Emily. Y’all are who it all began with; you’re the reasons why I know how to be a best friend. I’ve known each of you since I was about seven years old. We spent a lot of time together when we were young and now I watch from the distant platform of Facebook as y’all live beautiful lives with your husbands. I miss y’all and I am so grateful to have social media there to try to fill the gap that was left when we all went our separate ways.

Do y’all remember all the times we stayed up late watching movies starring Hilary Duff, the Olsen Twins, and Lindsey Lohan? Do y’all remember the times we laughed so hard we spit soda out our noses? I remember it all! Or at least, most of it! I’ll never forget any of those moments because those moments were the moments that shaped me into who I am today!

Briana: You moved away when we were still kids. I never forgot you though and I still get a silly smile on my face when you like my social media posts. We didn’t get as much time together as I had with Naomi or Emily, but the time spent with you was just as important to me as time spent with anyone else. Ten or so years ago you visited San Antonio with your family and gave me a ring with my name on it. Do you remember that? I do! I still have the ring too! I even wear it sometimes. It’s hanging on my heart-shaped wooden jewelry hanger to my left as I write this. Sometimes, when I’m feeling nostalgic and or I just really don’t want to adult, I put it on to remind myself of simpler days when adult responsibilities seemed so far away!

Naomi: I have a journal filled of memories gained from spending time with you and Emily when I was eleven and twelve and y’all were nine and ten! I got it around the same time we had Bible studies together at y’all’s houses. Around this same time, you drew me a picture of us and I still have it, because I’m a sentimental person (and maybe a bit of a packrat sometimes.) Don’t you just love the choker necklaces? The whole outfit design just screams that it was drawn in the early 2000’s! I love it! Btw, do you remember playing the ABC game where you create a life for yourself and you got “J,” but you couldn’t remember the word “Japan,” so you said you lived in “the Japanese place?” I hold that memory fondly!

naomi-katka

Emily: What can I say about you? There’s too much to say! From the time that we met to the time that we graduated high school, we saw each other at least once a week and then every day for four years. I’d be hard-pressed to try to think of a time in my tweens and teens when you weren’t right there beside me in all of my fondest memories! I miss you! Do you know that? After spending nearly every waking moment together for four years straight (even during the summer) for high school, since graduating I can maybe count on two hands how many times we’ve talked and only on one hand how many of those times were in person. It’s okay, I get it. We grew up and we grew apart. It’s only natural. I still miss you though! If I were forced to pick just one person who was my best friend growing up, then I’d be forced to pick you. You were there for everything that happened in my life and I can’t express how grateful I am for the time that I spent with you! Remember when we jumped on the trampoline doing a rain dance and it actually started raining? Or when we’d sit in your front yard rating boys from their personalities to their looks to their godliness? Good times, good times!

Dear high school besties,

Demi! We don’t often talk anymore, but once upon a time, we had text messaging conversations that lasted a good eight hours nearly every day for about two years straight! Nearly every candid photo I have from high school shows me on my phone and I know it was you I was text messaging, because you were pretty much the only person I had actual text messaging conversations with. I don’t know if you know this, but your friendship really helped me hold onto what little self-confidence I had in high school! I never understood how or why someone would be willing to talk to me as much as you did even though our conversations were more or less the same thing every day, but you always answered my text messages and kept every conversation going until it was time to go to sleep for school the next day. Thank you for that! I could tell you a million times over, but you’ll never know how much your friendship still means to me!

Akina: They say friendships don’t often last when school years pass us by. Whoever they are, they’re right. You’re the only friend from my school years that I still talk to and see somewhat frequently. Every few months, we meet up and rehash the “glory days.” It means a lot to me that you’re still around! Other than Demi, you were really the only person I talked to outside of school hours. You were also the only person whom I ever opened up to when I was feeling down and out. You never knew the depth of how deep I had fallen into depression, nor did you know that I had fallen victim to self-harm until it was all over, but you were there for me! You let me vent to you when I wouldn’t vent to anyone else. You were the person God gave me to reach my hand out to when I was about to tip the scales forever. I don’t know how far I would have gone had I not had you as a friend during those dark years. I do know that if it weren’t for you, then I might not be here today to write this post. Thank you for being there for me and still being here for me today!

Dear work besties,

Stephanie: When I started working at Chase, everything in my life had changed in a very short amount of time. My parents had finalized their divorce the year prior, I had left the job I had been working at for four and a half years, I had moved out of my childhood home to live on my own, and I had gotten a new car. I was also in an environment that was completely new to me. Not only had I never worked in a call center before, but I had also never been in a non-Christian environment for extended periods of time before. I grew up in a Christian home going to church every Sunday, I graduated from a Christian private school, and my prior job was at Chick-fila where all the employees may not have been Christians, but where the environment exuded Biblical values. Chase is not a Christian environment. It was, and still sometimes is, a very strange place for me to be. You and I don’t share the same beliefs and that’s a major bummer, but you respect my beliefs and you try to act accordingly while I’m around. I really appreciate that. You’re a major part of the reason why I don’t hate my job. So thanks for making work worthwhile!

Vickie: You’re my person! You’re the person I can communicate with without even saying a word! All we need is a wink or a shrug or a perfectly timed gif and we know what needs to be said without actually saying it. I don’t really know what else to say, because we really do have a friendship of few words, so just picture my favorite Brooke Davis gifs and you’ll know everything I’m trying to say!

Dear internet besties,

Anna-Marie: One band, two names, three words: BarlowGirl, Taylor Swift, and “We said duh.” I mean, what else needs to be said? That’s pretty much our friendship wrapped in a tight little bow! We became friends because of Taylor Swift, our friendship grew over BarlowGirl, and the rest is based on a mutual understanding of each other’s sass, which happens to be summed up by the words of BarlowGirl. Just for the record though, I’m really grateful for your life! Write me a letter soon and I’ll tell you all about it! I’m sorry… did I say letter? Should have said mini autobiography, since that’s what we actually write!

Shelby: Captain Swan. Makeup and fashion. Cute boys and crushes. Also, that picture from Rue 21 of your ultimate doppelganger! What do these things have in common? They’re complete randomness, kind of like our friendship and I love it dearly! Oh! I almost forgot! Roar and Liv and Perry and Aria!

Dear besties who changed my life in an instant,

Allie, Holly, and Shelby Lilly: To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to say to or about y’all that I haven’t said a million times in letters and text messages. Y’all are the three tangible rocks God gave me when I asked Him to help me stay afloat after nearly drowning in a sea of despair. I’m convinced that y’all know me better than I know myself. Y’all have been there for me when I’ve been afraid of falling again. Y’all have talked me off the cliff without even knowing you’ve been doing it. Y’all have helped me gain a confidence I never believed I’d live to see. Y’all have also been around to listen to me have the most pitiful crush on a guy that I’ve ever had and I’m quite embarrassed about it, but hey, I got some of my best songs out of that ridiculous crush and I learned that y’all were willing to put up with me during literally my most annoying moments. Even I was annoyed with myself  Y’all also put up with and even encourage my obsessively passionate tendencies which no one before y’all has ever done, so thanks for that! We’ve been friends for nearly five years now and I can’t wait to see what the next five years hold!

P.S. Shelby, please don’t ever leave me! I’d surely be forced to follow wherever you went and I really like it in San Antonio, so I’d really appreciate it if you’d stay here forever! Haha.

Anyway, I just really wanted to write a public thank you to the girls who have impacted my life the most! I didn’t say even a fraction of things I wanted to say, but I had a lot of ground to cover and needed to try to make my thank you’s at least a little short. I love you all and I hope you’re all doing well!

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