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Saturday, November 9, 2013

the tough times and good friends

my friend colleen over at Adventures in Rettland asked me to guest post on her blog this month-the topic was thankfulness/gratitude-here is what I wrote:

suddenly it is november. 
i swear i just put away the christmas decorations.  time certainly does fly.
november is probably one of my favorite months-especially in California with the weather we are so lucky to have. but also because of thanksgiving, family time, amazingly colored leaves. it is a time to give thanks, and reflect on the year that just flashed before our eyes.
i think i’m thankful everyday-at least subconsciously.  I know it is pretty amazing that I wake up each morning and can swing my legs out from under the covers and walk toward the coffee maker. i know how lucky i am to have a husband and two kids under my roof who drive me crazy, make me laugh, and love me unconditionally. i have food, a car that works, a job that fulfills and friends and family that i can turn to in tough times.

tough times.  i’m really thankful for those. honestly.
grade school was tough, I was picked on (yeah we all were but anyone else have their entire fourth grade class in a club called the I Hate Erica Club?).
in high school i made some poor choices that took me down some hard roads.
college: academic suspension after my freshman year. (I begged the Dean to let me come back and he did-ended up with all A’s and B’s my last two years).
had some majorly huge falling outs with dear friends along the way. i have suffered with minor anxiety and depression off and on since high school.
my parents both died when i was relatively young-my dad when I was 27, my mom when I was 33.
two years after my mom died, Avery was diagnosed.
some of this I had to get through alone, but most was made better by my friends.  all of it shaped me into the person i am today-strong, a fighter, imperfect.  so much good has fallen into my lap because of the bad.
and the friends? oh the friends. new and old. i have learned so much from my them-about who I am, what I believe, what I cherish. my friends take me for who I am.  they know my deepest secrets and insecurities and they build me up and choose to stick by me. I have friends that encourage me to be my true self-to show my weaknesses, to be vulnerable.  they give me the space to do just that.  they call me out when im being an asshole, cheer me on, and hold my hand as my tears fall.
they laugh-at me, at themselves, at life.  they share honestly and openly in that perfect moment when it is ok to let go.  i wait for those moments.  those are the moments when you feel most alive aren’t they?  when a friend trusts you enough to look at you and say “i’m scared” or “i’m sad” or “i’m so proud of myself! I cannot believe i did it!”.  that -vulnerability- it is really what life is all about.
i wonder a lot if i would be this person had all those unfortunate incidents not occurred in my life.  i can honestly say that I wouldn’t.  i know it. you gotta have some tough in your life to really appreciate the easy.  otherwise the easy stuff becomes boring and can be taken for granted and you never see the beauty that comes with pain.
As my wise friend Colleen said “I feel like I have been given a front row seat to the most beautiful show on earth”. (i totally butchered that and might have left out an expletive…but you get my drift). either way she is right.
so i’m thankful for the tough times.  all of them. and my friends and family who have been, are, and will be there for me when another tough thing is thrown my way.

2 comments:

Momttorney said...

I'm lucky you are one of my friends. Really.

And, I love this. Every word of it.

I have a friend who I once confided in that I found it hard to relate to people who hadn't had enough "hard" in their lives yet. Couldn't dig the naivety, the idealism, and well, it's something I can't put my finger on, but there's a certain vulnerability in knowing, just KNOWING, you are amongst friends who've had the kind of "hard" I their lives that leaves you sobbing in a heap on the floor, over and over, but that somehow, you get back up, brush yourself, off, and keep going. And not JUST going, but really, really living. thriving even. You are an awesome woman and I am so glad I know you. xo

Momttorney said...

I'm lucky you are one of my friends. Really.

And, I love this. Every word of it.

I have a friend who I once confided in that I found it hard to relate to people who hadn't had enough "hard" in their lives yet. Couldn't dig the naivety, the idealism, and well, it's something I can't put my finger on, but there's a certain vulnerability in knowing, just KNOWING, you are amongst friends who've had the kind of "hard" I their lives that leaves you sobbing in a heap on the floor, over and over, but that somehow, you get back up, brush yourself, off, and keep going. And not JUST going, but really, really living. thriving even. You are an awesome woman and I am so glad I know you. xo