Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thank You for Being a Friend

Happy Holiday week to everyone! I hope you all had a fun and safe Independence Day! Robert and I enjoyed a fun and relaxed morning by the pool, followed by a trip to the Foster Family Farm where we enjoyed some backyard baseball, grilling, sparklers, s'mores and campfires. It was a great time had by all!

I am currently back home in the great state of Texas for the wedding of my sorority sister, former roommate, bridesmaid and dear friend, Kiley.  Yesterday was a long day of travel, beginning with a 6:50 am flight out of Chicago, which Robert drove me to the night before. I was supposed to take the train, but due to delays, we decided driving would be more efficient, which it was.
My grandfather picked me up at DFW then drove me to Tyler where I got my Paisley fix (my 11 month old niece whom I ADORE). I then drove to Houston in time for the bachelorette festivities last night.  It was an exciting and exhausting 24 hours.

This has been a much anticipated, much needed trip for all of us. My 4 best friends and I hadn't seen each other since my wedding almost 3 months ago which, considering we hardly went hours without seeing each other during college, was difficult. We are scattered across the country: Sarah in DFW, Kiley in Houston, Danielle in LA, Brisa in New York and me in Illinois.  When we are together, it is a whirlwind of laughter, memories, inside jokes, crazy stories, drinks, songs, pictures and love. So. Much. Love.  Being apart has taken a toll on all of us. We each have things to occupy our time when we're away, husbands/boyfriends/fianc├ęs, other friends, jobs, school, whatever.  But it is unanimous that we are far better as the Wolfpack. One might even call us legen- wait for it.... dary.
So, I am currently treating myself to some much needed girl time and reminiscing.  Robert is manning the fort back "home" in IL, and I have found myself with some down time before the rehearsal dinner, sitting by the pool musing about the importance of relationships, true meaningful friendships that go beyond things in common, networking or material gain.  We have been there for each other during the best times (engagements, weddings, graduations, and acceptances) and the worst times (break ups, deaths, rejections, and failures).  We love each other even more through it all.

All of these things are necessary for lasting friendships.  Think about the relationships you have.  Do they encompass these things or are they built on weaker ground?  Do they lift you up, encouraging you to be the best you can be without losing yourself? What I truly love about our little group is the diversity we have.  We are all from different cities, we all have different style, we don't always agree, but we always love, support and care. Always.

It's this strong bond that I am missing so much in my new state.  I miss having people (other than my husband) who know me so completely, yet love me anyway.  When you grow together during incredibly stressful and influential years, you can't help but form a bond of survival.  I feel like we went through a war together or survived some apocalypse, because I can think of a time with each one of them where I feel like I would not have made it without their friendship. I am such a better person because of the friends I had during my time at Baylor.
I don't have anything like that in Illinois.  We don't even have another couple our own age to have dinner with.  I can't wait to form new relationships with people who I can lean on in hard times and celebrate with during good times.  I hope we find them soon.  I need something else to look forward to once this trip to Texas is over.  I have been so pumped to be back home with my dear friends, and I know once I am back in Illinois, I won't have this exciting event coming up on my calendar.  Someone else needs to get married, STAT.
I also don't know when the next time I come to Texas will be, so I am trying to soak it up to last me a while.  Like a squirrel gathering nuts for winter, I am taking mental snap shots of the scenery, the flag, the skylines.  It's good for my soul.  I feel so at home here, like I belong.  I've only been in my new home for a few weeks, so hopefully, it will become a place dear to me someday as well.  Until then, I will cherish my moments in the Lone Star State, and try to enjoy the adventure of living somewhere new.

My homeland.  My sisters.  My heart is full.

"Golden Girls" is one of my favorite 80's shows, and I feel that Dorothy (Bea Arthur) says it perfectly in the last monologue of the series:

"This has been an experience I'll hold very close to my heart.  These are memories I'll wrap myself in when the world gets cold and when I forget that there are people who are warm and caring.  Your friendship was something I never expected at this point in my life. I love you...always...  You're angels, all of you... You'll always be my sisters... always. "

If you don't have this kind of friendship, go find it.  Art, love and true friends are what make life worth living.  I am so blessed.  I have a life full of all three.  Do you?

My best friends and sisters. Me, Brisa, Kiley, Sarah and Danielle (left to right)

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