- Don't make someone a priority when they only make you an option
- Respect people who make time for you in their busy schedule, but cherish the people who never look at their schedule when you need them
- If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you - you shouldn't have to fight for a spot
- Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth
- It’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends
Over and over and over again I've come across these messages in the last few months. And their frequency is increasing. When I first started noticing these messages, I read them in the negative, full of judgement about the people I had thought I could count on but who, it seemed, evaporated when I most needed them. But now, as the chorus builds and I reflect on this year - one of the most emotionally draining that I've experienced in 43 years of living - I see not so much the empty spaces of people who haven't been there, but the amazing giants who've held me up on their shoulders.
I barely knew the UberCoach a year ago, and only really got to see who she is for the first time when she helped me move in May of 2010. This year she has held up a very gentle mirror for me, she has helped me get away when I needed quiet, reminded me to laugh, and most of all encouraged me to take care of myself. UberCoach is absolutely one of my dearest friends now - we still don't have a lot of history, but what we do have is damn fine. How could it not be? It includes lavender margaritas, and weekends away, and the commiserating of frustrated, hopeful, endlessly loving mother hearts. With a little touch of Princess/Drama Queen now and then.
Diva Moe and I go way back, but in a peripheral sort of way until 5 years ago. This year she's been my strong tower ... and the one to say 'enough is enough, get up, put some clean clothes on, do your dishes, it's time.' Diva Moe moves through her own heartache yet maintains an amazing and inspiring ability to put it aside when she sees other people who are hurting. She never resorts to one-up-manship (and she certainly has the right), but has seemingly endless reserves of generosity and compassion.
Although my beloved Shiney and I live hours and hours apart, we still after all these years have a heart connection that has her be the one to call me as I fall in my door in tears, or that has me call her as she waits an hour for her bus. Shiney is the very epitome of friend - she loves me deep and long and wide and there seems to be no room in her for judging me. Shiney can make me laugh or cry in about three words, and there is nothing in this world I want more than tea and cookies and a night on the couch with her.
I can shame-facedly admit that I was one of those girls who didn't always appreciate her Mother. I didn't understand women who said their moms were their best friend - in fact, I didn't just not understand it, I thought it was weird. And then came the time when I had to get real with my mom and tell her what was going on, and suddenly I saw what so many people have known about her for so long - she's strong (I knew that) but also so committed to her family, able - through her faith - to handle hurt and fear and worry. And to use that faith as well to guard the family she loves so much. I've been more honest with my mom this year than ever before, and I'm only now realising what my reticence and pride have cost me until now.
And then there's STG. I don't have words. I'm told the human spirit can survive nearly infinite stress and pain, but I honestly don't know how I would have survived this year without the broad shoulders and broader smile of STG. The first earthquake shook my world on the night we met - our entire relationship was formed alongside unbelievable stress, and he has never uttered one word of complaint or 'drama fatigue.' He has believed in me and loved me and been the light beside me through a pretty long tunnel. I am so excited to start next year with him and see what our love looks like in better lighting.
I'm incredibly grateful. This already long note could in fact be much longer. My life is full of love and friendship and support. Some of the changes to my dance card are not ones I would have chosen, but I wouldn't trade the results for all the coffee in Starbucks.