Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 116 - Grateful for Friendships

I truly believe that everything in my life has happened for a reason.  Sometimes the reason is obvious, and other times, I am left wondering.  But still, I know - in every fiber of my being that "everything happens for a reason".  Every fun time, and every challenging time - they are all there to teach me some important lesson.
It's the same about friendships.  Every friend I have ever had, has impacted my life and I have grown because of each and every one of them.

I remember my first friend...Karyn.  We met in preschool and had play dates at each other's house.  I remember her mom use to let us finger paint with pudding on a huge piece of paper rolled out in their hallway.  And at our house we used to put on tutus and dance across our driveway, while my older brothers made fun of us.  And then, less than a year after we met, my family moved from Arkansas to Ohio and we had to say goodbye to each other.  My parents exchanged holiday cards with her family.  But our lives, separated by hundreds of miles, went in different directions, and soon our friendship was no more than fond memories.  But those memories - are pieces of my childhood that make me smile and bring me joy whenever I reminisce.  She and our friendship positively impacted my life.

Another friend, Pam, was 10 years my senior, and at the turbulent age of 13, I needed a mentor, role model and a friend.  She was someone to ask questions to, someone to look up to, someone who listened and someone who cared about me.  And, I am sure that at 23 year years old, she had many other things on her mind and in her life that were way more important than me.  But, I never felt that - instead I felt like someone special!  Pam took me seriously and cared about helping through the dramas of my life as a thirteen year old.  Because of her friendship, I grew more confidence, I felt worthy, and I became more grounded.

Of course, I have had other friends, who taught me my boundaries.  And in those relationships, I learned that I didn't like to be used, or walked on, or taken advantage of.  Nor did I want to be a part of a toxic friendship.  Those are times that I "broke up" and chose to move on.  And other times, I was the "friend" who treated someone poorly, or unfair, or unkind.  Those were the times, I eventually, learned to swallow my pride and say "I'm sorry".  Sometimes, I was forgiven.  Sometimes, I was not.  But in all of these situations, I learned more about myself and about the meaning of friendship.

Each and everyone of these friendships, I am thankful for!

Recently some friends introduced me to the song FOR GOOD, from the musical, WICKED and I immediately fell in love with it!  The words in the song capture, precisely how I feel about friendship.

Here is my favorite part!

"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you..."

So, to all my Friends past and present - THANK YOU!

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