Having just returned from a spring break “girls trip” to Europe with two of my closets friends, friendship has been a topic heavy on heart. Myself and one of my other friends, Taryn, a Ph.D. candidate, travelled miles away from home to visit our friend, Ashley, who is currently living in Madrid, Spain teaching English to high school students. The trip couldn’t have been more perfect. (The experience I had causes for a whole new blog!) Neither Taryn nor I have travelled outside of the country before so we were both able to share the beautiful experience together. It didn’t really hit me how truly blessed I was to have been provided the opportunity to travel to another country and to have such amazing people in my life to do this with until I got back to the states of course. As I was unpacking my luggage, a huge rush of sadness came over me as I realized that I wouldn’t be seeing my friends again for a very long time. We all met while in undergrad and became really close with one another. We went from seeing each other almost every day to not at all after we all graduated in 2010. Not having that instant access to one another was difficult for me to get adjusted to along with post-college life because my friends play such an integral role in my life. With Taryn and my other friend and old roommate, Sheena, leaving in another state, Ashley working in another country, and Cornesia who recently received her masters in Social Work just beginning her career in another city, I feel like I have pieces of my heart scattered all over the world. You should hear us recant the times we first met one another for the first time, all of our different interpretations are hilarious! I once saw this quote that pretty much sums up how the support I receive from my friends helps me, “A woman can rule the world, all she needs are her high heels & her girlfriends”. Of course I’ve met a number of people over the years who I consider to be in my social circle, Keara Courtney, Amber, Misha, Que, Shirley, Matt, Daniel, & all of TRK to name a few whose friendships I am eternally grateful for as well.
I’m a rather social person so I can start and maintain a conversation with almost anybody; making acquaintances was never a difficulty for me. But choosing friends, people that I can comfortably let my guard down with, individuals who I can trust to challenge me even when I don’t want to be challenged, that’s a totally different story. In my opinion, to be called someone’s friend is a privilege, which is something that everyone shouldn’t have the luxury of. When I was younger I used to think that the more friends I had the better and boy was I sadly mistaken. I’ve since learned that it’s about the quality of people I have in my life, definitely not the quantity. What good is it to have a million people you call a friend but not one that you can actually call on? For me, it’s really about who can add value to my life and vice versa. I’m on a very specific path of self-discovery and achievement and I need to be surrounded by people who understand and respect that; and that’s just what I’ve been blessed with. Everybody on my team is a go-getter. None of us are afraid of a little hard work. We all have very different and unique ways of getting things done but that’s the beauty of it all, different perspectives chasing the same dream.
Upon first glance of my inner circle, you probably wouldn’t think that there’s much diversity beyond what meets the eye but if you take a deeper look and begin to ask each of us what our stories are, you’d really see how different we all are. There’s background differences in that I didn’t realize that single parent households were abnormal until I met my friends who’s parents were not only together but happily married. They probably don’t even know that I hadn’t been exposed to that kind of lifestyle until I me them…well, Whoop-there it is! There’s also personality differences which causes for very interesting debates at times and makes our friendships that much more dynamic. I also have male friends and friends of other ethnicities that help to give me a more well rounded view of the world in which I live. The bottom line is that we all bring different things to the table that aide in our development of fully established individuals and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m very particular with the people I allow in my life and I have good reason to be. I pride myself on being a great friend and I’ll accept nothing in return– only iron can sharpen iron. They say that if you want to see a hint of your future just look at the six people you spend the most time with. Well, I’m pretty happy with the way my future is looking!
“Who gets to talk to you everyday, is almost like the food that you eat”- Will Smith