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To my cherished friend Lori, on our birthday

It is pretty special to share a birthday with a life long friend. It’s something we look forward to every year, though we never spend it together. We even wish each other Happy Half-Birthday in January.

I’ve been friends with Lori for 32 years. For her second birthday, she got me as a present and we’ve never looked back. Though two years separate us, it was rarely an issue. I’ll admit, when she turned 16 and I was only 14, it seemed insurmountable, but we pushed through.  By the time she turned 18 and I was only 16 it was hardly a problem at all. I credit my incredible maturity, of course.

I wish I had the oodles of photos we took in our childhood, specifically the one we took in our Pepsi “You Got the Right One Baby” shirts. Every time I see “Day of the Week” underwear, I smile. I can’t watch a Val Kilmer or Mark Whalberg movie without wishing she was there to share it with me. When I hear “Independent Love Song” I sing it at the top of my lungs, just like old times.

Lori is my brave friend. My friend who does what she wants to do, not what she thinks she is “supposed” to do or what might make the most sense in the future. She makes choices for her happiness and I think that is very brave. What would my life be like if I actually did exactly what I wanted to do, instead of playing it safe? I make my choices based on security, she makes hers because she wants to be happy.

I have spent years trying to convince her that she needs to do this and she needs to do that because that’s what you’re supposed to do!! She has quietly reassured me again and again, she is where she wants to be and she is happy. I think I have finally accepted that.

My brave friend, my adventurous friend, I am behind you, where ever you are going. I am proud of you for living your life the way you want to live it and not bog yourself down with the doom of future responsibility. I am proud of you for not being afraid to be alone and to find your inner strength. I am proud of you for taking steps into the unknown because you know that if you stand still for one more second, you will burst.

I am proud of you for deciding that there are parts of your life that do not make you happy, and addressing them. I am proud of you for taking time to figure out where you want to be and going there. I am proud of you for not settling in so many ways. I’ll admit, I don’t always understand your methods, but that’s ok.

I wish we spent more time together, or that we even lived in the same city. But the beautiful thing about our friendship is the constant. It doesn’t matter how many weeks since we’ve spoken or how many months since we’ve seen each other, its constant. I have always appreciated the honestly we have been us. The honestly to share our own lives and struggles and the honesty to speak into each others lives. I get so excited for you when something good happens and I know you feel the same way. You are the only person I will willingly spend an hour on the phone with.

I wanted you to know today, on our birthday how much I cherish you. I wish I could see you today but instead, I just want you to know that I love you and I miss you. I hope to see you soon. Happy Birthday friend.

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