(This post is day 12 of the 21 Days of Gratitude project.)
"I think I'm trying to talk myself into it," I say.
And C says gently, "It sounds to me like you are trying to talk yourself out of
That's what I love about her. She can cut to the chase and tell me the truth in the softest of ways. I've been wrestling with something for a few months and driving myself crazy with over-analyzation (big shocker there, huh?). She's patiently listened to all my arguments on both sides of the fence although I'm sure she's sick to death of it.
That's what a good friend does. And she is a good friend.
I've been blessed with two really great friends in my life, and C is one of them. I've had others that I've enjoyed being around. Others that I've been closer to at times. But only two friends that have been with me for the long-haul.
M has been my friend since we were in seventh grade. I thought she had the coolest shoes (Nike) and decided that I wanted to be her friend. We were in the same geeky clubs and classes (Science and the gifted program) and I loved her happy and sweet demeanor. And happily, she seemed to enjoy being my friend! I was thrilled.
When my family moved away in my eighth grade year, I thought that meant leaving my best friend too. It was 1983 and we were both about to start high school. Lots of new friends. Lots of new experiences. But somehow, we managed to stay close. We wrote lots of letters (this is way before the internet or text messages) and talked on the phone occasionally (not often because back then it was long distance and that cost a lot of money). We convinced our parents to drive us to see one another and have sleepovers.
After high school, she went off to college and I stayed in my home town, teaching gymnastics and working in the donut shop. We'd hang out and drink beer when she'd occasionally come home from college. Her life at school seemed so exciting. I thought our friendship would fade as she experienced things that I didn't, but yet, we stayed close.
She graduated, married a local boy and settled down. We were finally in the same town once again, but it was brief. I married and moved away. And it's been that way ever since. But phone calls and cards and occasional visits have sustained our friendship throughout 30 years. Yikes, 30 years?! She'll kill me for saying that.
She's got a wicked sense of humor, a smart-ass streak as big as the Mississippi, and a heart of gold. I am still thrilled to have her as my friend and count myself lucky.
C is cut from the same cloth as M. I met her about 10 years ago when we moved to Wisconsin. She was the fiancee of a guy I worked with. I can recall our first meeting....she was a bit reserved and quiet. But her genuine-nature shined through. I instantly liked her.
Friendship with C was easy. She's smart, compassionate, and a great listener. She gives wonderful advice without being pushy. She always offers help and has been a role model for me in her graciousness and consideration for others.
For the first 5 years that I knew C, there were two other women in our little "group" so usually when we'd hang out, it was the four of us. C and I would do occasional things alone together, but most of the time when I saw her, it was in a group.
But when The Man and I moved to Milwaukee 7 years ago, C's friendship was one of the things that I really missed. She and her husband were the ones we stayed in touch with. The ones that we went back to hang out with and stay at their home. I mourned not living near a good friend anymore.
So we were thrilled when C and her husband moved to Milwaukee! Her husband, also a photographer, got a job at the same place I work. Yay!
Now, I feel so spoiled to have a best friend live in the same town that I do! When it was the four of us (before C or I had children) we'd hang out often. Bowling, dinner, beers, game nights, camping. It was a blast. And now that we both have children, hanging out is a new kind of fun. We go together for Christmas tree lightings, kiddie Halloween parties, birthday parties, and even just nights together to hang out.
C and I try to get a little alone time together but it's tough. We go out one night out a month together, usually talking about the challenges of being a mom and working full-time. Talking about our dreams for the future. The next steps of our lives.
She's been a constant support and cheerleader for me. And so has M.
Today I am grateful and so very thankful for the two amazing women that I am honored to call "friend".