VIP: A Letter to my Friends and Family

Today, I am writing this very important post because a recent loss has, as it usually does, made me realize the fragility of life and the importance of living it to the best of your abilities. It’s sad that it often takes something tragic or heartbreaking to realize this, but it is an undeniable part of living.

I wanted to write a letter to my friends and family, to all of you who know who you are or maybe you don’t, to tell you just how much I care about you. It may sound cheesy, but it’s something that needs to be said, even just this once.

As I get older, I see the way relationships change. Some grow stronger, some slip away, some start, and some end. I’m still at the stage where I struggle to understand it, but I’m close enough to a time where I accept it as a part of the process. Regardless of the status of our relationship, I promise you that it means so much to me.

Sometimes I feel alone. Sometimes I have pity parties and think about how I don’t have any friends and my life isn’t like the movies, books, and TV shows I read. But whose is? At the end of the day, I can name people who have made an impact on my life, people I can still talk to today.

To my friends: Wow. I don’t know how I got lucky enough to have people who not only tolerate my quirks but openly welcome them into their lives. There is distance. There are opposing schedules. There are spaces and gaps that keep us apart. There’s the other parts of life, the working and the thriving, that take up a lot of our time. But I love you. I haven’t forgotten any of you, even if it’s been months or, heck, years since I saw you. There isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t pop into my head. I could (and should) text or call or correspond in some way, but it seems none of us have the time to do these things. And that’s okay. I am okay with it and I hope you are, too. The fact is, I love you.
I love you for being there for so many years or months or weeks. I am thankful for those of you who have known me since I was even more awkward than I still am today. I am thankful for the people who made the worst jokes with me and laughed forever about them. I am thankful for laying on floors and not understanding how to work basic household appliances. I am thankful for long rides in my boat of a Buick and all of the music we screamed along to. I am thankful for hours of mindless TV and Mario Kart and weekly routines and funfetti cake and 40s and getting my face sticky with deodorant and sharing bathrooms and taking embarrassing photos that never get old. 
There are some people I never thought I would be friends with, and I can say proudly that we have become friends.
There are people I met who I just clicked with and that was it, forever.
There are people I’ve only been a handful of times but have inspired me.
There are people I’ve only ever really spoken to through social media and I look forward to hearing from them.
And, of course, there are people that I miss, that I sometimes wonder why things didn’t work out. Still, there is never ill will or bad blood. To those people, I still think the best. I still remember laying in bed watching TV, sharing snacks and stories and good music. I still care about you. I always will. I won’t forget. I obviously haven’t.
I don’t say it enough, but I love you. I do. I am thankful. Just remember that, no matter who you are or what you think our status in life is, you really, truly made an impact on me.

To my family: Just as with friends, we aren’t always together as much as we used to be. I should really make more time. And I’ll say it all the time, but I know it might not happen because, in a way, I’m kind of working on my future family.
Still, I have been so lucky to have such supportive blood running through my veins. My memories of childhood are filled with swimming and cookouts and Sunday brunch and holidays and sleepovers. Even the rough times have some brightness to them. I know this isn’t the case for many families, and I am forever grateful that I grew up around funny, loving, crazy, awesome people. There isn’t much else to say…you are my family, and so I love you.
I was born that way.

Life is too fast and too short, and sometimes it’s even faster and shorter than you deserve.
We will undoubtedly forget to be thankful on the rough days, to remember to say I love you because we are pissed off or stuck in our heads. That is just how life is. It’s unfortunate, but it can’t be any other way.

I just wanted you to know, for the record, just in case but all the time: I love you and I’m glad I know you.

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