Good evening, friends! Tonight begins a writing experiment that I’m really excited to participate in for the first time. I’m joining The Nester and company in her “31 Days” challenge. We will write on one topic of choice every day for the month of October. I encourage you to click over and check out the other posts. I’m looking forward to reading as many as I can. My word for this year is celebrate, so I wanted to incorporate that idea. As for what to celebrate, I went with my gut and chose a topic that’s been on my heart for a while.
Over the years, I’ve lived in different places and met some wonderful people. I like to think about the lifelong friendships that have grown and blossomed and enriched my life immeasurably. I’m sure we all have friends that have known us for long enough to remember our awkward years and friends that we’ve wept with and squealed joyfully with. We have dear friends that we can go without seeing for a year or more and still feel close to and comfortable with when we are reunited. And we have kindred spirits that we are drawn to and seem to click with right away.
I am an introvert who tends to have a few close friends and hold others at a distance—keeping them at acquaintance status. Going off to college really challenged me to open up to people and get out of my comfort zone. It was a challenge I accepted begrudgingly at the beginning. Now, my girlfriends from this time in life are women that I still consider some of my closest friends. We have walked with each other through heartaches, illnesses, job losses, tragedies, marriages, births, graduations and moves. Their sorrows seep into my heart and their joy is my joy. We live all over the US (and Italy and Canada, depending on the month), but when we can’t get together in person, we email and text and video chat and have phone dates. And we pray for each other.
Since getting married, I have noticed myself slipping back into my homebody tendencies a little more than I would like. I can’t imagine what college life would have been like if I hadn’t made myself leave my dorm room and get to know those wonderful ladies. We have just moved to a new city, and I feel like this is one of those times where I need to get out of my comfort zone again. I have an opportunity to open up, meet some new friends and reconnect with friends in the area that I haven’t seen much of in recent years. So, this month I will be celebrating friendship here. I’d like to tell some stories and maybe ask you help hold me accountable to be more open and engaged in my friendships new and old.
The photo above (taken by the very talented Renee Booe) captures the prayer we said in the bridal room on my wedding day shortly before I walked down the aisle. I don’t have to look at it for more than a second to feel the love and support of those friendships. I hope you’ll join me celebrating friendship in October. 🙂