cheers, friend: a long-overdue ‘thank you’

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“Watson. Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.” – Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Friendship is not the photo you posted on Instagram last week. It’s not the text you sent yesterday, and it’s not the phone call you made this afternoon.

It’s not the “See Friendship” button on Facebook.

Friendship is everything you are.

It’s the look that passes between us worldlessly because words are useless anyway.

It’s how you know when to step up and help me fight my battles, when to hold my hand, and when to let me sucker punch that idiot all by myself.

It’s that two a.m. confession and that 10 a.m. struggle brunch.

It’s knowing when to speak up and when to shut up. When to make me laugh and when to let me be.

Friendship is Kelsey helping me move out of my apartment and Jackie talking to me as I fell asleep every night. It’s Meaghan and Heather express-mailing me wine because I got my heart broken and Thomas texting me every day just to say ‘hi, love you’.

Friendship is Jess’s taco nights and Krista’s giggles. Henry’s bear-hugs, Kenny’s coffee runs and Mike’s REALLY awful jokes. It’s every late-night deadline in that weird-shade-of-blue office and every toast to each other, to life, and to figuring it out on the way that we made at Brookside.

It’s everything I can’t put into words.

Somehow, I forgot to say thank you. I got too used to seeing you every day, too used to knowing you were only ever across the hall or down the block.

I don’t know who you are, reading this, but I’ve been insanely lucky to have you in my life.

If you’ve seen me cry, thank you. If we’ve shared a laugh, thank you. If we’ve never met and you’re still reading this for some reason, thank you all the more- you’re important to me too (is that creepy? Sorry, Internet.)

Know that I didn’t mean to take you for granted and that you are truly what makes my life beautiful, even on my worst days. Especially then.

You are friendship minus the filters, the statuses, and the captions. You are friendship minus the flattery and the martyrdom. You are my favorite part of being me.

So, thanks. Because I can’t (and don’t) say it enough.

Cheers, friend.

go ahead- break their heart

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“The heart was made to be broken.” -Oscar Wilde

That guy from your art class. The girl who comes in every day for her coffee order. Go ahead.
The guy you met yesterday. That girl you’ve known your whole life. Go ahead.

Go ahead- start the conversation. Compliment their shirt, tell them their hair looks nice. Commiserate about the morning commute. Laugh.

Go ahead- make plans. See a movie, get dinner, have coffee, hang out. Get to really know each other. Be surprised by the things you both like, and don’t. Look forward to them. Have fun. Be happy.

Go ahead- fall harder than you intended. Be afraid, but do it anyway. Become incredibly and irrevocably important to each other. Share things you don’t share with many (or any) other people. Connect. Understand. Grow.

Go ahead- get comfortable. Memorize their pizza order and their favorite beer. Get addicted to their tv shows. Steal their Netflix password. Become genuine friends with their friends and learn to love those people as much as they do. Quit censoring yourself around them. Expect them there for the important and unimportant stuff.

Go ahead- fight. Get (a little) jealous when you’re supposed to. Be upset when they’re not paying attention or giving back. Call them out on their bullshit. Let them do the same for yours. Learn when to let it slide, and when you shouldn’t. And when you can’t.

Go ahead- try. Make the effort to keep it together, with everything you have. Do nice things for each other, and check yourself when you’re getting overly annoyed at the small stuff. Revisit the early times and the old jokes, the things that bonded you together. Take a deep breath.

Go ahead- admit it isn’t working. Talk it over with your friends, but make sure you make the decision yourself. Sit on it for a few days. Really think about what it means. Man/woman up, and choose.

Go ahead- break their heart. Recognize that if you’re in it for any reason other than love, you’re not doing them any favors. Loyalty, pity, fear of loss, jealousy- understand that these are not reasons to stay with them. Be honest. Don’t tell them you can still be friends if you can’t (hint: you probably can’t). Hold them when they cry, and leave when you have to.

Go ahead- miss them. Miss them even though you don’t think you have a right to. Don’t get mad when you see that they’re okay- you knew they would be eventually. Know that letting them go was the best thing you could have done for them and that someday, when they find out what you two were lacking, they’ll know it too.

Go ahead- try again. Learn from the last one. Don’t forget a single feeling, but don’t be too afraid when you feel it all again. Don’t feel guilty if it’s been three years, or three months, and don’t let that be the thing that stops you. If it seems worth it, give it a shot.

Go ahead. Life is for living- if you do it right, it’s gonna hurt. It’ll surprise you and knock you on your ass and make you indescribably happy and miserable. And if you do it right, it’ll be worth it.

So go ahead- text her. Screw that, give her a call. Tell him he’s funny. Agree to a date, and give it a whirl. You might end up never seeing her again. You might end up having to break his heart. But you might not.

Go ahead.