My Handpicked Family

Have you ever seen the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch? It’s my favorite Disney movie of all time. I am Stitch. We are one. Because sometimes I feel like an outsider, an alien, sent to this earth to just destroy things (mainly my own happiness). And yet, I haven’t yet. Something on this earth has kept me in check enough to be happy. And that is my friends, my handpicked family. If I’m Stitch, then my lovely friends are all Lilo.

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Picking your friends, especially your closest ones is like picking your own special family. Like most blood/marriage families (like mine) they have to love you and care about you, it’s the rules. But your friends? They become your family because they choose you and you choose them and there is a mutual choosing of each other because you like and love each other. They don’t have to love you, but they do. My close friends are my family and I love them and I would do anything for them. I like to call them my weird little family – but they don’t know that… Well now they do. Some of my WLF (look at that, I’m so cool I shorted my weird little family) don’t like each other, some of them have never even met each other, but that’s ok. They all help me become a stronger person. They all make me better somehow and some way (mostly stopping me from murdering stupid people). 

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Just to clarify – my friends are Lilo, but they don’t kiss me.

Maybe we work so well because we’re all a little broken. Stuff has happened to all of us. Good stuff, bad stuff, stuff that has changed us and made us stronger. I’m certainly not perfect, and neither are any of them. Perfect people are boring and annoying. My friends are vibrant and amazing and they make life more exciting. I learn from them. They all teach me things. I hope someday I can repay them for all that they’ve done for me and all that they are to me. I hope someday I can show them just how much I love them and how much they mean to me. I’m not me without them.

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Some of my friends and I talk almost everyday and some of them I haven’t spoken to in months, but that doesn’t lessen our friendship. When I see them or speak to them again, it seems like we just pick up where we left off – like nothing has changed. There is a mutual respect there, that even if we don’t talk ever day, we don’t take that as a snub of rejection. I mean for crying out loud – WE ARE ADULTS. We are in school, or working, or trying to find a job, or moving, or having babies, or taking care of our families. We are busy people. 

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Social Media can sometimes make friendship lazy. ‘Well I don’t need to talk to them because I see them on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. So I know what’s going on.’ But sometimes I see it as a blessing. I can see what’s going on, even if I’m not right there with them in South Carolina, or North Carolina, or California, or New Jersey, or Virginia, or Florida, or Hawaii. Do I wish I was with them? Of course. All the freakin time. If I could just squish all of my WLF into my apartment forever I’d be so happy (they’d all hate me though). But being connected with them in any way, even by the internet, means that I can be happy for them from afar and see their children, pets, accomplishments, and what their having for dinner. 

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I think of all the things in their lives that they’ve shared with me: weddings, parties, graduations, laughs, hugs, tears, joy, memories, amazing fun times, children (no one is actually physically sharing their children with me, that would be weird). 

Also, they all know that I’m weird. Not a single one of them thinks I’m a normal and sane person. They’ve seen me, happy, sad, angry, crazy, obsessive – the whole spectrum of emotions, and they are still friends with me. That says a lot. They’ve all been through my bad life choices, my terrible boyfriends, some were there for my emo stage in life, when I’m sick all the freakin time, my weird obsession with One Direction and Unicorns, and all the times I’ve hurt myself physically, emotionally, and mentally (because I’m an idiot). I’m crazy, so they must be a little bit crazy/weird or they wouldn’t be friends with me. So kudos to my WLF, you’re clearly not as normal as you hoped you were!

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I couldn’t ask for better people in my life (unless a very rich and famous celebrity wanted to be my friend… Jennifer Lawrence I’m waiting for your call). I’ve had other friends in my close circle before who I thought were here forever, but sometimes friendships don’t stick and sometimes people don’t care, and sometimes people change so much that you don’t even recognize the person they are anymore. But the close friends I have right now, my WLF – they stick. No matter what. The relationships forged in this handpicked family I have will hopefully never end. I care too much to let them end (too creepy? this sounds creepy… like I stalk them). 

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No one gets left behind. No one thinks they are better than anyone else. Every single person in my WLF treats me like an equal. We are on the same plane. And we always bring each other back to reality. I don’t think any of them have ever spared my feelings before with telling me the truth. Sometimes it’s brutal, some of them have made me cry (some more than others, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) but they are always looking out for me. They try to show me what’s best for me. Does it hurt sometimes? Yes. Do we get mad at each other sometimes? Of course. Is it worth it? How could it not be worth it. It’s worth it every second of every day.

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Could you ask for anything more? A bunch of honest and loving friends who support you and want you to be happy. Somedays I’m in awe of how lucky I am. I think about other people who might not have that kind of support system and it just breaks my heart. I’d probably be in prison or severely depressed if I didn’t have my weird little family.

I love them. It is really just that simple. I love them and I am so thankful that they are in my life. Each one of them means more to me than they’ll ever know. 

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Now let’s take a visit down memory and thankfulness lane!!!! I figured I’d do a little name dropping, a little recognition, a little bragging, and throw them all under the bus. Whether they know it, or anyone else knows it (and I’m sure someone is gonna be mad about this post) – Here is my Weird Little Family:

Elisabeth – It’s always good to start with the person you’ve known the longest. And I feel like I’ve known her forever! But it’s actually just been 20 years. 20 YEARS!!!! I survived Elementary school, middle school, Junior High, and High school with this lady by my side. Sometimes we despised each other and sometimes we were inseparable, but that’s what happens when someone knows basically everything about you! I can’t imagine growing up without her by my side. She is genuine and caring and amazing.

 Alissa – Never have a met someone as similar and as different than I am. I feel as though she has become my other half. I am so thankful we met Freshman year because I know if I hadn’t befriended her I would have gone off the deep end. There were days when she has been my lifeline. Somedays have seemed so hopeless for me and so dark but she was always there to help me. She’s like my own personal sunshine, showing me all the good things in life. My life would be bleak and cold and just plain yucky without her. She is so beautiful inside and out.

Danielle – She is the sweetest person I’ve ever known in my entire life. The most tenderhearted, understanding, loving person on earth. We make each other laugh and smile and there are so many wonderful things about her that I could just go on forever. I can’t imagine life without her, she was always just down the hall in college. All I had to do was walk a few steps and she’d be there waiting for me to hug her and have her help me pick out my clothes or share some funny story with her. I know she will always be there for me no matter what.

Leslie – Her’s is the type of friendship that you think only happens in sitcoms. She’s my parents next door neighbor. She is also one of the most supportive people I’ve ever met in my entire life and an amazing mother with 3 awesome kids. She is such a good listener and I know I can just ramble on and on and on and she just patiently waits for me to shut my mouth. The advice that she gives is always so positive and thoughtful. 

Beau – He never lets anything get in his way. He is so determined. He looks at what he wants and he goes after it and I admire him so much for that. I look up to him and his strength and I just think ‘Man I wish I could be like him and I wish I could do that!’ He brushes negativity aside like it’s nothing, water off a duck’s back. He is determined in his friendships and he is loyal. 

Tim, David, and Jamil – I always wanted to have brothers. I finally got them in college. These three guys know how to have a good time, know how to give great advice, and each one of them has made me cry (that might not be positive now that I think about it). Jamil is like my little brother. He’s adorable and kind and sweet and always so excited about everything. He is so positive. I wish I could be as positive as him, always seeing the bright side of things and the silver lining. Tim is like my older brother, always giving the wise advise and teaching me life lessons. He always has people’s best interests in mind. He is fiercely honest and supportive. David is like my twin brother (and that statement is gonna freak him and other people out). I feel like David is my opposite in the best way. He’s what I could be if I were a good person. All of my bad equals all of his good. He is so happy, friendly, and kind. He is also one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever met in my life.

Stephanie – This lady is funny. Not just funny, hilarious. Everything she does is amazing. The things she has accomplished in her life are amazing and I look up to her as a role model. She has also got to be one of the most lighthearted people on earth. Nothing I ever do seems crazy to her. She is always up for anything and I always know I’m going to make amazing memories whenever I’m with her. 

Phil – He was one of the first people I ever met in college and I’m so glad I met him. He is a loyal and dependable friend. Kind of like a rock (like a rock in a positive way). He was one of my first friends and my chapel buddy. In college he was always ready to make me laugh or to chase my tears away. He can always take a negative situation and somehow turn it positive.

Monique –  She is wonderful. Everyone should have a wonderful friend and I’m so lucky I have one. She is so kindhearted and attentive. Nothing slips by her. She is accomplished and crafty and lovely and all the other adjectives I can think of for amazingness. She is so supportive. My freshman and sophomore year, she was either right across the hall or right upstairs and I can’t count the number of times I went to her to vent and share my feelings. She always has my back and I’ll always have hers. 

Becky – I can tell her anything. Most of our relationship is either us talking or laughing. We can sit and have a conversation for hours. She is an amazing listener and she always knows how to turn my frown upside down. We can be crazy and goofy and silly together and not have a care in the world. Our summers spent together at camp are memories that I cherish close to my heart. The ridiculous situations we’ve been thrown into together have made us so close. I feel like she is the sister that God forgot to give me. 

Annie – I wish I could be more like her. She is so levelheaded and she always stopped me from doing really stupid things at camp. She is always there with a kind word and sageful (is that even a word) advice no matter what the situation. The times we’d sit and talk and I’d be so lost and confused about life, she would set me straight. I can always rely on her to put me back on the right path and remind me about the most important and amazing things in life. The giggles and memories we shared during our summers together are tucked into my heart.

JathanCaleb, and Nathan – These three are the three stooges in reality form. These guys always know how to bring me up, sit me down, and bring me back to reality. When my brain and heart go out of control and I start talking nonsense and acting bi-polar, these guys can ring me in. Jathan is my realist. Whenever I have some absurd thought or some ridiculously negative notion about something, he bring me back, he reminds me what is real and takes me out of my head. He can always make me smile. Caleb is so uplifting. Whenever I’m down in the dumps or upset about something, just his presence can ease my mind. He is always there with a positive or inspirational comment. Nathan is my sit down guy. I mean we can sit down and have a dead serious conversation for hours. I could talk to him about the craziest things that I believe in and he will talk to me about it for hours. It could be nonsense, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve had some of my best conversations ever with him. He is so smart and he makes me wish I was smarter. 

Jessi – I met her during one of the worst times in my life and she was like some bright and shiny angel sent from God. She is such a blessing and she is just so good. She’s one of those people that you look like and you think ‘Aren’t you bad at anything? Haven’t you ever made a mistake? How can you be wonderful at everything you do?’ She is supportive and so loving. She has shown me so much love in the short time I’ve known her these 3 years. 

These are my people. My Weird Little Family. I love them so much. I miss them all every second of every day. I can’t imagine my life without them. 

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