Congratulations. My mind has brought us to a fun place in which I feel the need to tell a story within a story. The few people who follow this blog likely just lost interest. I can’t really blame them, but if you hang around, I think you will appreciate the positive message here. I know that my blog can be…petulant at times. If you’re over that tone, this might be the post for you.
I need to address something before we kickoff this power hour of story telling: How does this relate to the goal of this blog? In my experience, Millennials deeply value their friends to an extent that separates us from older generations. We are selective. When we find someone who has incredible influence on our lives, that person is our cohort for life. If jobs or significant others or life adventures dare pull us apart, we will use technology to bridge the physical gap. When we find a good friend, we won’t be deterred. For crying out loud, we practically invented Friendsgiving, which is a holiday with the sole purpose of avoiding family and eating terrible food with friends. Friendsgiving must have special application for friends who live great distances apart, because avoiding family and eating terrible food with my friends is commonly referred to as the weekend. Anyways, I digress…
During graduate school, I found my group of people. Our group of about seven students was likeminded and had a kindred spirit. We cared about public service, politics, social injustices and the likes. My favorite memories are spending time with this group in a city I grew to love. As we graduated from our specific programs and found job opportunities, we slowly moved away from the area in small waves. When it was my turn to fly the nest, a friend handed me a letter and said, “When one of us leaves, I write a letter to tell the friend what she means to me. Read it later.”
In short, the letter was the kindest string of compliments I have ever received. The letter, which is now stored in a fireproof case, was the best gift I ever received, but it was also the most difficult. Truthfully, I only read the letter once, and I stored it away for safekeeping. Reading the compliments was difficult. I felt incredibly undeserving- even inadequate. For a long period of time, I could not reconcile my friend’s opinions against my own perception of myself. One day, I realized that there must be something of merit in my friend’s letter. To be fair, his words were too generous. However, he is a person of such great caliber that his opinion carries significant weight. My difficulty with the letter led to self-examination. A kind word from a friend should not cause such conflict. Now, I believe that more friendships should have an open dialogue regarding how much we value each other.
Flash forward. I have an amazing friend who recently relocated. I want her to have the same string of compliments to know how she has impacted me.
- My friend is the most caring, selfless person that I know.
- Support → Before she left, she filled a candy jar with words of encouragement to get me through the tough days. Like this, but the exact opposite:
- My friend is a smart, creative & resilient person.
- Support → there wasn’t anything she couldn’t manage in our office. If she was told to do it, she figured it out. Like this, but the exact opposite:
- My friend has an unmatched spunk for life.
- Support → Of all of my harebrained schemes, I can’t think of a time that she didn’t text back, “In.” Like this, but the exact opposite:
In all seriousness and immaturity aside, she is awesome. I am excited for her new adventures, and I think the world would be a better place if we all openly stated…this feels like a bad idea. Is it a bad idea? I mean, I already wrote it out. I can’t delete now. I could always email it to S.H. But then I would feel obligated to write another post in a short turnaround. Nope. Going to ride this one out. I think everyone should do something similar for a close friend this week. Given recent current events, we all need some positive focus in our lives.