It’s only been a year.
But it feels like a lifetime.
I mean that in the best of ways. A year ago today, I started a long weekend down in Florida with Nick, Cheekie, Max, and Shon. I’ll spare you all of the details, since I wrote about that already. What I’m going to talk about today is my girls and how I feel about them. Thinking back over the last 365 days, it almost seems impossible that that was the first time I’d met these ladies, due to how integral each of them are in my lives today. It literally feels like I don’t remember most of what my life was like before they got here. I think that after I met them, the person I used to be got swept away, and made room for the woman that I am becoming today. It may seem hard to believe that 5 people that met in the chat function of a UStream could become sisters in the matter of 3 days, but that really happened. That weekend proved to me several things that I never thought were possible.
First, it proved that women really can get along. I mean, we were in a hotel room with one bed, a pull out sofa, a bajillion bags of luggage, one bathroom, umpteen containers of makeup, a million shoes, and one TV. And yet, everyone came out unscathed and loving each other at the end of the weekend. If THAT’S not a miracle, I’m not sure that they exist. Second, it proved that sometimes the best things for you come from the most unexpected places. I had no expectations when I went to Florida other than to have a good time digging my toes into sand in 80 degree weather in October. As long as I got my nap on the beach, I was good. I got more than I bargained for. As a result of that trip, I gained four sisters, the opportunity to meet *many* other people that I consider to be my sisters/friends, a gang of girls coming to DC, a trip to Toronto, most of them coming back to DC for my birthday, and an open invitation to various cities across the country and in Canada. How amazing is that? Off of the 5 of us coming together for this one trip, I’ve gained like 20 friends. I’m personally amazed at the reach that I have now, and how many people from all different walks of life, professions, and parts of the country that I truly do love as a result of the trip.
I’m blessed beyond measure to be able to call these 4 ladies my sisters. They’ve seen me through some of the hardest times of my adult life and have been there for some of the best times I’ve had as an adult. Although we don’t talk every day, we all know that each of us is just a phone call/text message/email/GChat away, and it makes me feel overwhelmingly happy to know that I have that type of support from women who weren’t even on my radar at the beginning of 2010. They’ve pushed me to become a better writer, a better steward, a better friend, and a better woman, and for that, I’m forever indebted to them. There’s something to be said about the solidarity of the friendship between women, and as the youngest member of the group, I have some fantastic role models to look up to.
Nick – Even though you and I don’t talk every day like we used to, I still love you just the same. I love hearing you get mad and your Jamaican accent coming out, and to hear you laugh seriously sends me into a fit of laughter. You’re hilarious to me, and absolutely gorgeous, and an all-around amazing person. You’ve been through a lot in the short time that I’ve known you, but you’ve always kept your head above water, and have come out on top thus far. I know it gets hard for you, but I want you to know that you are amazing, and serve as an inspiration to me every single day. You inspired me to go ahead and create this blog as a dot com, and to let my voice be heard even if it seemed like no one was listening. I don’t take anything that I’ve learned from you for granted, and I look forward to all that the future has to bring both of us. You’re awesome, I can’t WAIT to see you, and I love you!
Shon – Over the last year, you’ve become my voice of reason even when it seemed like I couldn’t be talked down. I love that you listen to me, and hear me out, and give me practical solutions to problems I surely won’t care about in the next few years, all while reminding me that it’s normal to feel this way since I’m only 25. You’re one of the wisest people I have ever met, and you have such a loving, giving, caring, and beautiful spirit that it truly radiates from the inside out. It is a joy to be able to spend extended amounts of time with you, and you have truly edified me and given me counsel in ways I can’t even express. I love watching you be in love, and you deserve every single grain of happiness that is already here and that is soon to come. I absolutely love the fact that you’re here in DC with me, and I can see you so we don’t go through withdrawals. I love you!
Max – I almost have no words. You’ve been open arms for me throughout so many of my horrendously awful situations, been the tough love I’ve needed to get back in shape, and been my biggest cheerleader. Most of all, you taught me how to believe in myself in spite of what other people may do, say, or think about me, and that has proven to be invaluable. I can only hope to be as magnificent, poised, blunt, honest, and unbelievably hot as you are when I hit my 30s; with you in my corner, I know I have no choice! I love you for loving me in spite of myself, and for always being there with open arms just when I need you. I can’t wait to see you again and have that long, drawn-out hug that we always do when we see each other. I love you honey!
Cheekie – Lord have mercy. Who knew that a year later, you’d have turned into one of my best friends? You bring out the best part of me, and the part of me that I thought left when my father left this Earth. I can be as silly, as ratchet, as funny, and as open with you, because it’s really like we’re almost the same person (scary, right?). You’ve given me the inspiration to write again, to find my voice, and to get back to what I know I have a God-given gift to do. From the depths of my heart, I sincerely appreciate everything that you have done for me and my life over this last year. All of the gchats, tweets, phone calls, co-blogs, Tumblr posts, and visits have truly made me a better person. I don’t know where I would be without you, and I’m glad I never have to find out. I know since we’re silly all the time, I don’t tell you enough, but I love you girl!
All of these women here have had an indelible impact on my life. From sharing cocktails and breakfasts by the pool a year ago, to sitting in our respective homes reading this blog today, their influence is all over every single aspect of my life. I thank each and every one of them for sticking with me on this journey, and for being a part of one of the best years of my life. I love you all, and here’s to many more years of friendship!