I’ve spent the past week scooping broken expectations from my bedroom floor. They stick to the palms of my hand like jelly, almost immovable in their viscosity, until I am reminded how dangerous it is to see people as anything other than they are.
So it goes.
This week, I’ve leaned so heavily on my friends that if they were lesser people, they might have broken. I am consistently amazed that they hear me every time, through every pain, and still manage to love me at the end of the day. I often say I’ve stumbled ass-backward into the most beautiful friendships – and it’s more true than I could ever explain.
Today’s post is for the people who didn’t have to choose me, but decided to anyway. They have made it possible to breathe every single time. They root for me, support me, challenge me, inspire me, teach me. My friends verify the validity of my feelings and they ask me how I will move forward. There is no greater group of people on Earth.
Here’s to my Babes, to the beautiful people who swept my heart off their doorstops and let me inside.
To the Power Couple who have known me since I was 13 and edgeless, who have never once stopped loving me even though I constantly fall asleep on their sofa, who check in again and again to make sure I’m okay. Thank you for offering me a place to sleep, for laughing at my crudest jokes, for letting me cry endlessly and without judgment. Thank you for being some of the funniest, most loving people I know. And thank you for reminding me to be gentle with myself, especially when I’m struggling. I can’t believe I got so lucky.
To the Butter Cats who took my life by storm and haven’t stopped yet – thank you for showing me new parts of town, thank you for every adventure (even the ones where we forget our shoes), thank you for listening and signing and reminding me that there is more than one way out of any problem. Thank you for letting me tell you cringey stories a little too loudly. Thank you for mashed potatoes and waffles and showing you care every single time I reach out to you.
To my California Dreamer whose place in my life started with an incredible fashion choice – thank you for picking up the phone every time I call. Thank you for believing me, for hearing the good and the bad and somehow deciding I was still worth the hassle. Thank you for your relentless love, for the manifestation of your very being, for elephants and snails and cartoon hearts. Thank you for calling out every shitty behavior, for always teaching me something new, for your incredible taste in both media and other human beings alike. Thank you for choosing me to be a part of your world.
To my boo who calls at 6AM and doesn’t mind the sleep dripping from my voice – who held me on one of the worst nights of my life and made a joke so terrible that I forgot I was sad for a moment, for my singalong partner, for the man who has never hit on me but still thinks my ass looks great in leather pants – thank you. Your advice is honest, yet kind and I always feel better after we speak. Your love is like coffee: strong, warm, and energizing. I am so grateful that the world can spin around us and yet we always find our way back to center. Thank you for knowing when to coddle me and when to tell me to kick ass.
To my Moon and Sun, who are always a text away – thank you. Holy shit, thank you so much. When I first met you, I was shattered. Neither of you gave up on me. Instead we kept talking, kept laughing, kept fighting. Never in my life have I been so thankful for the internet as I am with you two. The odds of us finding each other were near impossible… and yet! And yet here we are, years later, your voices dormant in my throat so every time I speak like you, my heart jumps a little. Thank you for bearing every hurt long before I could share it with the world. Thank you for hearing the stories, for picking the glass from my skin, for offering me your homes and your grandparents and your cities.
To my other half, the one who has known me since I was 5, who has watched me break out of my skin more times than I can count. I don’t know if you’ll find a way to read this, but thank you for loving me at my most unlovable. I will never forget how you jumped in your car and drove two hours to see me after I called you. I wept into the phone as you sped to my apartment, our hearts beating to the same rhythm, and I realized that you were my sister just as much as any blood relative. There is always, always going to be a part of you in me. It makes me stronger than I ever imagined.
To the man I miss – I’m here.
and to Mani, to the star of my heart: I would give up every written word to have you back.