I had one of those full circle moments over Thanksgiving break.
Returning home is always an interesting thing – it’s like you grow, you evolve, you blossom into the person you’re meant to be, and then you return to where it all began, and not a single thing has changed — at least the setting anyway.
I walked into my old bedroom while I was home one afternoon, and it was as though time had stood still. The photos, the closets full of clothes, the trophies and jewelry.
You see, in the last several years, when I go home, I’ve stopped sleeping in my old bedroom. I instead sleep in the guest room. To be honest, I just get a bad energy from that space. It was the bedroom I was in during my anorexia in high school. And, at the risk of sounding completely bonkers, I feel spiritually attacked when I sleep in there. Unsettled. Vulnerable.
But that’s a story for a different day.
Anywho, one afternoon, I found myself wandering into my old bedroom, and it was actually quite a powerful experience.
I saw memorabilia from ex-boyfriends, and high school. There were little trinkets from summer camp, and my early acting career.
But what struck me more than, say, my graven image, were the other people in the photos with me: my friends.
And what struck me the absolute most — were those friends in the photos that are still in my life.
I had a bit of a moment that afternoon. I sat on my bed, looking at those photos, and got a bit verklempt.
Seeing the faces of my very best friends, who have been by my side — literally — through the most difficult of times. Times when I had nothing to give, but they stuck by me anyway.
I saw in those photos, the picture of what true friendship looks like. And my heart was filled with gratitude.
Maybe I was feeling extra sentimental with it being Thanksgiving. Or maybe it was the vodka/soda I was sipping, but I couldn’t help but recognize that friends like that, just don’t come around very often.
Friends who have exemplified what it means to care about, and love a friend. Who will give selflessly, and choose to see the good, even when it’s not so clear to see. And in my case, even when it was hidden deep below a scary exterior that pushed everyone else away.
They fought for the friend they knew was trapped inside. And to this day, these girls are in my daily life. And for them, I am so grateful.
Friendship is so much more important than we realize. And — controversial opinion here — but they’re perhaps even more important than family, in some regards. Because friends choose to love you. Friends choose to value you and your relationship. Their presence is worth-affirming at the deepest level. And these special friends, the fact that they saw me through that time, communicates in the most powerful, money-where-your-mouth-is, actions-speak-louder-than-words way, that I am worth knowing. I am worth loving. And that my past does not discredit who I am today.
Sitting there on my bed that afternoon, I was reminded not to discount those friendships around me. I’ll never know what my friendship to someone means.
Friendship takes intentionality. And at the end of the day, the people who mean something to you are worth investing in. Even when — and especially when — the other person cannot return the investment at that very moment.
So this Christmas season, as it’s often times easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of people you need to recognize with cards or cookies or gifts, let’s remember just how blessed we are to have those relationships.
And that, the only way to have a friend, is to be one.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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