Monday, April 29, 2013

{Thank You}

With Jeff away more, and all the travel time I have myself, I've had a lot of time to be left to my thoughts. I've been particularly introspective about the supports that have been there for me over the past few years as I've gone through huge and difficult changes in my life.

Jeff has been a rock the past couple of years, and has truly become my best friend and the person that I can rely on and tell just about anything to in confidence. Then again, that's what a marriage is. But he's not been the only one to lift me up, and show up in moments of need.

First, I have some amazing family members. Although we have our dysfunctions just like the next family, I've always been able to rely on my Aunt, Lori to be there as a supportive and creative outlet, and mother figure, particularly after Mom's passing. We've always had similar interests in movies, literature, and design, and when I got married she stepped up and created a wedding dress that I adored, and really all of the dresses that went with the wedding. Always tolerant and accepting of others, she's always been a positive and encouraging factor in my life. I'm really grateful for that.

My mother and grandmother, both gone now, were strong and singular women who made an impact wherever they went. I often clashed with what I wanted to do and what they thought was the right thing for me to do, but regardless of my follies, they stood by and supported me, and were driving forces in my life. While I think I've done remarkably well handling the void they've left behind. I really, really miss them pushing me, and life has changed dramatically without them in it.

My immediate family has as if over night turned completely male. With that said, I have three amazing men to rely on day to day. My father, who has always supported me unconditionally, my brother, who probably understands me better than anyone in the world,  and Jeff - the worlds most steadfast husband, have created a wall of protection and support that has become the new familiar, and evolving family unit.

Then, I have some amazing friends. and  I think this is where my biggest reflection has been lately. To be honest, I've been secluding myself away the past few months. I've been trying to keep up with work, missing Jeff, and really lacking the energy to put myself out there to interact with others. There have been a few that have been consistent in trying to drag me out of this, who reach out and check in, and I really, really appreciate you. Please don't give up on me. I  really do want that girls night.

When Jeff and I moved to China, we had friends that jumped in and helped us move, helped us learn Chinese ( well, gave it their best - I'd liken it to teaching a box of rocks, though. They never really stood a chance), and then a special few that even came to visit us. In a foreign place where one stands out as much as we did, seeing a familiar and friendly face made life easier, and renewed downtrodden spirits. We were just as grateful for the friends we DID make in China. Without them we would never have been able to order food, navigate the transit system, haggle the best deals, find the best pearls, discover places out of our comfort zones, and most of all, we would have been very, very lonely. Seriously, we look back extremely fondly on our experience in China, and it is entirely because of the network of people that surrounded us while we were there.

Coming back for my mother's funeral was surreal. I put all of my focus on getting out of China, getting back, getting a job, getting a place to live, that I didn't really allow myself to absorb the whole thing. The visitation and the funeral were tough. I had family not speaking to me, people I had never met or barely recognized striking up conversations with me, and exhaustion from the week of chaos. It was such a little thing, but two friends who I had not expected to see, showed up at the perfect time, sat on either side of me, and ran interference on the well intentioned, but overwhelming condolences. I don't think I ever expressed to those two how much that meant to me, but I don't think I would have gotten through as well as I did without that.

As we grow, evolve, and transition to different phases of our life, different people enter and exit, having left their mark. I think it's understatement to say that I have gone through several periods of deep immaturity, and it has been a refreshing comfort to rekindle friendships with the most unlikely people, and to gain a better insight into myself, as well as what I was too self involved to realize at the time. Being able to reflect, apologize, and move forward with more humility has been a great gift, and I'm so grateful for the friends that have allowed me to grow through knowing them.

I'm not the best version of me I want to be - yet. I have a lot of growing yet to do, and look forward to the journey. Still, it is amazing to have the ability to look back and recognize points of growth, and the individuals that have made a difference along the way.

Thank YOU, for making a difference in my life.

1 comment:

  1. This post made me think of all the wonderful people in my life too. We miss you over here!