Bittersweet. It’s the best descriptor of this past year of my life. There were moments in this year when I felt truly isolated, alone, like no one on earth could understand what I felt or what I was facing. There were hard, hard, hard moments, when my big world felt like it was closing in on me. But when I look back, and I relive, and I let my mind drift off to those moments, I am thankful, because I can count them on one hand. And for every one of those moments, there’s been an equal amount of sweet with every bit of bitter. Where there has been pain, there’s also been joy. Where there has been sadness, there has also been deep love. This is a privilege, a blessing, a saving grace, and I owe so much of it to my village.
My village, my people, my friends, my family, my friends who feel more like family.
The ones who loved me, even when I was silent.
The ones who reached out their hands and lifted me up, taking time to brush off all of the dirt.
The ones who stood beside me, sometimes silently, sometimes with listening ears, knowing that during the heartache, all I really needed was love and presence.
The ones who left me in tears from laughter and reminded me never to take life too seriously.
The ones who gave, even when they had nothing to give, and they gave without expectation of getting anything in return.
The ones who gave me the honor and privilege and allowed me to carry them, because they know it’s all about give and take.
The ones who saw me, even when I couldn’t see myself through the thick fog of life and grief.
The ones who called out the potential in me, and helped me reach it.
The ones who loved me, without condition, without expectation. Simple love.
The ones who shared their heart with me, and made me feel safe enough to share mine.
The ones who embraced me at all times, no matter the form, because they know that’s what friends do.
To those ones, my heroes, my confidantes, my loves, my sweet friends.
To you, I promise to stand beside you, always, with loyalty and truth.
To you, I promise to carry you, to lift you when you fall, and to take time to brush the dirt off, the time to wipe away the tears when life breaks your heart.
To you, I promise to give, because you are the ones who taught me to give and love with all I have, even when I feel like I have nothing else left.
To you, I promise to see you, to notice you, to show you your worth when you have fallen so far down that you forget.
To you, my friend, I promise that my love and friendship will never run out.
After all, we all need to be carried sometimes. We all break a little at some point. We all need a hand to lift us when life inevitably knocks us down. This year may have been my year to allow others to hold me, I thank you for that, and I want you to hear this: I promise, when you need it and when you don’t, you can fall in to me. I’ll be there with two hands to hold you, too.
You’ve given me far more than enough strength to share.
To my village, I am forever indebted to you.
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