You think after you've known someone almost your whole life and been best friends for half of your life, that there couldn't possibly be anything else you have in common. I'm amazed to constantly discover knew things we share. I once read how hearing "me too" kills shame. Over the past few years I've learned that there are few things more true. Everyone NEEDS a "me too" person in their life. I'm not talking about someone who will pacify you with simply saying what you WANT to hear. I'm talking about someone who will be real and honest enough with you that they share their hurts, their vulnerabilities, their silliness, their mistakes, and open up to you so much that when you're hurt, or you've made a mistake, or you just have something that you feel is so silly and different than everyone else in the world, they will say, often with a sigh, "me too" (or sometimes with a squeal and a laugh...like they can't believe anyone else in the world thinks that way). This is the person that you always know you can call to tell something, anything, you've done, or are just feeling in vulnerability hell over and they will open themselves up enough to listen, be empathetic, be honest, but gentle as needed. The nice thing about my best friend, my "me too", is that she also thinks a lot like my husband, who I don't always think like, and she can tell me when I'm not hearing him. She and I are different enough that she can tell me to move my booty and cut line so we can make our flight. I'm not saying that actually happened or anything...Well, okay...I am. Seriously people...our taxi was really really really late. We checked in on my phone and my boarding pass wouldn't pull up. I had to go to the counter to get a printed one. They said we had 5 minutes before the gates closed. By the time I get back to security there is a huge line. Andrea and I handle stressful situations totally different. I tend to be very passive and inside my head about it. She is pacing the floor, ready to yell at whomever she needs to in order to get done what is needed. I was terrified of being tackled at security and wasn't going to cut line. It would've taken me 20 minutes to get through this line. But Andrea tells me to cut (very animately I might add). I said "cut line???" I should've just added "are you crazy?" I will never live that down. The security guard tells me to come on...or I wouldn't have. I would've missed our flight. There was a series of freaking out over slow people in front of us who didn't want to throw their orange juice away and smarty pants security guards who said we should've gotten there earlier and me running through the airport barefoot. But, we made it, with time to spare. Yes, with time to spare.
Once we got on the plain safely, or actually once we landed in Lexington safely, I realized how lucky I am that my "me too" also is different enough to balance me out. She calms my worries and tells me when to get a move on when I need to. She knows exactly what I need to hear, not necessarily what I want to hear. She always does it with kindness and love. I take everything to her in my life because I know, for some strange reason, her love is unconditional. She loved me through months and months of not talking (because of life, not because of a disagreement), through living together and me drinking all her pepsi, through my absolute worse times and my absolute best times, she has never made me feel judged, only loved. I never would have made that flight back to Lexington by myself. I would've stood in line and waited and cried when I missed it. God gives us the right people in our lives. I'm thankful to Him that I've been given people who balance me, who will fight with me and for me, who love me unconditionally, who know my flaws and still see the true me. Who can still find me slightly charming after all these years.
Prior to our almost missing our flight, we had such a special girls, over indulgent, weekend in FL. We talked about things we had never talked about and things we have talked about a million times. We had late nights with wine, chatting, chocolate, and visits with another wonderful friend of mine who lives in FL (Stacey). It was perfect. I felt so at peace and so thankful.
Then when I came home I realized that the whole weekend was "planned" simply to get me away from the house in order to surprise me with a refinished basement. A trip that had been planned before I ever started "planning". A trip to do something special for me, to show me just how loved I truly am. Nothing is more important in life than feeling loved. I weep for those who do not know this feeling. Sometimes there feels like a moment, a big moment, when we realize that we are truly and fully loved. All the doubt, all the times you've felt less than, all the times you've felt alone, they truly don't matter because you are...simply...loved. I know there's some psychological reason behind it and I'm not sure I care to dive into that one today, but every time I am stressed or feel like I've done something wrong, I start to feel like less and start to feel not so loved. As a new mom, that feeling seemed to happen a lot. For Bret, Andrea, and ALL the people who pulled this off and put so many details into it and thought into it, YOU made me feel loved. There is no greater gift that you could've given me. Not only did you remind me how much you love me, but God, once again, showed me, through you, how much He loves me. So much so that He gave me you and so many more that weren't able to be a part of the big surprise.
One of the things I was excited about for this trip was just taking pictures of the beach. Just me, my camera, and the beach. I wish I had stopped and talked to a lot of the people I saw along our walks (like the lady who found the most perfect spot on the beach or the older man who had the bottom half of his leg tattooed with a naked woman). I think it would've made my walks even more interesting. But I am so glad that I am able to take my art along with me to capture how I see the world in that very moment.
I had never seen fog on the beach in the middle of the day. It was so strange and so beautiful. Aren't some of the best things in life both strange and beautiful?
I'll blame the fact that I completely miss judged the exposure on these next couple. But I loved them exactly that way. So I'll take that happy accident.
And my "me too".
Thanks for reading my ramblings!
Peace and so much love,