After multiple weeks of stress and being as I call “In Transition” (psst there's a blog post you can read about that), I finally feel like I am starting to have more time for myself and with friends. This week I had multiple friends either send me a text or tell me in person not only how much I meant to them, but they told me how much I have grown as a person.
As I am writing this, I feel like I am giving myself a pat on the back. However, I want to take the time to write about how our friends can help us see how much we have grown. Also, I want to write about how can we be better friends to each other.
So here we go. I never realized how much I loved receiving words of affirmation. Recently, two friends have taken the time to write and say some beautiful thoughts about what they think of me. It was so heartfelt, and I didn’t realize how good it was to hear. Since graduation, I was been going through a rough patch. I have to remind myself that I’m doing better than I think I am. However, having friends that are thoughtful enough to remind me I am loved and appreciated, makes me feel as though that I am doing ok. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning and those words of affirmation help give me a different perspective.
The first challenge I want to give you is to take the time to tell your friends specifically what you love or admire about them. I have recently found that most of the time we don’t express to people how much they either impact us, or what we love about them. Sometimes people assume that their friends must know how much they admire each other, which I find not to be true. Most of the time we tell people how we feel when they are leaving us and moving away, when it is too late, or when someone has passed away. I know that escalated quickly, but it’s true. I have seen it multiple times. I want to challenge you in the next week to take one friend and find the words to tell them what you love about them.
Have you ever considered that by telling a friend you can see growth, can help them in multiple ways? Most often we don’t see ourselves. Not all, but many people have a negative view of themselves. We think, why don’t I have that perfect job with a great house, and a smoking hot significant other by age 25? Why am I not as pretty as her? Why don’t I know what I want to do with my life? I'll admit, that I can think this way. I have all these expectations for my life and I am nervous that I’m not on track to success. When my friends told me this past week, the growth they have seen in me over the last one to four years I was blown away. It was stuff I had never thought about. It was characteristics that I don’t always associate with my identity, and it made me feel strong. It made me feel like I am changing and growing in a good way. Over the last four years, my relationship with God has changed drastically. I love Jesus in a more profound way than I ever did in high school. Sometimes I don’t see those changes so clearly. That’s why when you can see your friends changing in either good or bad ways, you should vocalize it.
My mom recently texted me a picture of me from freshman year. I was sitting on my dorm bed, excited, my area decorated and all set up for the school year. I thought about how different that Katie is from who I am now. At the time I had extremely long hair. I had no idea if my roommates would like me. I had no idea if acting was the right major for me. I had no idea that my Aunt Kay would be gone in three years. I didn’t know how to use the subways. I had no idea that I would end up working in the theatre shop. I mean the list goes on. It is incredible to think of how much has changed in a short period of time. While the growth I went through in college came with tears, I wouldn’t go back and change what I have been through.
Life comes with change. However, growth sometimes sucks. It comes with doubt, stress, fear, confusion, and even anger. That is why isolating yourself can be the worst thing to do. I want to challenge you to become more aware of your friends as well. Don’t let weeks or months go by without telling your friends your growing pains or listening to theirs. I want to challenge you to become more aware of yourself. Express those pains and fears to your friends, and I bet they will listen.
Let me encourage you this week! You are changing, and that is good. You might be going through some growing pains but embrace them! Be honest with yourself. Let other people be honest with you. You are so loved, and God is going to use you, even if you feel distant from God or don’t have a relationship with God. Let me tell you that God loves you and you have a purpose in this world. Don’t let pain blind you from seeing the blessings (Horses and Yellowjackets blog post). Treat yourself this week with some friends! Have a great week and embrace the growth because the change is coming.
End Note: I have some of the best friends in the world. If you are reading this, I most likely consider you a friend. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read my thoughts. Whether this is the first week or you have read every blog post. I remember the first blog I wrote and I was terrified of sharing my deepest thoughts and feelings. I want to take the time to recognize that you reading this is a commitment. So Thank you! If you enjoyed it, please share and keep reading.
Enjoy this picture of Freshmen year Katie