Gratitude

I have the best besfrinn in the world. Sometimes it seems like the honorific “best friend” is phased out of people’s vocabulary as they get older, but I will always call her my besfrinn because that is exactly who she is to me, and no amount of years can change that. Cameron and I met as kiddos in sophomore honors English. She felt sorry for me because, long story short, I had to read Last of the Mohicans in a week, whereas the rest of the class had read it the previous summer. I liked her because I was new at the school and she was kind to me. Oh, and she liked Tori Amos. That was a big plus to fifteen-year-old me, too.

Our friendship has grown and matured along the same trajectory as we have as individuals. Where we were once boy-crazed pseudo-poets whose desire to marry our young male English teacher was completely blind to his obvious gayness, we are (or at least SHE is) now well-adjusted adults, married to men who bring out the best in us. We’re aware of our abilities to write well but also that we’re not going to be moving the world with our writing any time soon. But that’s OK.

Besfrinn and me last spring in Berkeley

Having been friends for nearly fifteen years, Cameron and I have seen each other through some strange, difficult times. Bad boyfriends, crappy jobs, rough semesters, deaths, questionable religious practices, general ennui. But miraculously, despite the fact that we haven’t lived in the same city since 2000, we’ve always been there for each other and never let our love lapse. The words we’ve exchanged over the phone and email and on occasional visits have sustained us and continue to do so. When one of us is in a less-than-positive place, the other is always available to offer an ear and one or a hundred kind, patient, edifying words.

Cameron is more than an eternal optimist; she is a truly wise soul who sees the world and loves it and its potential. On her blog Krug the Thinker - which, duh, I highly recommend you check out - she recently wrote a post on gratitude. She’s been thinking a lot about gratefulness this year, and as a result, I have too. I mean, we both have a lot to be grateful for!

Last June, she married the love of her life, and then only a month later we found out about the coming of Miss C. We would of course be grateful for those things in-and-of-themselves, but the icing on the cake was that we were there to share in each others’ joy. Cameron was the first person to find out about my pregnancy and was the only person other than B and me who knew for a few weeks before we made the big announcement. She called me every day over those weeks just to check in, and I am obviously grateful to have a friend who loves me and my little family enough to show such TLC.

Did you think I could write on gratefulness and NOT include a picture of this gal?

Gratefulness means more to me than thankfulness. For one reason or another, “thankfulness” indicates to me being glad something bad didn’t happen, whereas “gratefulness” indicates being happy that your life is exactly the way it is. Things aren’t always fun and pleasant just as they aren’t always hard and tedious, but I’m extremely grateful they are precisely the way they are. Having a baby is the perfect illustration for this. I absolutely adore Miss C more than I could possibly explain. She’s not easy all the time, but loving her and wanting to give her the best of the world completely is. I am so grateful for the complexity of my love for her.

This begs the question, what are you grateful for?

About these ads

46 comments

  1. “Grateful” and “Thankful” have both been difficult for me as they seem to imply that things in our lives are given to us, that they miraculously appear. I’m not sure there even is a word for what I feel about the things in my life that bring me peace and joy. My children, certainly. Smelling my daughter after she’s come in from a day playing outside. Hugging my son, who seldoms allows a hug, let along gives one. My husband with his acceptance and understanding of my bipolar disorder. Things like these that just exist.

    1. I am definitely beginning to see how hard it is to assign words to the feelings
      I have for my baby. That love is so unexpressable, words kind of cheapen it at times. It’s a good problem to have :)

  2. krugthethinker · · Reply

    Oh my goodness, you are so sweet, and I am so beyond grateful for you! I didn’t realize it had been 15 years (time flies!), but I think that the fact that we have always remained so close despite our physical distance is an awesome miracle, and it shows that we are truly, as we would have said in our high school days, kindred spirits! I never could have imagined back in the tenth grade all that we would share with each other, where our lives would take us, what struggles and joys we would cry and laugh over. Finding out that you were expecting Miss C was one of the happiest things that ever happened to me, along with hearing her cry for the first time. I cannot wait to meet her! Thank you so much for this beautiful post! You are, and always have been, such a joy, such an inspiration, such a constant source of happiness in my life, and for that I am so deeply grateful. I love you so much!

    1. I love you, too. I’m very, very blessed to count you and your family as an extension of my own family.

      1. krugthethinker · · Reply

        We all feel the same way about you!

  3. 15 years is a long time to keep a “bestfrinn” but that’s what makes a person truly a best friend, no? Longevity, dealing with pain and joy, emergencies, faux emergencies, love, all wrapped up in a sparkly bow or whatever you want to wrap it in. This is such a sweet post and you two are lucky to have each other.

    1. Thank you! It is kind of amazing that I’ve known her half my life. Time sure flies!

  4. Love this post! I, like you, have so much to be grateful for. I love having the little guy and when I feel overwhelmed at 4:00 am during a 40 minute feeding I try to think about how much wonderfulness I have in my life. My bff also lives in another city and we have been friends for about 13 years. When we get together it is as though we were never apart. I love that about a good friendship.

    1. I know, isn’t it awesome? It’s like the time never passed at all even though it surely has. Even tho we’ve changed, we always mesh.

  5. i loved this. and i love the way you write. i never trust women who DON’T have a best friend like this. seriously, every oprah needs their gayle. period. as for gratitude, i have the best life. i’m not kidding. i’m grateful everyday. sure, i could land the writing job i’ve always wanted, but that will come in time. in the right here and now, i’m so so grateful. sounds like you are too. ;) xo, sm

    1. You speak the truth, moms! Every Oprah DOES need her Gayle!

  6. Wonderful post! I also have a long time and amazing life friend – we grew up together and have never let distance separate us. A solid friendship like that is most certainly something to be grateful for.
    I am very grateful for my family and friends. I am grateful for my sweet children and supportive and loving husband. I am grateful for being in a place and time in my life of only wanting and never needing.

    1. Love that last line, “only wanting and never needing.” I love realizing that I really am not in need anymore, as long as I consider how much I have. I too have a handful of relationships that are so precious to me.

  7. I, too, am grateful for all my undeserved blessings–husband, kids, grandkids and a home in the woods. But, looking back, I can honestly say that I am also grateful for the hard times. How would any of us learn how to be truly compassionate, patient, persistent, and tough if we didn’t go through much of what we’ve endured? Not to mention the satisfaction of knowing how strong we really are.

    Trust me, your sleepless nights and frazzled days will quickly become the stuff that seasons your life stew. (Now–just remind yourself of that when you’re slogging throught the grocery store with a screaming baby in the cart and dried barf in your ponytail and you’re afraid to look down at your feet because it feels like you might be wearing your matted fuzzy turquoise-colored slippers…) Love your blog!

    1. Thank you! I completely agree about not regretting the difficult times; I’ve had my share just like everyone else, and as much as I wished them away when I was going through them, I’m so glad I endured them. They are just as much a blessing as the “perfect” days. I love the expression you used, “life stew.” I think I will be reusing that :)

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  8. Beautiful post. I am grateful for the many friends who have come and gone and those that have stayed. I am also grateful for my little one and loving wife.
    How do I follow your friend’s blog?

    1. Since hers is a WordPress.org blog and not a wordpress.com blog, her new posts won’t show up in your feed. But she tweets every time she posts so I would just follow her Twitter @krugthethinker.

  9. I am grateful that I have now known my husband and had him in my life for more years than I have not known him. I am grateful to put my kids to bed at night and know that we have conquered another day and will have more adventures tomorrow.

    1. That is so cool! I’ve only known my husband for a little less than a third of my life, but I look forward to being able to say that our years together outnumber the years without each other. I so look forward to raising our daughter with him.

  10. I am grateful for so many things. My life has plenty of hardships, but God is so good to me. I have three grown kids and 4 gks, a husband who loves me (most of the time:) Since you don’t have room here, I’ll just say I’m grateful for everything, for all of it brings something good into my life in one way or another. I like this: “being happy that your life is exactly the way it is.” Angie

    1. God is indeed good, even when we don’t recognize it. What a blessing children and grandchildren are! I am so grateful I can now really appreciate what a treasure I’ve been given.

  11. I’m so, so grateful that I can be my complete self – all my selves – with my partner and he still accepts me. booyah.

    1. It’s indeed a beautiful thing!

  12. Effing awesome post. I too am grateful for my best friends, who appreciated watching a BEBE pop out of my cooter enough to keep me from the crazies in the first 4 months, and have loved my child as if she was their own. And of course, I am grateful for the child(ren) and the sweet guy that helped make them.

    1. Best friends are the, well, BEST! As are kiddos and awesome husbands!

  13. I love this post. Your posts aren’t coming up in my feed any longer, this is causing me anxiety. wtf, wordpress?!?!

    1. Ugh, something is awry with WP bc a couple of other people are having trouble with their feeds as well. Namely, me, because your posts haven’t been showing up in mine either, so I’m just now finding out that you are EXPECTING! So exciting!!!!! Congratulations!!!! Exclamation points! : D

      1. Thanks!!! We are stoked :)

  14. This was very coo post, young woman! Thanks for sharing your heart with your fortunate readers!

    1. Thank you for your sweet words and for calling me young! I’m just getting to the age when I can appreciate that.

  15. Love it! Gratitude is the most awesome feeling, wherever it’s directed. I like it best when it’s overflowing to everybody and everything. Miss C rocks.

    1. Amen, brother bear! : D

  16. I’m grateful for too many things to list! First on the list is my daughter of course. 15 years is a long time to have a bestfrinn indeed. You’re truly blessed :)

    1. That’s awesome! I am grateful you found my blog because then I found yours! Since you’re on the other side of the globe, I always see your updates on Sophia when I’m up nursing Miss C around 4-5AM. It’s something I’ve come to really look forward to every morning.

      1. Oh dear, I’d better start being more regular about posting then. Ahh.. I see this is why you thought I might be living in Australia.

  17. Having someone to be vulnerable with, someone who really knows your heart, who you can feel emotionally safe with… well, that’s like winning life’s lottery, isn’t it? I have two friends that I feel this way about; one lives in Switzerland and the other in Massachusetts! I rarely get to see them. : ( Our phone conversations are like marathons! haha!
    Anyway, great post and I’m happy that you have Cameron in your life! She sounds awesome.

    1. Best friends are truly great. Thank God for Skype; when I lived overseas I can’t imagine how expensive our marathon phone convos would have cost without it!

  18. Any women who love Tori Amos are alright by me. (Oh, maybe that was just a teenage angst phase for you two but I’m still there with my Tori.). Nice to see Miss C’s pretty face!

    Without question, I’m most grateful for having such an amazing husband. If I wasn’t married to him I’d be stalking him or something because he’s the easiest, kindest person to be around on the planet. Great post!

    1. We are still there too! Gotta love some Tori! One day I’ll post pics of us all dressed up for her concert and for a Smashing Pumpkins show so all can marvel at our attempts to dye our hair blue and purple.

  19. One of the great things about the question “What are you grateful for?” is that it forces people to think about things they might take for granted. Studies have shown (cited in the book “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor) that dwelling upon positive things, such as those things for which we are grateful, can have a profound effect upon our overall positivity, which is good for so many reasons.

    I’m grateful for many things. If I had to list one (beyond my obvious rapier wit and less-obvious movie-star good looks), it would be my awesome and supportive family.

    1. That book sounds awesome. I will have to check it out! Thanks for the tip. I am a huge believer (if not constant practitioner) of positive thinking and all the blessings that come out of it. Even if we don’t always get what we want, when we think positively about what we already have, life is so much sweeter. Thanks for commenting!

  20. Adorable!!! We’d be in love too, she’s too cute :)
    ~ tresorsdeluxe.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you very much!

      Looking forward to checking out your blog.

      1. You’re so welcome! Looking forward to you’re visit :)
        xx ~ http://www.tresorsdeluxe.wordpress.com
        http://www.tresorsdeluxe.com

  21. Ooops…we meant to comment on your baby post!! :)

    1. LOL that’s ok :)

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,821 other followers

%d bloggers like this: