Dear Reader,

I was never very good at making friends. I mean, I always had school friends, and sports friends, and birthday party friends, but they were just that. Kids I only saw at school or sports or birthday parties.

A lot of the people I hung out with in grade school were boys, and I don’t think my dad ever liked me being around the opposite sex much. I still remember my parents vetoing my decision to invite my best friend (a guy) to my second grade birthday party.

Anyway, I never had a lot of play dates or visitors at my house. And I never had a best friend.

Everyone had a best friend. Someone they sat next to in kindergarten or shared their pudding cup with at lunch (can you really share a pudding cup, though? Seems messy). Before long, best friendships were popping up everywhere, whereas I was always part of a group.

I never minded this, and I never really realized this until reflecting on my childhood, but I’m writing now to thank Melissa Schoenlein for being my first best friend.

I’m not sure where we met or where this started (band? lunch? study hall?), but as of seventh grade, I had myself a best friend.

We were still part of a friend group, but the two of us became very close. We took silly pictures that we messed around with using picnik, we e-mailed back and forth constantly, we wrote in a journal in a secret code, and we gossiped (mostly about boys) constantly.

I’m pretty sure we had at least one fight, but that was about it. We never had drama in our friend group, really. The things we talked about were stupid, but they were at least innocently stupid, and we never concerned ourselves with the girl drama that many junior high kids find consuming their lives. Of course, we listened when our friends dealt with it, but our friendship was perfect healthy and fun.

And I need to thank Melissa. Once we got to high school, our friendship faded. Cliche as it sounds, we just sort of grew apart–which was fine for both of us. We still worked together on math projects sophomore year and chatted during symphony orchestra when we were seniors, but we were no longer at the point of on-going email chains and text message conversations–which is fine.

But Melissa, I thank you for letting me be my complete self, always. I thank you for helping me grow while letting my inner kid live. I don’t think I ever told you how much I appreciated you or how much our friendship meant to me. How much it still means to me. But I just wanted to say thank you for everything.

And I still wear one of the many friendship bracelets you made me sometimes.



PS. (Second) song of the day: Reflections – MisterWives



Dear Reader,

I went home this weekend to spend a few days with my parents, sister, and Aunt. We started talking about my future (expected), when my Aunt said, “You should start a blog!”

Not expected.

My first instinct was to laugh and say, “Actually, I have one!” But I hesitated, thank goodness. Sarah and I shared a look across the table right before my dad could jump in and say “you don’t want to start a blog.”

It’s not that I wasn’t expecting this response from my father (I do know him, after all), I guess I just wasn’t expecting his reasoning. “You have nothing to blog about,” perhaps or “Why would you spend time on a blog when you could be studying or working towards your future?”

But what I got was this: You don’t want to start a blog. You’ll put your name and your face out on the internet and then someone, somewhere, will make a comment or capitalize on an insecurity, and it’ll always be there.

I guess I had never thought of that, but I also know that my dad isn’t very aware of the blogging world. And, well, why would he be?

He sees the internet as a judgmental place–which it can be. He thinks I should be cautious about what I put on the internet and share with the world–which I should. But I shouldn’t be afraid.

I know that these posts are not the best pieces of writing I’ve produced. I also know that they’re not quite the true me. The true me–the me that shines through my personal journal entries–curses like a sailor and can rant for ten pages. The WordPress me tries very hard to keep her posts under 1,000 words (under 500 is fantastic) and keeps in mind that these words are representative of me and will be here forever.

But I’ve never been afraid to post.

And, actually, WordPress has been turned into such a strong support system. The people on here have never said a rude word to me (granted, I’m probably not “big enough” for haters) and have actually helped me through tough times in college, helped me realize I’m not alone in anything, and have just been here, really.

WordPress is a place I turn to when I want to feel heard.

I can rant and share things I like and contemplate late night thoughts, and someone, somewhere reads it! And I read other peoples’ observations of life and feel a little more part of a community.

The people on here have liked and commented on things I have written. They’ve nominated me for Lovely Blog and Liebster awards. They’ve reached out and let me know I have someone to turn to if times ever get tough.

And here is a place where I can be that person for someone else in return.

So I guess it just caught me off guard how wrong my father was. Starting a blog was an impulsive decision I made a few months ago in a dark bedroom when I simply having trouble sleeping.

But it’s slowly turning into one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.



PS. Song of the day: Papaoutai – Pentatonix ft. Lindsey Stirling (Stromae Cover)