A couple of years ago, when I would think about the friends that I was thankful for, I would really have only two that came to mind: Amber and Laura a/k/a Hope and Sanity. They are two awesome ladies I made friends with in college, and to this day we still remain pretty close. But, that was pretty much it. I just wasn't one of those people that had a tight knit of friends that I spent time with.
I have always considered myself somewhat of a loner. Other than Sanity and Hope, I really couldn't think of other people that I could call up and see if they wanted to do something on the weekend or invite to dinner or anything like that. I hold myself totally accountable for that. I am not the easiest person to like. People often tend to shy away from me because I can be somewhat annoying, a bit overwhelming, and I talk A LOT. I went through my days pretending not to see the eye rolls or hear the huffs and sighs from people I'd trapped in to talking to me. I did my best to ignore the fact that people often disappeared when they saw me coming or tried not to make eye contact as I passed by. It was just something I learned to live with, and tried my best not to let it get me down.
Thankfully, that has changed definitely more over the past year or so.
Of course there's my team. I've already given them a day on my countdown, and they belong in this post too. They are my friends. I can tell them just about anything, and I enjoy their company. We support each other, offer advice to each other, and are just able to vent and laugh about everything and anything. I'm pretty sure they've got to know me well enough now to accept my overwhelming and outspoken personality, and they are always there for me.
In the past few months, I've also started branching out and making friends with people at work outside of my team. Two ladies in particular have really gone out of their way to bring me in to their little group of friends and give me a chance to have some solid friendships.
The first one is the lady in the funny hat in the picture. That's Nicki and she is someone that really has gone out of her way since school started to get to know me a little better and I really enjoy her company. We've gone to a few sporting events together, and anytime we're together all we do is laugh. She is hilarious, and she makes me feel the same. We share a similar sense of humor, and we are always cracking jokes and laughing at each other. I can totally be myself around her, and I never have to worry that I'm going to offend her or upset her with my sometimes crude jokes. She gets me, and that's not an easy endeavor.
Then, there's the lady with the glasses on to the right. That's Sheila. And in the past few months, we've really built up a good friendship. Like Nicki, she also shares our sense of humor and can make each other laugh about anything. What I also love about her is the fact that she is also very opinionated and will speak her mind. Something we have in common. Although, Sheila has a better way of choosing who to share her opinions with, something I haven't quite mastered just yet. We have a lot in common, in fact, something I've found out after having some pretty in-depth conversations with her. We share a lot of the same views on some hot buttoned topics, and we'll always bounce our opinions off of each other. I enjoy her company, and I am very thankful that she enjoys mine. She has really gone out of her way a couple of times to reach out to me and build our friendship. Like I said, I'm not the easiest person to get along with, and the fact that she has gone out on a limb to befriend me really has meant the world to me.
Last night, both Nicki and Sheila invited me to a little get together with some other great gals from work. That's where that picture came from. The woman in front of Sheila and the woman sitting next to Sheila are both women I have worked with but no longer work at our school. They are so much fun, and I'm glad I got the chance to get to know them even better last night. The two remaining women are both Jr. high teachers, and even though I haven't really spent any time with them outside of school, they are both pretty special to me. They are both Butter's teachers, and they have done a lot for him and his school success.
And all of us together had an absolute BLAST last night. I tell you what, I haven't laughed so much in my life. It got to the point where I was literally in pain from all of the laughing. The atmosphere was so relaxed and not once did I feel uncomfortable our out of place. I haven't had so much fun in a very long time, and I really needed a night out.
Those women get together quite often and are used to those types of get-togethers, and they probably have no idea how much it meant to me. To them, it was another night out with the girls. To me, it was creating and building the friendships I've been desperately looking for. It's like I've finally found some people, other than Amber and Laura, that can tolerate me, accept me, and enjoy my company - and that has NOT been an easy endeavor.
I am who I am, and I can't change that. But, to find people that accept my flaws, enjoy my company, and bring me in to their tight little group of friends means the world to me.
I may sound like a total dork spilling all of this out, but it's true. I have so much to be thankful for in my life, but if it's possible, I'm even more blessed by having some ladies in my life that I can now call my friends.
So, today, I am thankful for the three women that I work with everyday that are my team and my friends. I am thankful for Amber and Laura (Hope and Sanity). Even though we don't get to spend much time together, they have always been there for me. I am thankful for Nicki and Sheila for taking a chance on getting to know me better and not running away screaming, and I'm thankful for the group of women that spent some time with me last night and showed me what it was like to have a close knit group of friends.
To all of you, I am extremely thankful. You probably have no idea how much it means to me to have such amazing people in my life... but hopefully you do now.
Have an awesome Sunday, everyone!