A Thank You Note to Someone Who Has Shaped My Life

I was thinking today about the people who have come into and who have gone out of my life.  I wanted to take a moment and try to remember people that have made my life easier, those who have hampered my life somewhat, and those who have shaped my life whether for the better or for the worse.


I am not trying to be pessimistic here, but everyone has the capacity to shape someone’s life and the impact can be positive or negative.  It is in your hands.  Keep in mind that sometimes the negative can impact you so hugely that it isn’t until time has passed by, that you realize the impact they made.  I have had a negative impact that eventually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I have had some positive impacts that were very short-lived and not as monumental as I thought they would be.  Am I going crazy and over-thinking all of this?  Maybe, but then again blessings sometimes aren’t always so evident to recognize and they come in more than one form.


However, today I center on a friend who I treasure as one of the greatest gifts of my life.  I do not get to see this friend that often, but the occasional email and phone call strengthens me whenever I am low.


This person started off as a co-worker, but friendship was just around the corner.  I never admitted to her that when I first met her, she was very imposing.  Yes, I admit it I was threatened big time.  She was blond with blue eyes and stunningly gorgeous.  Being brunette with brown eyes and somewhat attractive, I quickly became jealous.  You know the type and soon I felt as if I was part of the woodwork when she was in the room.  However, once I began to know her, the jealousy started to fade and the friendship took form.  Yes, she is beautiful, but she is also very intelligent and very likeable.  I swear I never met someone more non-judgmental and fair in my life.  She is someone of very few words (but when she speaks the message is loud and clear) and I, well…let’s just say I never stopped talking.  I am stubborn and set in my ways and she is flexible and willing to compromise.  Do you see why one could be jealous?


Yet we had something in common.  We are both intelligent women who happened to like one another and respect one another.  I needed to be grounded with a friend such as this.  She would never let me “knock” myself or wallow in self-pity.  She believed everyone was equal and deserved to achieve their dreams.  Her support has shaped me more than I know and I now look back with older eyes and see how much support she freely gave me and how I was held back by my lack of support.


Do not get me wrong I love this friend as a sister and in my heart she is a sister.  I am very proud of all of her accomplishments.  She has worked hard for everything she has earned.  She is an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.  She earned her doctorate and became a very much loved professor.  She never complains and has never lost her focus.  She is calm and collected.  I, on the other hand, lack direction and I am prone to being somewhat fickle as far as a career went.  I am emotional and lack self-control.  Her friendship gives me a sense of balance and continuously teaches me some very important lessons in life.  Lessons I need to go through no matter how painful, but she teaches me to look for what comes out of these lessons.  She never gives up on me and has always stood by me.


I tried to be very supportive for her and for the most part I was, but there were important times in her life that I let her down.  It wasn’t that I wanted to let her down, or that I did not care about these monumental times, but rather I was caught up in my own fears and I could not see past them to be able to be there as a friend should.  I will always regret that I wasn’t able to be there as often as I should have been.


She had many highs in life and I missed out on most of them:  her graduation for her doctorate and her wedding are two of those times that stand out to me.


In my early thirties I started to become uncomfortable in large crowds.  I find that sort of funny because there was a time in which I did stand-up and it was hard to maneuver around this issue.  I thought at first it was because I was a larger individual and I felt insecure around others, but the more I aged and the more I was around larger groups, the more I felt uncomfortable and irritable.  I began to hold on to this fear and let it lead me by the nose.  I wanted so badly to be able to get this under control, but it seemed to get worse.  I took myself out of situations that could be construed as large functions and stayed at home instead where I felt more secure.  As a result, I let people down when they needed me the most or when they wanted me to be a part of their celebration.  It saddens me that I gave up so much for this personality trait.  My lowest point was when I missed her wedding.  I had made plans to take the time off and as the event came closer, I became more and more nervous and anxious and I missed one of the happiest moments of my friend’s life.


How could I admit I failed?  I said I did not feel well (in fact I worked myself up so much that I did get sick) and left it at that.  She has always been accommodating and forgiving.  It is no wonder her friendship looms large over me.


We can let fear or compulsive behavior control us or we can learn to adapt and try to move on.  I still do not go to large functions, but day by day I force myself to get out there more and test my levels of comfort.  I am stronger than I once was, and it is hard still, but I am making an attempt to move forward and not miss out on anyone or anything that needs my attention.


This friend has been a godsend and I know the scales are not even regarding our friendship, and she has done so much for me.  I know she would be the first to say that we are even because that is who she is.  I sit back today and relax watching our umpteenth snowstorm and I remember this friend who is so valuable to me.  She has always been there to listen and always offered up wisdom whenever we talk.  For years I have sought wisdom and fell short, but if I had taken a look backwards, I would have realized I had it with me the whole time.  It was within my friend and it has saved me many times over.


Take a moment and let that friend or person who shaped your life for the better know how important and loved they are.  Do not sit on that information and think you will one day get around it, because the next time may be too late.  I want my friend to know now how important she is.


Tat, take care and never change who you are.  You are a blessing that has touched not only my life, but I am sure you have touched many lives.  Thank you dear friend for shaping mine!

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