Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Untraditional Village

 --------------- Thoughts after reading Kelle Hampton's, Bloom ------------------

It seems like my life has never been traditional or really, like anyone else's. It seems like I've always marched to the beat of my own drum but creating a rhythm that still mixed well with the others - most of the time.

And one of the ways in which I've marched to the beat of my own drum is that I'm not all about making tons of meaningless "friendships" just to say I have friends.

I'm sure being an only child for most of my life, until my brother came to live with us, made me even more this way but it's true, I can be alone for days at a time without even thinking about it.

I'm choosey about who I'm friends with. I don't want to just hang out with any old person who walks through the door - which sometimes kind of sucks - like I wish I could be the girl who just wanted to hang out with whoever whenever.

 But I'm not.

So even though I've made a lot of really good friends in each stage of my life, sometimes my little brain can trick me into thinking I don't have many friends. Sometimes it seems like my "village", as Kelle calls it, is really small.

But tonight as I was reading Kelle's story, about how her friend Heidi sat in the bathroom with her so she wouldn't have to be alone the day after her daughter was born with Down Syndrome unexpectedly, or how her friends took shifts coming to visit her and had a secret pact to never cry in front of her, I started thinking.

 I started thinking about how it's quality over quantity and I have some really, really awesome girls in my life.

Sure, my village isn't neatly woven into a nest of closeness but they're there.

I can name three of my all time best friends right now - Erica, Addison and Nikki who are all at very different points in their lives but are my best friends none the less - Erica is graduating high school this year which is awesome because it means I can see her anytime I'm home, Addison is living in NYC her first year out of high school doing the coolest things I could only dream of doing and Nikki, the girl I can always count on to make me laugh until I'm crying,  only has one more year of college until she'll be done and moving on to the real world.

Nikki & Addison
 Erica & I
 Nikki & I

But despite them all being in different places in their lives & in the country, I know if I needed them, if I really, really needed them, they'd be here in a minute hanging out with me while I showered and keeping a pact to never cry in front of me.

And they aren't the only ones.

There's Ashley who I have gotten so lucky to live with - one of the most self-less, considerate girls I've ever known & Alli who is honestly my other half here at Butler - a girl I shared an instant bond with only matched by a few other people ever in my life.

Alli & her boyfriend

There's Ali at home who God literally just placed in my lap through the love of rollerblading and has become one of my best friends, Morgan who lives down the street from me & is always, always there, Megan who has a crazy busy life & just added a baby into the mix but a girl who's got my back & I've got hers & Korie who wouldn't think twice about coming to my rescue or using a fake I.D. with me - whatever the case may be.

Korie & I
And there are my cousins - Bethy, Morgan, Montanna, Aubree, Cameron - the blood lines in my village.


Aubree & Cameron

So I have my village, even if it's a little untraditional and I'm so lucky because of it.

I know there will probably be a lot of women who will read Bloom, who already have, who will long for the same kind of amazing friendships Kelle has and so I'm just asking you, if you're one of them, to just open your eyes. Open your eyes to the friendships that are there, even if they're not always convenient or easy & open your eyes to the kind of friend you are because ya gotta be one to have one.

I can say already, I want to be a better friend, I want to be a stronger part of my village.

& by the way, if you are part of my village ... thank you ... & I love you.



amber hollin said...

You have such amazing ways of expressing yyourself. I love reading your blogs. :)

Alli Norris said...

Ali you are such a great friend. I love this and love you :)

Logan said...

Why am I not in this village? What the heck?!