Tag Archives: Friends

To The Moon & Back

Today’s post has two purposes: celebrate my very first college friend’s birthday and continue on with the 30 Days of Truth Challenge. Let me first take you back five years ago to August 2008. I happened to get lucky and land the single room at the end of the 4th floor short side hallway in Peabody Residence Hall. The single was nice but the hall itself wasn’t. Yet, I created the absolute best memories there and made a lifelong friend in the process.

trishbdPoor Trish was the girl who lived next to me freshman year. I honestly think we became friends because I was so loud and she heard all of my conversations through the super thin Peabody walls. Thank God for those walls. She was my first real friend at Temple and five years later, she is one of my best friends and the most level-headed person I know. I often wonder how someone who is so calm and laid back could be a friend with someone as high-strung and insane as me. But she is and for that, I am very grateful. This leads me to the next Truth Challenge prompts:

Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Part one: While Trish and I have pretty much been friends for our entire college careers, there was a time when our relationship wasn’t as strong as it is today. This was due to a lot of things that have subsequently changed for a variety of reasons. That being said, I don’t ever want our friendship to go back to that place. I know I couldn’t live without Trish, her perspective on life that helps to keep me calm and grounded. In broader terms, I know I couldn’t live without my friends – maybe not the exact same people but an inner circle that I rely on for support and advice. My friends keep me going; without them, I don’t make sense.

Part two: There’s a laundry list of things (even people) I could live without. However, one thing I know I could live without is drama. That is one of the many things my friendship with Trish has taught me. The drama is just not worth it. Life is simply too short, as cliché as that sounds. Trish has the patience of a saint and is happy just being with people. She’s not high maintenance and reminds me that friendships (or any relationship really) shouldn’t be. There’s no need for drama; talk it and hug it out and things will be just fine.

moonMy life has changed more than ever since I started college. The one constant has been my friendship with Trish. She has consistently and happily shown up during the last five years. There’s no way I could ever express how grateful I am for that. I know I say that about all my friends but in reality, she has been the only there, on the ground with me at Temple for the entire time. The memories we have are priceless and hysterical. I know the future only holds more great things for us. Happy Birthday Trish!

Hero Material

I’m not giving up on this Truth Challenge! There’s just been so many other things I’ve wanted to discuss! That being said, let’s keep it moving on to Day 14.

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

I won’t give you a detailed list of all the people I consider heroes. Lucky for me, the list of people who inspire me is long and constantly changes. My parents, family members, friends, professors and colleagues can, at times, be considered my heroes. I admire my parents’ ability to raise their kids together despite getting divorced. My friends inspire me every day with their ability to overcome adversity and walk to the beat of their own drum. My current colleagues are truly heroes for how they’re mentoring me while working on multiple projects and raising their own kids.

I am a believer in everyday heroes, ordinary people who do the extraordinary. Sure, there are some celebrities that could be considered heroes. For me, it’s people like Ellen DeGeneres and Cory Booker, who stay true to themselves and are always looking for ways to help others. That’s how I define my heroes: people who stay true to themselves, who believe in paying it forward and who are passionate about what they do. I know it doesn’t sound too remarkable, but to me it is.

The one thing about heroes is that sometimes they have no idea how much other people value them and their opinions. When you consider someone your hero, you value their opinion and almost hang on every word they say. They have been placed on a pedestal without even knowing it. If you put someone that high up, they only way they can go is down. It sets everyone up for failure. With heroes, be transparent and talk to them about why you place them in such a category. Managing expectations is very important and will create a mutually beneficial relationship.

Who are your heroes? Why do you consider them heroes? Please share with me!

It Started With An Email

“The most memorable people in your life will be the friends who loved you

when you weren’t very lovable”

bd3About two years ago in April, I sent an email that would change the course of my life more than I ever could have imagined. This live-changing email was accepting an executive board position with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). I knew it would be a great resume booster and would be a position that challenged me. Little did I know what the next year and a half had in store for me.

I had been an active member of PRSSA for two years so I knew the members and the executive board. When I accepted the position as well as one with PRowl Public Relations, 95 percent of the rising EBOARD as well as the graduating seniors thought I was insane. They were probably right but one person knew I could handle it. And within the last year and a half, that person has become my person.

If you asked me to describe my friendship with Lauren, I honestly don’t think I could. We talk all day everyday, send the same message at the same time to each other at least once a week and have managed to see each other monthly despite working and living in two different cities. I guess it’s hard to put it into words because it just works. It started one day at Templefest and the rest is history. We’re on the same wavelength, we can anticipate each other’s reactions and value each other’s opinion no matter how honest they may be.

Ask anyone who knows us and they’ll tell you there’s no one quite like us. We’ve been known to call andIMG_0157 sing into the phone at all hours of the night, bicker over where to eat dinner and drop pretty much anything to watch Scandal. One day, Lauren will become Olivia Pope, I’m sure of it. More than anything, we keep it real. There’s no lying, no hiding emotions, no pretending everything is okay when it’s not. In the last year, this girl has seen me at my absolute worst and watched me take complete nervous breakdowns (ones that mostly weren’t necessary). Despite all of that, she still manages to be my friend and love me unconditionally. Same goes for her obviously, though her freakouts are fall less frequent.

It still amazes me to think one decision changed my life so dramatically. I often wonder what life would be like if I didn’t take that position and didn’t become such good friends with Lauren. Life would be a lot less entertaining, that is for sure. A part of me wishes this friendship was formed sooner. But I guess everything happens for a reason…maybe we just weren’t ready to leave our comfort zones yet. Whatever the reason, I am beyond grateful for this friendship and can’t wait to watch the rest unfold.

Sometimes the smallest decisions impact us in the biggest ways. 

In honor of Lauren’s birthday, allow me to introduce you to our theme song.

Family Fridays: Just Let Go

At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, one of my best friends got me a mug that read “Just Let Go.” I used to stand by my window staring at the Philadelphia skyline and repeat the phrase over and over again. It has become my mantra over the last few years, though at times it is exceptionally hard to do. That leads me to today’s post featuring no one specifically:

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I find letting go of people, places or experiences an art form. It takes careful review of the situation, usually a pro/con list and then an uncomfortable conversation. It is also very much a process; there’s no way you can just let go of something or someone in five minutes. For me, it is always an excruciating process where I waiver and over think (shocking!) my decision. At the current moment, there’s a lot of letting go I’ve been thinking about.

just_let_go_thumb[2]I have mentioned in previous posts that there is a lot of drama with my family. Additionally, I’ve talked about how most of my friends aren’t in the same locations or have conflicting schedules. All of these circumstances have made me think about who to keep or who to let go of in my life. Family is especially hard because there will always be occasions when we are in the same room. Similarly with friends, there are lots of people who run around in the same circles as me. So I might want to let go of one friendship while my other friend might stay friends with that person. Right now, my letting go definition is not to go the extra mile and to only make an effort when it will be reciprocated.

Since letting go is so hard for me, I’ve come up with a few questions to answer before initiating the process:

1. How frequently does this person impact your life? Is their impact something that positively enhances your existence?

2. When you interact with this person, is the conversation balanced or does it shift one way? Does the person spew toxic comments about others?

3. Do you feel your efforts towards the relationship would be/are reciprocated by this person? Is there a mutual effort to keep up a healthy relationship?

These are just some of the thoughts floating around in my head. Sometimes, you absolutely should fight for certain people, especially if your history with them is a mostly positive one. I’ll admit that I’ve let go of people too soon or let others ruin a relationship for me. I often wonder what that relationship would be like today. But, we all make mistakes and thankfully, I’ve learned from mine.

The choice to let go is ultimately a very personal one. With family and close friends,  it is very hard but sometimes necessary in order to preserve your own insanity. Just remember, you’re human, you’re allowed to feel whatever you want.

Let-It-Go-SPin

Family Fridays: These Are My People

“There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better. These are the people who lift you higher”

I think by now you’ve come to see that people play a big role in my life. But not just any people, my people. These are the family and friends who motivate me, console me and make my life worth living. People have asked me if I live for these people because sometimes it seems like I do. That’s not the case at all.

In the spirit of catching up on the 30 Days of Truth Challenge, in this Family Fridays post, I am going to answer the seventh prompt of the challenge:

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

My people make my life worth living. I don’t live for them, they just enhance my existence and support me in all the decisions I make. I was asked the other day where I draw my energy from. I thought it was an odd question but immediately knew the answer. I gain energy from being around my people. Anything from intelligent conversations or jam sessions rejuvenates me and at times, has brought me back to life. These people remind me how fortunate I am to have such an amazing circle of trust that surrounds me through the good and the bad times.

As with all relationships, there will be arguments and moments where you just want to walk away. It’s hard in those moments to think clearly and remember why you value these people. I’ve learned that in some cases it’s necessary to let go (expect a post about this soon) and in others, you have to fight fearlessly for those you love. Only you will know what to do and it will never be easy. The group known as my people has changed over time for the better and because of it, I’ve learned to embrace change in all its forms.

The Rodney Atkins song “These Are My People” truly embraces the concept of having your go-to group who are there no matter what. I will warn you that it is a super country song so if that’s not your thing, you may want to just look up the lyrics. While it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, no one compares to my people!

 

Motivation Mondays: Love Never Fails

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

I am nowhere near religious, but I did grown up Catholic. From 7-12th grade, I went to Catholic school, attended church regularly and made all of my sacraments. While I should absolutely go to church more, I do believe in a higher power who has a plan for each of us. Recently, I was in church to witness my good friend’s wedding. It was not only beautiful but a moving experience.

Tori and I have been friends for three years now and I was honored to be a part of her special day. I was excited to help plan the wedding andeven more trilled to watch her marry her best friend. I have been to weddings before but for some reason, I felt completely different when this wedding was over. It moved me to tears and restored my faith in love and marriage.

Tori & I with another friend

Tori & I with another friend

I will be the first to admit that I’m a guarded person when it comes to relationships. It’s just my nature; I know I have to work on it. Having divorced parents also does not help the cause. Please note, I do not blame my parents in any way, shape or form. They have done a great job raising us and I would not have my life any other way. That being said, there are tons of psychological studies that show people with divorced parents are just wired differently. I must admit, it makes sense to me. When you don’t have a living, breathing example of marriage in front of you as a child, what are you supposed to think or feel?

Happy couple

Happy couple

However, watching two young adults profess their love for one another and promise to spend their lives together suddenly made a light bulb go off in my head. It should not matter what your circumstances were growing up. The fact is everyone is an adult and should make more of their situation, good or bad. One day, I’ll know when it will be right to get married and will have faith that it will last.

I am not going to say love never fails. People change, circumstances become different and life gets in the way. Everyone must give it their best shot. That’s the whole point of getting married anyway: to commit yourself to one person forever no matter what. That’s a pretty big deal. I am so lucky that I got to be a part of Tori and Byron’s wedding and know it made an impact on me. Sometimes with a little faith, one event can totally change your perspective. Let it!

 

Family Fridays: Going The Distance

friends1My friends play a huge role in my life. They are my sounding board for big and small decisions, my shoulders to lean on when life becomes unbearable and my personal entourage when dancing appears to be the only solution. Over the years, they have become my family and for that, I will be forever grateful.

I am a firm believer that any relationship shouldn’t be difficult. It should not cause you stress or panicfriends5 when making plans. Once you all are together, conversation should flow naturally and everyone should feel comfortable. This is how I’ve always felt about relationships, especially friendships. In my mind, friends are there to relieve stress, not create it. However, within the last few months, everything has changed.

friends3Graduating college and moving back to New Jersey has singlehandedly changed most of my college friendships. I went from seeing these girls most everyday, having to walk only a few blocks to find them. Now, my best college friends are in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and California, among other places. They are no longer a quick walk away and I can’t just run down the stairs for a hug when necessary. That being said, my hometown friends are just minutes around the corner so presumably, it would be easier to see them. Well, one has moved closer to her job and another is in graduate school. Our schedules just don’t coincide the way they did during careless summer breaks. So what are we supposed to do now?!

friends2We go the distance. We make sacrifices for the people we care about. Thank goodness for FaceTime, Gmail chats and GroupMe conversations. Ifriends7 don’t know how people survived in separate parts of the country without technology. I think all of us have received a wake-up call, realizing making our friendships last will take a little more effort than in the past. This has caused some additional stress in that finding the time to check in, visit and coordinate schedules isn’t easy. As I searched Amtrak and Megabus yesterday for reasonable and timely trips to D.C., I could have easily pulled my hair out. Instead, I thought about why I was going to D.C. and how many times Niki (and Mike) trekked to Philadelphia or New Jersey to see me. It made the process worth it.

friends6My friends and I have struggled with the changes growing up has brought us. We each now have different responsibilities that consume a good majority of our time. Despite jobs, graduate school, wedding planning and volunteer work, we have managed to keep our friendships going. Calls, text messages, tweets, emails and gchats have all contributed to our success. Technology has played a huge part in keeping us in touch and I am very thankful for its evolution.

Most importantly, nothing has truly changed. Being together still brings its share of laughable moments and thought-provoking conversations.friends4 No matter how long we’ve been apart, things seem to fall right back into place like we’ve never left one another’s side. I am blessed with the greatest friends in the world and know our friendships will continue well into the future, thanks to our ability to go the distance.

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