BFB #3: Thank You, My Friend
by Michele Dale
I’ve never been more grateful for my friends than I was this week.
It was one of those weeks where you look up at the sky and think, “If there is a God up there, they’ve really got it in for me.” I’ve said several times that my life is beginning to feel more like a sad comedy or soap opera than the comfy, happy way of living I had gotten used to. I’ve handled it as best I know but the real stars of this story are my friends, not me.
Friendships were not heavily emphasized in my household. I have a very large and very close family and it always felt like I had a huge group of friends that I just happened to be related to. I missed out on many a sleepover and birthday party to go to family weddings, anniversaries, and baby showers, and I didn’t even care. In my high school of over 3,000 kids, I identified about three that I wanted to spend time with outside of school (beyond just drinking) and always felt like as long as I had one or two close friends, that “friendship” box was checked.
It was when I got to Georgetown that my definitions of “friend” and “family” became more intertwined. Because I was so far away from my family, I unknowingly began to create my own. I picked out the people I met in classes, in clubs, in Lau (ha), and stitched them all together to recreate that similar smothering, dysfunctional, loving feeling I have with my family.
We all have our respective support systems here at school and create them in our own ways. Clubs are a great way to meet people with similar interests, and have a larger “family” to belong to and lean on when all you want is a familiar, welcoming environment. But I think it’s important to remember that when you join a club, you should still be looking for those stand-out individuals. You’re trying to find the people who click with you on every level; the ones who you can call in the middle of the night, who will be at your wedding, who you might even name your kids after. Georgetown culture can be a lot to handle, but if you find those people who become a part of your inner family, your friend family, it makes it a whole lot easier.
So to all of those people who are just oh so lucky to belong to my friend family, I love you. I never gave friendships the weight they deserved until meeting you. Even if I haven’t reached out to you during this hellish week, knowing you were there made all the difference.
I have some individual thank yous for you all, in no particular order:
Thank you for crawling into bed with me and making me mac n' cheese. You have long legs but you’re a good cuddler.
Thank you for insisting on sending me food and being my perpetual Jewish mother. I needed that.
Thank you for checking up on me and understanding that I didn’t want to talk about it.
Thank you for making cookies, drinking wine, and bitching with me.
Thank you for telling me it’s okay to cry.
Thank you for the chocolate panda snacks. Those are the bomb.
Thank you for turning around on the way to the gym when you knew I needed a hug.
Thank you for letting us break our rules. Thank you for being there.
And to my real family, I love you too. Especially you, James.