Friendships as Rare as Rainbows

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Today was a day that reminded me just how important friends are. It’s not always about how long you’ve known them, or how much time you spend together; it’s about what you do with the time you are with one another.

Georgia Stefos and I met in 2011 in our American History class in college. We bonded over our mutual dimple piercings and she thought it was pretty cool I was in Seventeen Magazine at the time. Needless to say, we became good friends in school. I probably could recount each time I have seen and spent time with Georgia, but it’s like we have this thing where we feel like we’ve known one another our whole lives. We can not see each other for a year and pick up right where we left off.

We decided at random to go to the beach together and within an hour she was downstairs in the car waiting. Was it going to be weird? We haven’t hung out in so long. Where do I even start to catch up?

Within an instant we were right back where we always were. Half way through the car ride down we had discussed our past break-ups, our recent love lives, future endeavors, family matters and hard times we’ve had to over come since we had last seen one another. I was telling her I wanted to tattoo my parents signatures on me and she told me a story about how right before her father passed she made him write, “I love you”, in Greek. She said he was so weak he could barely hold the pen. But he did it. She got it tattooed and went to the hospital to show him. She said he cried and the next day he passed away. As she was telling me this she shouts out and there was the strangest rainbow in the sky shooting across one cloud. It hasn’t rained recently. It had no beginning and no end. I was trying to take a picture of it and it was invisible to my camera lens, but we both saw it. Georgia was speechless. I had an idea why, but didn’t want to press the issue.

34875768_10214227654357175_2690945904575250432_nNot even at the beach yet and I think we died laughing…ten times? The best thing about it is we both are so talkative, but take turns ranting for about 10 minutes while the other one listens. It’s actually very interesting when we both speak. (Believe it or not.) We got into talking about how family does not have to mean blood. People get all worked up over the fact that they share the same DNA. For instance, someones immediate family could steal their boyfriend,  beat the crap out of them or literally kill someone and they’d be like, “Ugh, well they are my family so I have to get over it, or forgive them.”

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

Georgia and I agreed that we have treated our friends as “family” in that sense. I don’t have siblings and she has her own qualms with hers. Friends is where we found that loyalty and support like you would get from a large family. So if I am going to look at you like that, I expect the same back. If you wonder why I have been devastated at the lack of respect from my friends, or been so hurt by the fact that they could be so willing to toss a friendship aside for their own personal benefit with no consideration of me? Now you understand why. You don’t turn your back on someone who has been important to you in your life as a friend no matter what. No matter how far they live. No matter how often you see each other. No matter how misunderstood you feel like you have become. No matter what the DNA results on the paper from the hospital reads. You just don’t. I loved that we agreed about this so strongly.

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Another thing we talked about that literally almost brought me to tears, was catching her up after what has happened since my last break-up. The whole transition in the year after. She knew what had happened. She was ready to kick some ass for me. She knew how unhealthy it was and how messed up I was over it, but I don’t think she knew the extent. Maybe one day I’ll elaborate more fully, but for now this is as vulnerable about this topic as I can get on here. I explained how hard it was for me in the beginning, how I felt six, eight months down the line, and how I felt today. I told her how I actually…dare I say it…liked someone. Like something I thought was impossible.

She said, “You should always tell someone how you feel. Always act like if you never got to speak to them again, what would you regret not saying?” It’s true. Not that it’s a big ordeal or I need a confetti parade over “liking” someone, but it’s just something that had given me hope after months and months of darkness. She told me to thank that person for making me happy again. Hearing her say that made it real. Like I realized I went through hell, drowned in tears, got dragged through the dirt and made it out alive and someone could make me smile again that wasn’t that person I was hung up over.

Now lets not get crazy or over dramatic. I am still single. I am still doing my own thing, but damn did it feel good to realize I overcame the biggest fear I had yet to face, that I would not be able to have any feelings towards anyone again. I was not allowing myself to feel anything anymore, for anyone. I didn’t think it was even possible and even though this is just a tiny light at the end of a long tunnel…it is still a light. I realized, I am finally back.

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We laughed some more. Took pictures. Danced to obnoxious music as a beach wedding was about to go down. Laughed even harder. Headed to the bar. Grabbed one drink, sat in the sand and continued talking. This time about how her boyfriend wouldn’t stop asking her why she cakes her face with makeup because she’s so much prettier without it. She said, “Was it for me? Was it making me feel better about myself? I mean honestly. I could not even come up with a valid reason to tell myself. Katie Ann, I shit you not, I have worn foundation maybe ten times this year.” Power to you girl. I wish I was able to say the same, but it really had us talking about the bigger picture. Just the pressures that girls face and how worked up we get over absolutely nothing. “Do you think the people in CVS are going to look at me differently if I walk in with or without makeup?” The answer is no. Instagram is such a facade, and these days girls are walking plastic surgery models before the age of 25. It’s like, what is even real anymore? We laughed, “We are!” High-five.

Drove home. Laughed some more. Talked about what chill chicks we are. Georgia was eating a salad with her fingers. (Salad fingers). Offered to drive me to see a boy. Asked me for the addresses of my last friends that screwed me over last year swearing up and down that she would kill them. Drove me to pick up a pizza. Sat in the car in front of my apartment for another thirty minutes talking.

After she left, I said what a great time I genuinely had and I’m mad we don’t do this more often. We talked about how with friends it’s different. You’re not dating. You both have lives. It’s not like were in middle school where it is so easy to be butt-buddies with a best friend. Georgia is living in a house with her boyfriend of two years. We’re not kids anymore.

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It did make me think how important it is to have those days catching up with your friends. It reminded me not to feel guilty for not getting to see all of my good friends every week. It made me realize again that just because I don’t get to see all my good friends very often it doesn’t diminish the authenticity of our friendship. It made me realize that good friends support you putting yourself and your life first and will be there to guide you and talk about it along the way. Good friends are hard to come by, and I got to see two in one week that I’ve missed dearly. Miss Romy Chinich and the one and only Georgia Stefos.

After I settled inside I got a call from Georgia and she’s actually crying on the phone. She says, “I didn’t want to get emotional in the car or bring it up, but I always asked my dad to show me a rainbow after he died. I only have seen one shortly after he passed. Today, you witnessed it. After we talked about him, he showed me a rainbow. You got to be there with me for that and that I will never forget.”

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The cloud with the rainbow. It can barely be made out here, but was so vibrant and visible to us.

“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they are there.”

 

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