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Little things remind me all the time.
For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"
It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?
I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.
Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.
I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.
I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.
As both Mother's Day and the end of my first year living away from home come to an end, I've realized the abundance of things that you've done for me that I have to be grateful for. While I can never truly put into words how thankful I am for everything that you've done for me, here's a few that come to mind.
Thank you for always listening to my problems.
And there's a LOT. You let me rant to you about everything and anything without judgement, and I know you're always genuinely concerned about whatever I'm going through. I never have to question whether you're still listening even after hours of talking, and I think I'd go insane without being able to talk to you!
Thank you for doing things you didn't want to do.
Whether it's going to the gym after a long day of work, going to get our nails done, or even going paddle boarding, you're always willing to try the things that I want to do. When I was a kid, you would always make sure that Maura and I had someone to practice our sports with or go on a bike ride with. Even now that we're older, I still I know I can always count on you to try a new restaurant with me or check out vacation spots to visit in the future.
Thank you for being so understanding.
I definitely wasn't a perfect kid, and there have been some moments where I don't even know how to deal with myself. You never got mad at me over a bad test grade or sports performance, and that gave me the confidence to work my hardest without the fear of failure. That confidence not only got me through the years that I spent at home, but still carries through my work while I'm at school.
Thank you for teaching me how to be strong.
I have watched you face obstacles that I couldn't even imagine facing, and yet you did so with ease and always made sure to take care of Maura and I in the process. You never let the struggles you went through change your view on the world and still continued to remain positive throughout everything, and I try to maintain the same positivity in my life when times get tough.
Thank you for always advocating for me.
No matter what I am getting myself down over, you never fail to remind me of my strengths and how special they are. Whether it's an unfair teacher, a stupid boy, or an unkind friend, you remind me "not to let them rent space in my head" and remind me how precious my time really is. Even when it seems like the whole world is against me, I know I can always count on you to support me and give me the motivation to keep going.
Thank you for everything you have done for me, and all that I know you will continue to do. I love you so much!
Your Extraordinarily Grateful Daughter