My people are the best people. I guess that everyone probably thinks that from time to time. I like to think I have good taste in human beings, but really, I just got blessed with being in the right place at the right times. Those times led me to some people back home that I genuinely believe will be in my life forever.
How lame, huh? But I can totally see it.
High school was not easy for any of us. Those beginning years really had me feeling unbearably lonely, believing that I would never find my place with anyone outside of who I already knew.
It was easier to give up on myself and finding my place with anyone than continue to hold onto the hope that it might get better one day. That is when you guys found me.
In times where I easily could have decided that I truly was not worth anyone else's time, you had already decided that I was worth it. The boys who sat and talked to me on the bus, the girl who added her number to my phone, the girls who let me sit with them the first day and so many more small occurrences; that was the beginning of the gang for me.
I wish I could travel back in time to those first days of awkward exchanges of conversation in the lunchroom, people's basements, and on the bus and tell myself just how important all of the people surrounding me would become to my existence.
I wish I could tell myself to say yes to a couple more things and cherish the simplicity of those car rides with no destination.
I wish I could tell myself that we would all get through all of the silly fights we had that seemed so big at the time. (And maybe to take more pictures along the way.)
We did make it, we made it through it all together, or else I wouldn't be sitting here writing this to you.
In perhaps the most troublesome times of my youth, I always had my people to turn to. I did not always know it, but you guys were always there. People that saw me as a quiet, tiny girl with a silly nickname at first allowed me to grow into the quirky, loving-leader that I am today.
I blinked and suddenly an army of people and memories had been forming in front of me the whole time.
A group of people grew right along my side and grew up with me.
I spent four years with you guys, an outstanding gang of so many different individuals. You stood by me through the highs and lows of my mind, never expected me to feel or be anything other than who I am, and gave me a new meaning to the word "family".
Then decided to be crazy enough to stay by my side beyond high school. I think that could be considered leveling up in friendship.
I guess what it boils down to is the love and care I found when I managed to wiggle my way into these peoples lives. I tapped into a new kind of affection when I got to know them. These humans, although they may not always be right by my side physically, are always with me.
They know where I come from and they were there while I was growing into who I am now. For that and so much more, I am so thankful.
To be understood, cared for, and loved in a world that is anything but understanding, caring or loving is something that I know I am honored to have.
No matter how many times I try to sum it all up, it is never enough. I have tried. Even this is not enough to express how much I love you guys.
So to my gang: thank you for seeing something in me before I saw anything in myself. Thank you for never leaving my side. Thank you for being who you are to me and changing my life a million times over. Thank you for showing me what unconditional love truly means.
May love always hold us together,