Love & Care Are Sometimes The Only Thing You Need To Keep Going

Love & Care Are Sometimes The Only Thing You Need To Keep Going

How creating environments in which people treat each other with positivity and support can make all the difference.

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As a dance major, I have experienced a lot of long days, stressful weeks, and pressure in my first semester. Its been challenging physically, but even more so mentally, consistently second-guessing myself and doubting my abilities. This past week was production week for Nutcracker, which was my first full-stage production at Butler. I was exhausted and anxious the entire week, trying to keep my schedules straight, get enough sleep, eat well, and perform at my best constantly. The stress leading up to opening night was terrible, and I didn't know how I would get through the weekend.

In preparation for our first show, I experienced so much love the second I arrived at the theater. Each class within the dance department organizes a secret Santa, and we are very enthusiastic about it. As I came into the dressing room I watched all of the first and second-year dancers run around preparing surprises for their gift recipient. We were all so devoted to making each other feel special and supported before our first show. I had chocolate delivered to my dressing room as I was finishing doing my hair and the smile on everyone's faces as they received their surprise filled the theater with positive energy.

After warm-up class, I returned to the dressing room to find a present from the lead dancers from a scene in which I was in the ensemble. Some of the upperclassmen explained that every lead gives gifts to the other dancers in their scene before opening night. It was such a kind and supportive gesture, one that made all of the corps girls feel like part of a team and loved. All of the freshmen were so shocked to be brought thoughtful gifts by dancers that we looked up to and aspired to become.

By closing night, everyone had thoroughly planned their secret Santa reveal, decorated each other's makeup stations and hand-delivered gifts with sweet notes. Everyone was thrilled to get final gifts from their friends and even more excited to see the reaction of the person they were surprising. I couldn't help but feel the support putting compliments on my person's mirror and leaving her her final gift, and the love only grew when my secret Santa brought me my present and gave me a huge hug. What's more, a senior came to our dressing room to give all of the first years presents and told us how beautiful we all are and how much she loves us.

I know these things seem just like fun presents for our friends during a fun performance weekend, but it really did make all of the stress and exhaustion that much easier. The first years were all shocked by the love that went around the dance department that weekend. Leaving the last show we told each other how happy we were to be in this dance department with these people. The positive impact of some love, support, and good energy made something that was busy and challenging into something that made all of us grateful for where we are and really happy. This weekend really showed me how important it is to surround myself with loving people and to show the people around me how much I appreciate and care about them.

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I Know She's My Forever Friend

A forever friend is one of the most important people in your world.
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The bond that my forever friend and I have is something that I do not have with any other person in the world. This is a list of ways you know that you have a forever friend:

You never get tired of being around her

She is probably the only person in your life that hasn't begun to bother you for some reason or another, at some point in time. You could spend hours, or days, with her. Even the smallest things you do together are fun because you are with her.

No subject is off-limits

You tell each other everything, and I mean, everything.

Thinking about seeing each other over break

And of course, when you do see her

Your family is her family, and her family is yours

It's not weird for you to be at her house all the time, show up at strange hours, or just decide to spend the night even though you live three houses away. And of course, her family welcomes you in like you are another one of their daughters.

You two have a bizarre sense of humor that only you understand

Whether it is the nights you spend watching random YouTube videos at 2 a.m. that make you both laugh so hard you cry or the commercials on TV that are only funny to the both of you, only you guys understand the humor in certain situations. You have probably experienced some of the most embarrassing moments together, and if not together, then you got a vivid story of the event.

You have no filter when she is being overdramatic

You pick up where you left off

If you and your forever friend are anything like me and mine, we do not talk every single day. You may only speak once a week, but it will give you the opportunity to catch up and talk like you have talked every single day. There may be quick conversations to see how the other is doing because you know you are saving all of the important stories for when you see each other again. At this point, conversations don't even start with "Hi" anymore, you just jump right to the point and tell her what you need to.

You really don't have a choice when she needs to go to the mall

She would do anything to make you smile

Even when you are feeling down, your forever friend knows just the right thing to do to make you happy again. Whatever the case is, she will be there for you always. She will say, and do, just about anything that will make everything better.

And sometimes she just needs a reminder…

Cover Image Credit: PopSugar

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Outgrowing Friendships Is A Necessary Part Of Life

Let go of a friendship that was not meant to last.

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Why do friendships naturally begin to gravitate away from each other? Why is there an emptiness within the bond that used to be filled with excessive passion? Why does effort suddenly disappear? Why do we lose the pieces that once kept us together? At times I find myself unable to look at people who were a part of my past without tears fill my eyes to the point of exhaustion simply thinking of the friendship we used to possess. There are many moments I cannot understand why, when, and how we ended up going in different directions. It seems impossible to release the specialness we once shared. I cannot fathom how we have been walking in parallel routes without even a glimpse of each other. I wonder if there's anything I could have improved upon to save us. Or were we not meant to be rescued?

Appreciate that you are engaging in internal growth, even if it is at the cost of separation from those you love deeply.

The timelines of our lives do not always match with those around us. Sometimes as we fall into the pits of despair, our friends find inescapable love. Sometimes as our friends grieve burdensome pains, we begin to visualize ourselves in a new light. As our pathways begin to part due to our progressions and setbacks occurring at diverse times, we fail to acknowledge the extents of our personal developments because we are too invested in analyzing a friendship that was not meant to last. When we lose such friendships we take our strengths for granted. We fail to think of the person we have become throughout the course of these attachments.

Do not overthink distanced friendships or it will lead you to endless self-doubt and unneeded frustration.

We drive ourselves insane by shifting such blame upon ourselves when we are left on an empty road full of questions. Such questions will What could I have done to create such a disconnect within this friendship? Did I say something so exceedingly wrong to cause this hurtful shift? Did I bother this person with an unintentional act of thoughtlessness? Could I have been a greater friend? When we question, we doubt ourselves in ways we do not deserve. Recognition is needed to conquer the unsettling thought that there is not always a reason for everything.

As you find yourself contemplating if the connection still remains, acknowledge that the underlying meaning of this contemplation means that the bond has disappeared. As life changes, people change, and as people change, their most valued friendships come to a close due to the similarities fading. Although this is a saddening concept to grasp, it is one that everyone should be prepared to experience. Sometimes there is no reason behind a dying connection aside from the interruptions life brings. We wrongly search for an exact understanding of why specific friendships do not feel as exciting or as effort-filled as they once were. But rather, we must seek to appreciate a friendship for all that it has consisted of, and learn to be OK with the fact that some relationships are not designed to be repaired when all that is left to discuss is the past versions of ourselves.

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