To My Odyssey EIC Group, Thank You For Being There

To My Odyssey EIC Group, Thank You For Being There

I felt alone before, but I don't anymore.
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I just want to say: thank you. Thank you for my late night questions and random thoughts. Thank you for your hilarious snaps and the constant support we have for each other.

I never thought I could bond with people I never met but here I am, with you guys. I'm usually shy and I'm a "sit back and watch" type of girl. I used to read all your messages but didn't answer because I was unsure what to say or if I should participate. I've always felt like an outsider and I struggle with social anxiety but as the months progressed, I began to open up, bit by bit. I responded more, snapped more, and developed an attachment to my EIC sisters (and brother). You guys gave me material to make my own team strong, but you also gave me advice to help make me strong as an EIC.

You all were so confident in who you were and I loved it. I began to take more active roles within our Odyssey society. Soon enough, I was commenting on your posts and sharing your articles. I was excited for your success, instead of being envious. I was happy when one of us got promoted to lead EIC because she DESERVED it. I respected how HARD we all work to make our teams successful. We bonded over the love we share for our teams, for each other, and the other EIC's that aren't in our group.

This week meant more to me than y'all will ever know because I opened up, big time. I shared a deep, dark secret of mine, one I felt would make me lose my friends that I made within our group, only to see you guys shared your own personal stories with me. You opened up and comforted me, even though I didn't deserve it. Your shared experiences, they meant the world to me, so thank you for having my back and not hating/shaming me. Thank you for accepting my flaws and showing me the mistakes you made that mirrored mine. Thank you for showing me those mistakes don't define me, but rather empower me to accept the past and move on. To learn from those mistakes and use my knowledge to help others, like you guys helped me.

I felt alone before, but I don't anymore.

I found friends within this community and I am so grateful for you guys. Every day, I open up more and your continued patience with me inspires me to let go of all my insecurities and just be myself.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You are helping fix a broken piece inside of this lonely girl.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get some tissues and jump back into our Slack group because y'all made me feel safe here.

And that means the world.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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Stop Feeling Guilty About Unfollowing People Who Are No Longer In Your Life

We need to stop defining ourselves by a double tap.

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The number of followers I have on my Instagram account keeps falling every day, and I couldn't be happier about it.

You're probably like, "Is she okay?" But here's the deal: I have told myself for so long that I couldn't and shouldn't unfollow people out of courtesy. But the truth of the matter is that there are plenty of people whose lives I really don't need to be keeping up with anymore. I don't see them. I don't talk to them.

So why do I need to be concerned with throwing them a double tap?

I believe in authenticity over pity. I try my best to keep my personal account pretty real. I don't need to keep seeing pictures of people who really have no impact on my life.

So that's why I like seeing my numbers go down. Because I know that the truth of the matter is that there are people whose lives I'm no longer making an impact on. They shouldn't be following me!

I'm not relevant to them anymore, so why should they feel like they need to keep tabs on me?

Yes, I'm aware that this all might seem a little harsh. But why live a life where you're wasting energy on people you know longer know or connect with? We manipulate social media to reflect the best parts of our lives.

I don't know what's REALLY going on with so many people I follow. The opposite is the same too. I'm not a huge fan of social media cleanses because I like to be in the know. So I'd rather do a purge than take a break.

I want to be in the know with people I care about and have an interest in, not with people who I think might be offended that they lost a follower.

That follower number is just that: a number. It doesn't define who you are. It doesn't reflect your best attributes. So why obsess over it?

It's not who you are and it's never who you will be.

Challenge yourself to let go. It's an exercise that will leave you with so much relief and I guarantee that you'll be proud that you took a step in being honest with yourself. That's the true test.

Cover Image Credit:

Pexels

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