Tuesday, May 15, 2012

it was worth it

A long time ago, back in the dark ages when I first started this blog, I told the story of my tattoo.  You can go read it, but essentially it was something I did for myself when my life was a big pile of crap.  The story that I did not tell, however, came up this weekend.
I am lucky to have a lot of girlfriends in my life.  I am lucky to have them spread out all over the country, spread out all over my history from the first time I went through college until now, and they all mean different things to me but I would step in front of a bus for any of them.  My friend Brynn is one of those friends.  We met when we were both in graduate school in Boston, but really, we were both just lost.  Constantly in the darkness.  Neither of us realized it at the time, but we were both in relationships that now are easy to see were doomed.


When I went out to Albuquerque to visit her that first time, I was essentially at rock bottom.  I couldn't decide what to do about my failing marriage, my job was a new level of stressful hell, and my spring half marathon - the one I had trained for twice and gotten hurt for twice - had just been canceled due to the arrival of a clunky boot on my right foot.  My girlfriends were doing everything they could to support me, but I'm sure I was pushing them away.  I was in a spiral of self-destruction - drinking far too much, behaving badly, essentially just hating myself for all the choices that had turned my life into what it was.  Going out to visit, for whatever reason, was like coming up for air.
I'm not sure if it was the timing or just getting out of DC or what did it, but it changed me.  When I came home, I could see clearly what I had to do to turn my life around, to move forward, and over the next six months, I did it.  That doesn't mean that it was easy or that I didn't have set-back after set-back, but I turned the corner.  I'm here now.
I'm glad that our friendship hasn't gotten lost in the business of our lives.  We all have those friends that sometimes weeks or even months go by when you don't talk, and then you pick up the phone and it's like no time has passed.  That's what this is.  And this weekend I was lucky enough to stand beside her while she got married.  
Both of us, I would say, are unrecognizable from the day we met (and not just because I'm wearing far too much purple eyeshadow).
Her happiness is explosive.  
I am obviously not saying that we are both happier because we are married (men are not the answer, people!), but rather we were both able to figure out how to be happy and then engage in relationships that are stable and strong and filled with joy.
I'm having a hard time finding words that are not ridiculously trite to describe how much fun our weekend was, and how much I enjoyed getting to know the "other women" in her life.  
It was worth the hangover(s), worth the airports and planes and smelly people eating onions in confined spaces.  It was worth living in Boston for a year to find our friendship, a place that was essentially hell on earth for me, full of uppity rich 21-year-old graduate students and 18" of snow just appears for no reason and giant rats the size of my microwave.  
All of it.  It was worth all of it.

24 comments:

  1. That's an awesome story! And one I can really relate to...having been in that dark place with a failing marriage and such uncertainty about my life. I'm so glad to see you've come out the other side of it as strong as I did - what a wonderful place to be!

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  2. That's a beautiful tribute to your friendship.

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  3. I love you!

    ~Brynn

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  4. Cute dresses!! I <3 girlfriends - they really are a great support system:)

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  5. Congratulations, Brynn! What a gorgeous wedding in the desert sunshine :) All of you gals look beautiful!

    It's nothing short of amazing to realize how one year, one step in another direction, can change everything about a life. Surviving 18 in' of random snow was surely a small (but, ugh, gross) price to pay - you two will have each other, always.

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  6. What a great story. Glad you had a fun weekend celebrating your friend. You clean up well. :)

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  7. Cheers to great friends! And to triathlete tan lines ;)

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  8. wow. Good friends like that are irreplaceable and one of the best gifts you can get from life. You helped give her an amazing day!

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  9. I love odes to good friends. And you're right - having good girlfriends is THE MOST important thing in the world.

    Congrats to your friend!

    PS That is a LOT of purple eyeshadow. Also, you look hot!

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  10. Men ARE the answer!!!

    As are crazy tan lines

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  11. What a great post, and happy ending.

    And... the eye shadow and tanlines are AWESOME.

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  12. My heart is full when I see how far you've come. I see it in your smile and hear it in your words. YOU helped teach me how important girlfriends are. And also so much about pulling your own self up out of the mire. You are a shining example to me and to many.
    Thank you for being that light.

    And dayum girl, you clean up NICE!

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  13. Love this and love you. (Also, love the dress... reminds me of a certain black cocktail dress you own.)

    This is what's so great about meeting the right people. Sometimes they nudge you into making scary, big changes. But it's always for the best.

    Big hugs!

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  14. In addition to clearly being a wonderful friend and a gifted athlete, you are a talented writer. This is what keeps me coming back to read your blog every week. There are so many "running blogs" and "triathlete blogs" but yours is special not only because you share information about your athletic pursuits, but because you write so eloquently about what it is to be a human being. Your honesty -- about all that is good as well as all that is difficult -- is rare and special. Thank you for that.

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  15. LOVE! you all look beautiful. congrats to her!

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  16. What a great post...

    I'm new to your blog and love it! :)

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  17. Gotta love having friends like that in your life. They are truly amazing.

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  18. What a great post and so nice. I can def agree about how I met my best friend (both of us being so lost). That dress looks amazing on you.

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  19. I recently had a weekend visit with my two best friends from grade school. I told them that walking in the door and seeing their faces was like wrapping myself in a warm, comfortable blanket. There's something about being with people who make you feel safe that makes even the most difficult tasks and decisions in life feel easier. Better yet, celebrating happiness with those friends makes it feel even more real and joyful. Congrats to your warm-blanket buddy!

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  20. Awww. I'm going to the wedding of a friend like this on Saturday (we've known each other since ninth grade). Can I cut and paste this into my blog next week (with a few detail changes and new pictures)? I couldn't say it half as well. :)

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  21. Beautiful tribute to your friendship, it made me pause and think of the girlfriends I'm thankful to have in my life - thank you. And your description of Boston, though I do love that city, is kind of spot-on. Damn you 18 inches of snow that just appears at the most inopportune times, like October or April!

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  22. I just think it's cool that my photo has appeared on your blog! Thanks for being a part of everything, Katie! It meant the world to Brynn and I to have you there! I look forward to many more great times with you and Thom.

    We love you tons!

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