Sunday, February 24, 2013

My most valued possessions

Yeah, I'll totally blog all the time... famous last words.

Anyways, tonight I find myself with not enough focus to study and not enough attention span to just sit still and watch the oscars.  So I started going through some old pictures, and I noticed something; I'm not one to have groups of friends.  Through any season of my life, there are a select few faces that keep reappearing and some that appear through many seasons.  I have come to realize that my friends not only entertain me, but also sustain me.  Like the Beatles said "I get by with a little help from my friends".  I treasure these people more than anything I have and anything I could buy. So I have decided to briefly describe these wonderful people who have filled my life with color and humor.

One thing I should address before I start this... it is not going to be a long list.  Now you could attribute my small number of friends to my overuse of sarcasm, shyness to the point of paralyzing fear when encountering an unfamiliar social situation, or overall lack of appealing personality traits, but I am of a different school of thought.  I have so few friends only because the friends that I have are so amazing that I simply don't need more.  The point of this blog is not to argue that my socialization failures have, in fact, not limited my ability to make friends... I just want to take a few minutes to talk about each of the amazing people who have shaped me, supported me, loved me and made me laugh throughout my life.

I guess we will start at the beginning. Childhood.  This is one of the few people I will mention that I no longer have any relationship with.  I'm not saying this to minimize the friendship that we had, but rather I'm saying it in the interest of full disclosure, honesty and my own sanity.

Fawn and I went to the same church, and given that both of our families are regular church goers, our friendship started when we were quite young and we got to be together very regularly.  Starting from a young 3 years old, we were inseparable during church, VBS and other similar activities.  On any mission trip or youth group event, we always had each other - to talk, laugh, and be partners in crime.  A select memory for sharing: when we were in El Salvador our senior year of High School for a mission trip, Fawn, Ben and I discovered a lemon tree behind the orphanage.  A lemon tree that had giant lemons... as well as giant thorns.  Climbing up a nearby stack of bricks, I was the only one able to get high enough to be in the tree and still weasel my way through the thorny branches without getting stabbed. However, this perch left me a few feet shy of these huge lemons.  Ben handed me a shovel, and my dad (who, as a beneficiary of good timing got to see the whole thing) yelled to Fawn to get ready to catch the lemon.  Jokingly she put her hands up and then put them back down.  The problem was... the lemon was stuck in the tree much more firmly than I had anticipated.  It took a shovel swing with all my muscle to get it to leave the tree.  Unfortunately, all my might happened to direct that lemon right into Fawn's face, leaving her with a fat lip.

What I liked about Fawn was that she had a natural honesty.  She knew who she was and made no apologies for it, but had no difficulty laughing at herself and her quirks when the situation warranted.

Sara was new to our church sometime around middle school.  She and I instantly had a bond simply because we had several things in common, including our interest in music and that we both took piano from Mrs. George.  Initially, Sara was very quiet, but as she got older, her louder and crazier side began to come out.  Her sense of sarcasm also improved dramatically (which my parents still pray had nothing to do with our family's time around her).  I have several memories with Sara, but a non-specific one that sticks out is that everytime she came to our house, she would find the random item in our kitchen.  Despite how hard they tried, my parents were never able to completely evade her ways, as there was always something on the counter, that, once pointed out... we would all just have to look at, shake our heads and agree, "yeah, that's random... I have no idea what that orange fuzzy sock full of tic-tacs is doing there either".  Sara was always good at making me laugh; she could find humor in almost any situation, be it dinner with my family or the ten hour drive to Virginia Beach in the back seat of my family's van.

Brianna and I became close right around middle school as well. Brianna did not go to my church, but was in several of my classes at school.  Brianna and I had similar senses of humor, found the absurd enjoyable, and at the time, would rather be outside exploring than inside doing more girly things. For a long time, we did everything together. One of our especially favorite pass-times was playing hide-and-seek outside at night in the summer.  It sounds like this is a bad thing to admit, but I need to clairify... we took hide and seek as serious as life and death.  We could not be found.  Other people were never prepared for how seriously we took this game and would give us strange looks for our head to toe black clothing, the miles (literally) that we would run over the course of the game and our dedication to the cause (we once ran into the middle of a half-acre pricker patch- just because we knew no one would ever try to find us there).  Brianna never discouraged my crazy ideas, always ready to laugh and go along with whatever crazy shenanigans we could come up with.  She encouraged me to have more self confidence in those awkward middle school years where I could never be found without my baseball hat, and when other people would mock me for it, she always had my back.

In high school, I met my next best friend.  I can't exactly share the details surrounding how Karmen and I became best friends... but it was mostly because of the losers we were dating at the time.  They were friends so they decided we should be too.  Luckily, they were right and we have been best friends ever since.  (Now, those guys are long gone).  We have had so many amazing memories it is hard to pick, but among my favorites are the roadtrips to South Carolina to see my brother.  We'd get lost in WV, go shopping in columbia, embarass Jimmy in public, and watch so much Big Bang Theory.  We spent every summer living out of my car - backseat full of running shoes, bathing suits, pizza / ice cream / coffee money and flip-flops.  Together, we would run-away all the time... even if it was just for a little while.  Only she understood the need I had to always be somewhere else and felt it too.  What I liked about Karmen is that we could spend hours just talking and driving and by the time we had to go home, even when nothing had been accomplished, I always felt better.  Whenever I needed an adventure, it was just a phone call away.    Also, we always ended up with a good story.

I don't have the space or time (let's be honest, I need to study at some point) to elaborate on all of the members of the cross country team, but all of them were so important to me.  Steph, Carrie, Rachel, Marissa, Chloe, and those already mentioned... I would not have gotten through so many miles without you guys.

Another high school friend was from my church.  Ben came to our church when he was just a little guy (ironic now that he is defensive line at UT standing over a foot taller than me) .  He has a special way of not always thinking before he speaks, so sometimes the things that come out couldn't be farther from his intended meaning, but his best quality has always been his attitude.  Ben truly cares about his friends, his faith and his family, and he stands by them no matter what.  He has always had an ear to listen to my troubles, no matter how redundant or shallow they may have seemed to him.

College completely changed my social circle.  I had to completely start over, and I was so lucky to so quickly find someone with whom I did not have to try to be friends.  Carrie and I hit it off almost instantly.  While this is hard to explain, our friendship truly began at a very important scholarship dinner where we both on a sugar high.  Throughout my time at Akron, whenever I needed someone, I knew that I could count on Carrie.  Through unrequited crushes, to stressing over tests, to speculating if my boyfriend was going to propose that weekend, to planning my wedding, Carrie has been there through all of it.  My life would have been so much less enjoyable without our weekly Gilmore Girl and Caribou dates (not to mention running through campus and superman diving in the sprinklers). What I love most about Carrie is that she has truly been a friend through the years, always there when I need her and even there when I don't, just to have a good time.

I should mention my army training friends too, but I am getting tired of writing, already wondering if I am even going to post this when I am done and I still want to get to my med school friends.  Akrami and Travis,  were the best neighbors I could have asked for during BOLC.  Accommodating a vegetarian diet in Texas is near impossible, but they were always patient and supportive as I turned down restaurant after restaurant.  If I was ever without Nick, the two of them would take care of me, keep me company and generally make sure I didn't die.  Akrami's passion to the point of fist-fights over just about everything (eg. the state of real estate in Florida?!) combined with Travis's general non-chalance but ability to form a good argument with anything Akrami said kept me entertained the entire time we were there.

Finally, Med School.  Unfortunately, the friend who would become my current closest friend in med school did not interact with me much during my first year.  Aloiya and I didn't truly become close until the beginning of our second year.  One fateful lunch period where Aloiya breached a secret topic, and I answered her honestly, our bond was instantly formed.  Ever since, we have had so many awkward moments, brilliantly planned and poorly executed shenanigans and just good times.  A favorite memory is probably the day we spent driving around Toledo, but to further explain that, I risk embarrassment for both parties.  I will just leave it at that, but hope that when Aloiya reads this, at least she will fully understand and chuckle.  What I like about Aloiya is that she can always, always, always make me laugh. She has this great talent for awkward moments and simply embraces it, which makes her hysterical.  She is also very thoughtful - she once brought me a gift (CHOCOLATE!) just for having a rough week.  In a place where rough weeks occur more often than not (med school), I would be lost without her.

There isn't time for me to expand on each, but my I also have a group of friends that are pretty much med school family: Maddie, Stephen, Carissa, Matt, Holly, and Scott (Nick, too!).  We've shared holidays, birthdays, and pretty much any decent movie available at redbox in the past two years.  I know that I can count on you all for anything and everything - especially what to look forward to in medical school.  Mostly, I know that each and every one of you "gets" it...  Just how tough this path can be, and how blowing off plans to study is never just an excuse.  Also, I just have to say... of all the people or groups of people to make this list... this one is definitely the most likely to come out on top in a fight... and this group of people makes brownies far better than any other group on earth!

I don't think I have done an adequate job capturing the essence of any of these people.  I know I have sold them short, but my writing is inadequate to fully describe these characters that fill my life.  I am so blessed to have encountered them, and so lucky to claim them as my friends.

My family is pretty dang awesome too, but that will have to be a sequel to this post. 

1 comment:

  1. I just randomly came across this, and though I don't know if you'll ever see it, I just wanted to say Thank You Katie. You were a great friend who I always admired, and think of often. H.O.T.C Forever ;)