I got in a really mushy, sentimental mood tonight, and I decided to send one of my friends a message out of the blue. He and I had had a falling out last year, and this year we’d gotten over our differences and renewed our friendship, and it made me realize that, in the time I wasn’t speaking to him, I’d been missing out on a friendship with a really great person. In the message I sent him, I thanked him for being a good friend. I thanked him for being honest, for being so drama-free and non-judgmental, and for always caring about me even when the going got rough. I told him how much I appreciated that he was one of few people I could truly be myself with, and that we just clicked so well. I apologized for our bad times and again, thanked him.
As soon as I sent it, I realized there were two others I wanted to thank as well.
The next friend of mine was one who, among other things, took care of me one night when I got so drunk that I blacked out and projectile vomited everywhere. Not only did he stay with me all night and through the next morning to make sure I was safe and okay, he completely forgave me for that night and remained a good, supportive friend who has always gladly listened to my rants and offered me advice. I thanked him for all of what he had done for me, and for being a good friend.
Finally, I sent a message to a girl I’ve been friends with for, really, less than a year. I thanked her for being a non-judgmental, honest person, and for always being so sweet to me as well as hilarious. I admitted that I had never expected to be more than just a random acquaintance of hers, and was glad we’d progressed to becoming friends.
There were delays in the replies from these three people, during which I worried that I’d weirded them all out with my sudden emotional openness. Then, the responses began to appear.
The first friend told me how much the message meant to him, and how he was equally just as happy to have me back in his life. He asked me to forgive him for anything he might have done wrong over the course of our friendship and promised we would always remain close and begin to hang out more often.
The second friend also expressed his gratitude, and told me he would always be there for me because he trusted I would always be there for him.
The final friend returned with the most excited reply of all. “This may just be the sweetest, nicest message I’ve gotten all year!” she said, and she too was glad we had become better friends this semester. “To many more good times and memories made together!” she toasted.
I had been incredibly nervous to be so frank with these people, but I was glad I did it. I realized that we sometimes go years without really telling people how much they mean to us, and we even take their presence in our lives for granted. After going through some rough patches with friends who sometimes weren’t always the best, I realized that there had also been people in my life who had been nothing but good to me, and I wanted them to know that I did appreciate them. It felt good, and I’m certain their spirits were lifted as well.
While I may cringe when I hear the phrase YOLO (it’s so overused), I recognized tonight that… well… YOLO. Time flies, and we shouldn’t let it go without letting our loved ones know that we do care and appreciate them, and that they mean more to us than they may even realize. So, before the year ends, take the time to thank the people who have stuck with you through the tough times, who have loved you unconditionally, who have made you roll on the floor crying with uncontrollable laughter. Who knows? Your simple, kind words may have a greater effect on your loved ones than you’ll ever know.