Renee is going to be so mad at me.
I spent half my day being overwhelmed and stressed out over things I can’t quite control, and the other half of it coming up for air, hanging out with Renee.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Renee is one and the same as Renee Frawley. Prom Queen. Soccer Star. Chronic Clutz. She has the purest heart I’ve ever encountered, and she thinks my fat little cat is cute. She’s a keeper.
Renee and I go all the way back to 5th Grade, which is a lot farther back than the overwhelming majority of my friends and I go back. She knew me when I was legitimately nobody, and she and I have been through a lot.
It wasn’t always pretty. High school in a small town is often a volatile place for teenage girls, and we all had to clamor to come into our own. Renee and I came out on top, friends after all the dust and drama had settled. Believe me when I tell you that I am a better, stronger, happier person for that one fact.
Renee and I toured SoHo and the Upper East Side, scouting out Catholic Churches for the wedding, a potential venue location and, most excitingly… lunch.
The best part of hanging out with Renee, aside from the constant laughing, is that she and I happen to be on the exact same page in our lives. And to have someone who just gets what you’re saying without having to “relate back” to that point in their life, or struggle to comprehend through some relatable metaphor. She says to me, “I just need one good girlfriend.” and I know exactly what she means. I tell her, “I woke up the other day and realized there are things in my life that I’m allowing to make me so unhappy, I don’t even recognize myself anymore.” and I get back more than just a sympathetic nod. She tells me, “Every day, I appreciate a little more all the things we were taught in Kindergarten. Especially, Life’s too short.”
It is. She’s right. Life’s too short to put up with nonsense that doesn’t further your happiness and the success and happiness of those you love. I rooted through Facebook and found myself looking at her photos from waaaayyyy baaaaacccckkkk whhheeeennnn. You know what I found?
Look. That’s me. I’m really happy.
I recognize that girl. I saw her today, again, when I was hanging out with Renee, laughing through SoHo and looking at places to marry James. You know what else I recognize? That James isn’t the only one in my life who brings out the best qualities in me.
I suspect that this next phase of my life is going to really test me, in a way I’ve never been tested before. Things are in the works, and I can’t speak to them here, yet. Suffice it to say I’m getting by, and holding close to me the people who make my heart something I’m proud to acknowledge as my own through even the most trying, straining, daunting emotional growth spurts.
And that’s excellent. Because all I need to make it through is simply that: a few good people to hold close until I see the light of day again.