One of the hardest things about graduating college is that you and your friends inevitably end up spread all around the country.
Clayton's in Atlanta. Austin's in Florida. Summer's still at Campbell.
Being that far apart and having crazy busy "adult" lives, it takes a lot more effort to keep in contact, to sort out time when you can actually reconnect with each other and talk, instead of just relying on text messages and Twitter (which is, unfortunately, what a lot of my life has come to nowadays).
So at the end of last week, I texted Austin to see if he had time for us to talk soon. He told me to ask him after Monday, so I texted him again last night when I was pretty sure he'd be off work. He told me he was too exhausted to talk and probably wouldn't be available tonight, either. I said okay and went on with my night and didn't think anything of it. I knew from previous conversations that his job really was tiring.
Well, he called me tonight while I was on the phone with Mom. (I got off the call with Mom really quickly, ha!) I told him this was a surprise and asked him what was up. This is where it gets good.
He told me he wanted to make sure that him not being able to talk over the past week and saying that he was too tired to talk to me hadn't made me worry or triggered any insecurities about our friendship. He said he knows that I struggle with fear of upsetting my friends or, worse, losing my friends, especially after what happened with Ryann, so he wanted to make sure that I knew he wasn't avoiding talking to me or anything like that. He said he thought the least he could do was call me on the way home from his youth group and check on me.
I couldn't help but laugh a little that the one time a friend has proactively checked on me and my feelings and fears was one of the times I actually wasn't concerned at all.
So I reassured him that I hadn't thought anything of it but that I sincerely appreciated that he cared enough to call me and check. Then we got to talk for about 15 minutes before I told him to go to bed because I could hear the exhaustion in his voice.
This probably seems like an insignificant topic for a blog post, but seriously y'all, it means the world. To have friends who know my insecurities and see my scars and baggage and love me through them and despite them, even when they make being my friend hard (trust me, they can and they have), means the world. This whole thing tonight made me realize all over again just how lucky I am to have real, authentic friends who know me in my bones and don't let my past affect their views of me now. One of the recurring themes in my therapy sessions has been that I still struggle with feeling so unworthy of love, but the way people like Austin love me helps me understand and believe that I really am worthy of this. That I am better and bigger than my scars and insecurities. That they don't define who I am.
And for that, I am very, very thankful.