We Appreciate You, Chris W.

Friends come and go in our lives and our tribe is always changing. It is like the phrase “for a reason or a season.” As you grow and change, so do the people you choose to surround yourself with. Only the truest stay with you and love you for who you are. At times, all your friends will mesh together well and then there will be times when you have to hang out with different groups at different times. We can’t always make pieces of different puzzles fit together seamlessly.

Friendships teach us a lot about ourselves, about others and about the way we view the world we live in. They are our support when we feel alone, those we laugh with over the most ridiculous things and shoulders to cry on when we need it most. There is no coincidence to the timing of when certain people come into or out of our lives. Good friendships, as we move towards adulthood, are the ones that no matter how much time has passed since we last talked, we pick up right where we left off.

I have always admired long lasting friendships I’ve watched in movies. Not everybody is blessed to have real friends who will stick by their side no matter what. I have loved and I have lost people along the years. I’ve learned that time is never an accurate measurement in knowing whether you can consider people as true friends. It’s the laughter and the endless car fixing, racing, track days, motorcycle trips, BBQ’s, and random moments that you share with them that will show you if they’re the right ones. Because when you’re with your real friends, you will know — your gut will tell you.

Ever sit there and take a moment to explain to a friend how amazing they are? Who cares how cheesy it may sound, you’re going to make sure they know it! You grab them by their faces, with cheeks smashed together, you look them in the eyes and say what you need to say. Because we don’t say them out loud to each other; but without words, we show them and we make the other person feel. But I want my words to make permanence. I want to tell the world how much I appreciate them. And that’s this guy right here.

Chris W,
It feels heartwarming to be welcomed and celebrated for the person that I am. It is reassuring to have that knowledge, at the back of my mind, that I don’t have to change me to fit for you and same for you with us. I don’t have to say the correct sentences, greet the right people, be kind to the entire world all the damn time.

You give the biggest reminder that life is pointless to be taken seriously. For letting me know that my limitations and fears and paranoia are not strange and embarrassing. For slapping me with the harsh truth that killing myself to work hard will not absolutely guarantee me success. Because some things are beyond my control. Because I don’t get to call all the shots in this world. I watch you and Chris(for those that don’t know, my husbands name is also Chris) work so hard and such determination to get to where you want to go. I love seeing the smiles of success when you both are together. Even though it’s just a smile, it’s everything to me.

Friends are our chosen family. Those we choose to let in. Those we choose to help. Those we choose to share in life experiences with. They teach us love. They bring light. They instill in us an attitude of gratitude. Creating beautiful bonds with each other means the world to you because it is the family you’ve created, and it becomes the tribe you always wanted and didn’t know you needed in your life. Chris and I get you when you don’t even say a word, we are the friends who will speak on your behalf when you’re running out of words. That’s just what we do.

Some people won’t stick around forever but that doesn’t make you less lovable. The thing with human beings is that we are so damn complex. We can be a glass of fresh water to one person and a bottle of vinegar to another — no matter what our personality is. Sometimes we think in order to be a good friend we have to stifle ourselves. It’s OK to grow up and have your own life. It’s OK to have your space. It’s OK to be private.  It’s OK to keep things to yourself. The best friendships grow and evolve. But know we will always, ALWAYS be that hand and shoulder for you.

I don’t say this enough, thank you. For everything.

Chris W and my husband, Christopher K.

Thank you for the happiness, the love, and laughter you bring into our lives. You probably didn’t know any of this, but you truly bring this into our lives. Your presence is irreplaceable and I thank the universe for your friendship. Your quiet strength to hold yourself together and doing your best to cope when life bites you in the ass. The dignified grace flowing through you as you held your head up high refusing to be cowered by the twist of fate that life dealt you with. The steely determination you possess to do all you can take to see through your goals. Your kind compassion to see the best in people despite how often people disappoint. Your unyielding resilience to try harder and push through whatever obstacles that stand your way. Your fierce loyalty to all the people close to you and always having their back. Your prevalent optimism that tomorrow is a better day.

Life could be hard but you never let it defeat you. And I admire that about you, because Chris and I are just like that. We are good at surviving and thriving together in this crazy journey. We have each other, and you, and together I know everything will be okay.

Thank you for understanding that we can still be be friends in the midst of busy schedules. Thank you for your low maintenance, incredible friendship that stays constant through every changing season. Friendships are a two-way street, and the healthiest friendships are ones where communication and needs are met with reciprocity but never neglecting the fact that it’s not a free for all in terms of time and energy.

Some days, it is so hard to even talk to other people, but when they are out of the storm they are facing, they will walk through your storms with you.

Thank you for always being truthful with me. For being the type of person who had the ability to tell me I was wrong, who respected me enough to challenge me to be better, do better, and think better. Thank you for the other kind of joy you have brought to my life — the kind of joy that comes from knowing you are understood; from knowing that there is someone else in the world who gets you on a level most people don’t. Thank you for being that person. Thank you for taking the time to let me know that I’m not alone in the way I feel, or think.

Thank you for simply being you. You inspire me to be a better person (including Chris), you motivate me to do more and see more and feel more, because you’re always right there encouraging me to do so. They say the best kind of friend is the one who is always cheering you on, the one who is always showing you your potential, and that is exactly what you do. You are such a positive force in our lives, and I feel as if there aren’t enough words in the English language to explain just how much you mean to us.

Don’t apologize for having a big heart. Don’t apologize for feeling things deeply. For being affected and attached, for falling for people without holding back. Don’t apologize for being in touch with your emotions. Don’t apologize for giving and trying.

Never, ever underestimate how powerful you are. Having a big heart is your strength. Your empathy is admirable. The way you care for others isn’t something that can be taught. Encouraged, perhaps. But the way you do it, the way it’s so ingrained in your DNA, that’s just you. You’ve seen the worst in people, in situations, but keep finding silver linings. I hope you never apologize for how much you care. I hope you never think you’re wrong for being who you are.

People may disappoint, heart may break, but I hope you never change. I hope you continue to love fearlessly by being apologetically you. No matter what happened in the past, please continue onward to the future with faith and optimism. Wield the power at your fingertips by writing your own story the direction you want. Fill your life with beauty, clarity, and lightness. Be the lead character in your life knowing that you always have the choice to choose the love you attract.

Every day is another day to choose yourself. It’s a day to be thankful for everything you have and all the lesson’s life has taught you this far. Happiness is a choice, happiness is something that is easily attainable if you work for it. Happiness can be as little as you sitting down and petting the cats or as big as you traveling to a different country to explore the world while finding yourself.

When you’re genuinely happy you can find humor in the good and bad. When you are genuinely happy you have such a confidence about you that radiates from the mountain tops. You start to live for yourself and you stop worrying about what other people may think or say about you. You are so focused on your goals and life plans that negativity can’t break you.

In a world that’s so obsessed with maintaining the upper hand, with pettiness, with seeming apathetic, always know we need more people like you.

We’ll always need people like you.

-Serina Krawczyk