When I tell my children the secrets to everything from a happy marriage to success in life to finding best friends, I’m pretty sure the biggest three are going to be these:
This past week in Nebraska reminded me again how important these things all have been in my own life. My friendship with the fabulous Tiffany is a direct result of all three of these!
Tiffany and I live several states away. We met online through a homeschooling email list I run for AP parents. We met in real life when her family visited nearby Walnut Grove but our friendship was mostly long-distance until I emailed her during a rough period of her life and asked if she was up for a visit from our crazy crew. It turns out she was. And I drove my pregnant self and three kiddos 6 hours away to spend a week in her fabulous home with her fabulous family.
This was not an easy task, especially since I deal with daily ocular migraines that make driving difficult. I also have a history of panic attacks, anxiety and general fears of things like driving 3 states away to bunk up with people I’ve met once! 🙂
I knew Tiffany so well online that I knew it was the right thing to do. I figured out how to take back roads, make it work and do it safely.
We’ve been visiting each other ever since, and we have all truly become family. One of the reasons we mesh so well is because we know each other warts and all, and feel free to be our true selves.
It is tempting to hide ourselves these days, worrying that people will disapprove of our messy houses or disagree with our religious beliefs (or lack thereof) or otherwise decide not to befriend us because of some part of who we are.
The friendships that result from these artificial, cookie-cutter selves we project are not real though.
There is nothing quite as wonderful as showing your whole, flawed, oddball, true self to someone and being loved for the real you.
There are so many ways that Tiffany and I seem to be so different.
Tiffany has a fabulous, tidy, beautiful home. I do not.
Tiffany is British. I’m American.
Tiffany speaks her mind to absolutely everybody. I try to word everything absolutely diplomatically so as never to offend.
Tiffany is frequently bra-less and always looks classy and refined. I typically have too much cleavage and look as if I’ve just escaped from the tumble-dry cycle in an industrial dryer.
And we adore each other. We fit. We make each other laugh. We make EPIC messes (a nighttime mud volleyball game was especially amazingly messy). We miss each other greatly when I load up my noisy, chaotic crew and head back to Minnesota.
I am so glad that I was my real, wacky, neurotic self when I got to know Tiffany. I’m glad I took the chance of driving to Nebraska. I’m thankful for all of the magnificent messes we’ve created at her house (and helped clean up!) and the friendships that have bloomed in our families.
Take chances. Get messy. Be real.
It leads to the best stuff in life.