Today I had to drive over two hours to Knoxville, TN for a program. I decided that I would pick up a new podcast and to my delight, I found Jen Hatmaker's podcast "For The Love".
The first series in the podcast is around "For the Love of Girlfriends". It couldn't have been more appropriately timed. Lately I have been thinking long and hard about the wonderful girlfriends I have in my life. This past weekend I did a program at a conference for undergraduate students and I expressed the importance of loving your people and leaning on your people during the harder times in your life. This first episode of the series was with author Shauna Niequist. On the podcast, Shauna talks about friendship being a "shelter". She says,
Friendship truly is a shelter. And it is so important to find your people and love on them. So it got me thinking. In the spirit of strong, fierce, wonderful female friendships, I wanted to write a love letter to my friends. Anyhow, what's Valentine's Day without a love letter?
So here we go:
To my dear, wonderful, amazing friends,
Hi. It's Gabbie. I wanted to take this time and let you know how much I truly love and appreciate every single one of you. Gratitude and spreading love is important to me, and today I want to shower you all with love like Leslie Knope showering Ann Perkins with compliments. It's just important to me.
I want to thank you for loving me when I'm irrational, hangry, or just truly stubborn. I want to thank you for loving me even harder when heart break, depression, or anxiety had taken over in the past.
I love how you make me laugh uncontrollably and make me see the best version of myself. I love the tough love you give me when it comes to shitty guys, when I want to cut bangs again, or the "I told ya so"s when I choose to eat dairy and feel like hell after because I am lactose intolerant.
I love when you drink wine with me on my couch and just talk for hours on end. I love when you let me visit you, whether it's in D.C, San Diego, NJ, or FL...because let's be real, my friends live all over the country. I love how we've grown up together, and have seen each other through acne, braces, first loves, prom, and going off to college...those memories can't be replaced no matter how many friends we keep making in this thing called life.
I love how you love on me enough to let me stand next to you at your wedding or cry with you when your heart breaks. I love when you cheer for me as I run crazy miles or let me cheer for you when you reach your goals and your dreams.
I love when you are authentically and truly you. My best memories are the late nights at Ikes, the early mornings doing community service, the road trips with the best music, the Homecoming block parties, and Greek Week.
I love that you are pursuing your dreams and doing big things. I am so lucky to be surrounded by women crushing their goals, whether it be starting non profits and moving to Africa or being the owner of an amazing gym in town. Friends like that are hard to come by and they continue to inspire me.
I love every Instagram meme, Snapchat, text, or tweet you send me. I love the daily G chats to remind me my friends are not as far away as they sometimes can seem. I love how you trust me. I love how I can trust you with anything.
Most of all, I am so lucky to have each and every single one of you in my life. I wouldn't be half the woman I am today if it wasn't for your support and love. I love how you all rise me up. Thank you for being the constants in my life. Thank you for making me feel like everything will be alright. Thank you all for always being my favorite Galentines. And most importantly...thank you for being my "shelter".
I love you so much!