Hello, friends! Over the next few weeks, I am away for my wedding and honeymoon, so I've invited some of my favorite writers to keep you entertained in my absence! Enjoy!!
My name is Cole and I’m here to do a guest post for Emelie while she’s getting married and gallivanting off to Scotland for her honeymoon with Fiancé/Husband. (I’m not 100% sure where in the line up my post will fall so I’m being purposefully vague with times whether or not you’re reading this before or after she’s actually married. But hey, it kinda makes me feel like I’m in an episode of Doctor Who a wee bit. Yeah, I know that does not actually makes a whole lot of sense but let me have it, okay? Okay.)
When Emelie first asked me if I wanted to do a guest post for her I was like, “Sure! Of course! That’s Awesome! I’ll totally do that!” Then we hung up FaceTime, I thought for a short moment and was like, “CRAAAAAAAAAP WHY DID I SAY YES TO THAT?! I WRITE FICTION. I DON’T WRITE ABOUT MYSELF HOW WHAT WHY DO I DO THIIIIIIS?!”
I took some time to calm down.
Later, when I asked Emelie if she had any topic or idea she wanted me to cover, I was much more subtle about my trepidation (I hope). She responded with, essentially, “Lighthearted and fun is good but be yourself and do you!” I was like, “Thanks, that helps!” (Translation: That was not helpful AT ALL). I’m very much ad-libbing this from memory right now but you get the idea. So I started pondering. And I realized that recent events in my life combined with Emelie’s impending/already-happened nuptials mean a very specific topic is rattling pretty consistently around in my brain. And that, dear readers of a blog that is not mine, is Love and Friends, or the Family You Choose.
I mean, it’s not a shocking revelation or idea at all really but friends are just pretty freakin’ awesome, aren’t they? You meet someone and go: You, good person, are just amazing and I want you in my life forever, okay? Sometimes it’s a longer, slow process. Sometimes it’s snap-of-the-fingers quick. Emelie, for instance? She and I were friends for about a month(ish) before she moved out to Connecticut. And yet, despite time and distance we have become even closer. It just clicked. Insta! Done! Boom! Friends for life and there was little choice.
Except, technically, we did have a choice. We could not have skyped regularly, texted and kept in contact. We could have drifted apart and I wouldn’t have gotten excited updates about this guy she met, who became Boyfriend, wouldn’t have gotten an excited FaceTime reveal-of-the-ring when he became Fiancé and wouldn’t be going to/have been at (seriously this not knowing where in time my article is existing is CONFUSING) their wedding to see him become HUSBAND.
We made a choice to be friends. To be Family By Choice. AND THAT IS A TRULY AWESOME THING.
But seriously, though.
You meet certain people and they just stick to you like glue, or tree sap or those little foam packing peanuts, and they help you navigate life day by day whether they are in the same house, same town, or states or oceans away. Maybe they are family by blood, or maybe not. Maybe it was a romantic relationship that became a friendship, because you look at that person and go: The friendship at the heart of all this is too ridiculously valuable to set to the side and this is gonna hurt like nothing else but it’s worth it. Maybe you’ve known each other for more than a decade. Or maybe you just met. Connections between people are really, super-duper weird and random and varied I’ve found.
AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES THEM SO GOOD. LIKE DOGS AND CATS. (Don’t know if that makes any sense at all. It does in my brain).
I guess, basically, what I’m trying to say, (however badly, drawn-outly and incoherently) is to love the people in your life, that Family of Friends. Celebrate them in the every day because that is where they are rooted, in their weirdness, in their flaws, in their strengths and all the reasons you love them unconditionally.
And if they are someone who does the same back, keep them around, okay? So that one day, when you’re old, you can sit on a porch, with a nice breeze wafting by, rocking in your rocking chairs, and crack dirty jokes and trade bad puns because you’re still as awkward, nerdy, awesome and in love with each other as you were in your twenties (or whenever it was you met).
Because I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty amazing future to me.
Cole is a writer and bookseller with a background in theatre based out of northeast Ohio. He (controversially) does not drink coffee but loves tea, hiking, and animals of all kinds. You can read/see what he's up to @colehcampbell (Twitter) and @colehollander (instagram).
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