|Seriously, what is UP with that hair?|
My friend, on the other hand, was beautiful in a very All-American Girl kind of way. We’re talking Homecoming Queen, Miss Senior, Miss America, Miss World, Miss All-Planets, Miss Boys-Always-Wanted-Her-To-Smile-At-Them kind of looks here. What the heck?
Anyway, she and I somehow gravitated toward each other. Yes, at some level I probably thought the boys would notice me more if I hung out with her. (And let me interject something here. Forget about grades and college acceptance letters and all that other mumbo-jumbo that grown-ups want you to think is important to teens. High school is all about getting members of the opposite sex to notice you. Period. Everything else is superfluous.) Somewhere along the line, though, I realized what an amazing, kind person my friend was and, when her boyfriend died in a car accident right before we began our senior year, it suddenly dawned on me that even the Beautiful People have pain.
Which brings me back to our most recent conversation. In spite of all her inner- and outer-beauty (and believe me, she’s still very easy on the eyes, as they say), my dear friend has had more than her share of Life’s setbacks. Haven’t we all? I “checked in” on her to see how she was doing and we started talking about our lives today versus Back in The Day (OK, to be fair, I started talking about the Back in The Day stuff). Anyway, I started to offer her some words of encouragement and found myself reflecting on how I have changed (yet still stayed the same) since high school. And I came up with a list of some things along those lines, but I decided not to print it because I remembered, it’s not about me. It’s about how all of us have the opportunity to touch lives and, maybe, make the world a better place.
And this is exactly what my friend does and hopes to continue to do: make others feel good about themselves. Every time I see her or talk to her on Facebook she has a smile for me and something kind to say. She has a special knack for finding the good in others and drawing your attention to those qualities that make people special. She genuinely loves her family and friends, but sometimes she forgets to be just as kind and supportive to herself as she is to others.
So, my long overdue gift to my friend is to remind her how special and amazing she is as a person. Yes, she is still very pretty (and yes, I’m still a little jealous – which is not actually a bad thing ‘cause it motivates me to continue to take care of myself and try to stay healthy and fit). I have always been proud to call her my friend, and she continues to inspire me to treat others with kindness and focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Thank you, my friend, for being the wonderful human being you are. I hope your journey through life always brings you to your “happy place” and you continue to embrace all your many wonderful qualities. After all, you deserve it after all the people you’ve touched with that incredible smile of yours.