Hello my fellow weekenders!
I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful Father’s Day weekend by raising a glass to all of the hardworking dads, grandfathers, uncles and men who have stepped into a fatherly role, even if they don’t have kids of their own. Dads, we salute you..for without you, we wouldn’t be here!
It’s been a while since I’ve popped on here due to the onset of a busy summer…work, family, friends..and all things bridal! (not for me, quite obviously) but I just celebrated the bridal shower of one of my best friends and this week, my brother gets married! eeeeekkk, what?! My brother..crazy.
I’ll be doing several follow-up posts regarding my whereabouts and some recent events I’ve attended these past couple of weeks so I hope you’ll stay tuned! And as always, tell me what you’d like to know more about!
Anyway, I always get a lot of questions and commentary regarding my friendships and the people I spend most of my time with. Someone even requested that I write a little bit about this!
Who my friends are, where I met them and how we all became so close.
Growing up, my mom always told me that it’s never the amount of friends you possess that matters; rather the quality of the company you keep that signifies a true bond and a successful set of relationships. You can have all the friends in the world but if those friends don’t know your deepest fears and wildest dreams and aren’t there to pick you up when you’ve fallen from grace…guess what, you don’t have any friends. I always say I’d rather take one friend who knows me like a book and I can relate to, over 10 friends who I have no substantial connection with.
Throughout my life, I’ve been blessed with many beautiful friendships. Some have served my life for only a period of time and some have withstood the test of time and many years. I’m sure we all have friends whom we’ve lost touch with but it’s almost a given that if we ran into them on the street, it’d be as if nothing ever changed. You can almost pick up right where you left off and laugh at that crazy memory from childhood. That’s the tell tale sign of a good friendship.
Unfortunately, time and personal growth often separate us from people we thought we’d be friends with forever but if you’re lucky like me, you’ve held on to a good few seeds that were planted during a specific season of your life.
For me, that time was during college. As an 18 year old, I’d grappled with the idea of leaving home. Living on my own, away from my friends and even more importantly, my family. To many kids, this is a dream but for me..I’d leave behind a lot to be missed and was used to the comfort of my home, my mom’s cooking and cleanliness and my routine of being a working student. I didn’t want to give up my part-time job at the time and figured if I’d be doling out thousands on school, I might as well focus on..school. If any of you know me, you know that wouldn’t have happened had I gone away. (lol)
My original plan was to ship off to Manhattan College which wasn’t far from home and still gave me a taste of NYC, the place I adore. However, after my orientation at the campus I knew in my heart and felt it was best that I continued my studies at a school on Long Island. Although I wasn’t 100% thrilled with my decision, I knew I’d be better for it in the long run.
The cons of my decision began to overwhelm me. I knew that going to St. Joseph’s, which is a private college, was going to be vastly different from going to any away school. As a commuter school, it’s even that much harder to make friends, to get involved and dare I say it, to have fun. I knew that anything I gained from this place was entirely going to be from what I put into it. I began to fear that I wouldn’t have that college experience or meet those friends that would last forever like I’d seen so many people model before me.
Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I made my college experience what it was by getting involved in as much as I could and even rushing a sorority (which was so against my nature). I figured that if I was going to finish out my four years at a commuter school, I was going to delve into as much as I could and take advantage of the opportunities presented to me.
Had I not put myself out there, gone to any of those rush events or completed a long process that at times made me question my sanity, I wouldn’t be standing here 6 years later with 3 of my absolute best friends. Although I didn’t quite know it at 19, I gained 3 sisters that I’d carry with me into adulthood and experience some of the funniest and worst of times with.
It wasn’t always just us..we’re just the ones that seemed to click and have stuck together through this journey, despite its trials.
In today’s day and age, it’s extremely difficult to find likeminded people..women especially, who were raised similarly and who hold similar values and beliefs that you do. Don’t get me wrong, we all don’t agree on everything and have had our share of sibling-like arguments..but we have a common understanding of what life means to us and where we want it to take us. We hold respect high and loyalty higher. Each of my friends is hard-working and have the biggest hearts. Also…they support me and all my crazy endeavors and it doesn’t get much better than that! It’s as if God made us all stay home for college to realize we were bound to find each other. I have traveled near and far with my 3 best friends and am now a bridesmaid twice over for 2 of them and know that the favor will be kindly returned when my time comes.
They’re not just friends I grab drinks with and post cool Instagram photos of..they’re the sisters I never had. The girls I wear no makeup in front of and dance in the kitchen with. The ones I belt Cher with and can successfully harmonize with to every 90’s pop song…(we’re really good might I add, I’m not kidding!) and the ones that have seen me cry when I’m feeling overwhelmed by life..only to make me laugh in the midst of it all. I know their stories, fears and dreams just as they know mine.
*Random fun-fact: all three of us are 1 of 3 siblings..Genna and Alexa are the oldest, Rachel and I are the middle children!* (a little weird)
Alexa, Rachel, Genna…this one’s for you. I hope you don’t mind the pics I chose or the fact that these may sound like bad dating bios…but everyone should know how blessed I am by you 3!
My first interaction with Rachel was actually during an interview process we had for the sorority…I came out of mine shaking with nerves and almost near tears for no reason at all and Rachel calmly sat there waiting for her turn but consoled me like she’d known me forever! We look back now and laugh. I’ve never met someone who shares my love for music and singing as much as this girl does. From the very beginning, we gushed over our similar music taste and she’s the only person that knows every lyric as well as I do! We can turn anything and everything into a song and we’ll start harmonizing at the most inappropriate times. Rachel’s outer beauty matches her inner..she has the kindest, most sensitive heart but if you disrespect her (or any of her friends/family for that matter), I suggest you find the nearest exit. You don’t want to watch her in action. Rachel has always been a support to me and we’ve had some of the deepest conversations early on in our friendship, simply because we connected in that way. In her down time, Rachel can be found decorating her new house (major Chip and Joanna vibes) and she’s getting married to the love of her life in August (I was there when they met!)…we all have the pleasure of standing beside her on her special day. Lover of all things purple, her two fur babies and Winnie the Pooh, she’s going to make the best teacher come September! (fun-fact part 2…all 3 of my best friends are teachers, I took the business route!)
Truth be told, this girl wanted no part of me when she first saw me. In fact, if you ask her she’ll say she didn’t like me. I specifically remember wanting to talk to her but the facial expression she made towards me made me rethink that decision pretty quickly. My friendship with Genna quickly took off as soon as we had our first conversation and she realized I wasn’t who she thought I was…since that day, I’m pretty sure we’ve spent every day together for the last 6 years! From Boston to Canada, Nashville to the Carolinas and pretty soon Italy, we’ve picked up and flown the coop more times than we can count. Made memories that I will take with me for the rest of my life. She’s the sweet to my spicy and the quiet and calm to my loud, neurotic self. Genna is my built in boyfriend and everyone who knows us knows we come as a package..often I’m asked “Where’s Genna?” “Is Genna coming?” Like I mentioned before with Rachel, there was also that immediate connection with Genna as well. We were raised very similarly, have the same viewpoints on many things and find humor in absolutely everything. We’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst and Genna has never failed to be my shoulder to cry on or the person cheering me on behind the scenes. This is someone who hustled throughout college; student teaching, volunteering and working a million hysterical side jobs to make extra cash and has finally landed her dream job of becoming a teacher in the Fall! Genn, you inspire me more than you know!
Alexa and I first bonded over something we hold very true in our friendship…dancing. lol! At the start of our sorority journey, we had to participate in a talent show and low and behold, I was placed right next to Alexa in line. Lex was a dancer in high school and I was a cheerleader so that in itself created an immediate connection between us, especially transitioning to college having to leave behind our beloved pastimes. We spent those next few months rehearsing and laughing non stop (her laugh makes me laugh)…some of our funniest memories and inside jokes come from those practices. I realized the kind of person Alexa was right away…the sweetest you could ever meet! She brings a sense of calm to any room she walks into and I know she’ll use it to her advantage when she has a classroom of her own pretty soon. It’s very rare to catch this girl in a bad mood but if on the off chance you do, it’s nothing a little matcha tea can’t fix. Alexa and I will dance absolutely everywhere we go. The raunchiest of rap songs will elicit a pirouette and ballet ensemble on the dance floor. Sometimes we draw onlookers. Sometimes we receive the stink eye from strangers. If I’m thinking something, all I have to do is flash her a look and she’ll understand what’s on my mind in a minute’s time. I’m beyond excited to have the pleasure of being a bridesmaid in Alexa’s big fat Greek/Italian wedding next year..she’s marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Connecticut this summer! I’m going to miss her but I know nothing between us will change and she’ll still offer that calm, collected response to any problem I tell her about.
Each of these girls has had a positive impact on my life and who I strive to be..simply by being who they are. They are ferociously hard workers, good friends and even better daughters and sisters.
It’s true that the company you keep is essentially what and who you become. Make this decision wisely and purposefully.
I thank my lucky stars every day that God lead me to them, despite what I had originally planned for myself..he blessed me more than I could imagine. I know that each of them will continue to prosper in their own lives, while still being a part of mine.
Lex, Rach, Genn…cheers to many more milestones and memories made. To backyard BBQ’s and our kids being fuzzin’s! I wish everyone could experience what we have!
Go out and appreciate the good friends turned family that God brought you…and if you’re still waiting, some great ones are on the horizon for you. I just know it.
Do you have your own Alexa, Rachel or Genna? I want to hear all about them!