Something to Smile About

Four days into our rekindled romance, WordPress has issued a challenge. The challenge for 2011 is to post to your blog every day. Now, while this seems an achievable feat now, while I’m on break and have little else to do besides clean out my closet, browse for delicious cookie recipes to try, and watch every movie on those movie channels way up in the 1800’s, it really won’t be realistic in a couple of weeks when I’m back at school.

With this in mind, I’m going to accept the second, slightly less intimidating challenge of writing a post a week. I figure between classes, homework, dance team practice, a job (hopefully) and sleeping (also, hopefully)…a post a week is a reasonable goal.

WordPress is offering support in the form of a daily blog which should provide some inspiration. Today’s topic? Write a post about something that makes you smile.

Now, I’m a rather smiley person as it is. I’ve had a lot to smile about in my life, which I’m very grateful for…but I’m going to choose one thing to write about that especially makes me smile.

For the entire fall semester, my four best girl friends from school were split up around the globe.

Alley in Galway, Ireland

Laurie at the Capital in DC

Katherine in Florence, Italy

Shannon holding down the fort at school in MA

Me in the Big Apple

We wrote to each other nearly every day during our time apart, sharing stories, adventures, high points, and low points. These girls were my moral support through adjusting to city life and they were my cheering squad when I reached my goals.

We managed, between five different schedules in three different time zones, to schedule two web cam dates where we were able to chat for about an hour and actually see each other instead of writing back and forth on Facebook.

These two dates were the highlights of their respective weekends. Amid all the chaos of the city and the immense changes going on around me, Alley, Laurie, Katherine and Shannon were a constant. I knew I could count on them to keep me grounded through everything. I loved sharing my experiences with them and I eagerly checked my messages waiting to hear news from them.

Katherine would write about her love of Italy, the food, the people, the state of mind. Alley would talk of the amazing landscapes of Ireland and of her classes she was taking in Galway. Laurie would make us laugh telling us about her internship in DC, and Shannon would tell stories about the internship she had with her Professor and everything she was learning from it.

After months of being apart, we planned to finally be reunited on December 18th…the day Alley and Katherine’s flights came in and also the day of Shannon’s 21st birthday.

December 17th, Florence and Galway were hit with tremendous blizzards. I mean tremendous for over there, which was like, 6 inches.

Alley woke on December 18th to find that the snow had subsided just in time for her flight to leave on time, and would later hear that the storm began again the following day after she was safely home.

Katherine trudged through the storm at 3am to the train station in Florence with all her luggage to miraculously catch the only train that hadn’t been canceled; a train to Rome where her connecting flight to Boston would take off.

Against all odds, Alley, Laurie, Katherine and I were waiting in Shannon’s suite when she returned from dinner with her suite-mates. We stood waiting in the alcove of her hallway, Laurie holding a birthday cake, all of us trying to be quiet as we watched each of her suite-mates walk past us down the hall.

Shhh!

They each glanced excitedly in our direction, but pretended not to see us until Shannon passed us. When she caught sight of us we all screamed, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and within seconds had dissolved into tears amid a many-armed hug.

SURPRISE!

 

Together at last!

That weekend was full of reunions as many of our friends who had been abroad had also returned and most of us hadn’t seen our friends at school for weeks if not months.

Each of us lived so much in the past four months. We had experiences that have shaped us forever and that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Even though we were separated by state lines and even oceans, our friendship had not changed while we were gone.

I am so thankful for everyone in my life. My friends, my family, my boyfriend…they all mean more to me than I can express. I believe every person in your life is there for a reason. Whether they are only a part of your life for a day, a year, or a lifetime, everyone we meet teaches us something about ourselves. Alley, Laurie, Katherine, and Shannon, you have not only taught me about myself, you’ve taught me how to be myself…and that’s something to smile about 🙂

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About MMM

Resolving to write in 2011!
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9 Responses to Something to Smile About

  1. Alley says:

    You make me smile too 🙂 What a fabulous post! Thanks for teaching me so much about myself!

  2. Paul says:

    Wow! What a wonderful story. Not only do you write well you convey emotion and “connection” with others on a personal level that takes the reader right to the feelings. Very special. I’m glad that “family” made it into the “smile” blog. Each day when I think of YOU no matter what the day brings, or the challenges I face, I SMILE: I am grateful for the joy you bring each day into my life. Dad

  3. cupidsbow says:

    I just chanced across your blog because I’m also doing the postaweek challenge. I just thought I’d say how much I love your photo of your friend’s surprised face! That’s a look that just can’t be faked, I love it! I also spent some time abroad, studying, last year, so I know how it feels to be separated from your best friends, and how good it feels when you are all back together again!

  4. julie montinieri says:

    Love this post! It made me cry! Picture of Shannon is priceless (and the group hug afterward).

  5. Katherine says:

    thanks for making me cry mere. what a good way to immortalize our friendship. love ya.

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