To My Friends:
Some of you I've known a really long time; others, it's only been a few short months. Some of you have seen me at my absolute worst; others, you've only experienced Shiny Happy Katie. Some of you know all my deep dark secrets; others, you only know what I've chosen to share. However, no matter which group you fall into, I want to thank you for simply being my friend.
I realize that I tend to go through these rough patches that result in me completing shutting out the rest of the world, alienating those who could help me the most. I become withdrawn and seemingly indifferent to any attempts to rouse me from my catatonic-like stupor. I can usually pull myself out of the rut, no problem - I just need a couple of days to figure things out and re-prioritize my life. And I recognize that if I would only let someone help me, I could probably avoid the rough patch all together. But since when have I ever done anything the easy way? It's much more fun to make things as difficult as possible; and believe me, I'm a champ at making things difficult and complicated.
So, although I go through these periods of withdrawal from the world and especially from y'all, my dear friends, I want to thank you for still being there when I finally decide to rejoin the land of the living. Thank you for your patience and persistence. For your phone calls and voicemails and text messages. For your encouraging emails. For stopping by unexpectedly (even though sometimes I don't hear the doorbell, and while it may seem like I'm ignoring you, I promise I'm not!). For your invitations to dinner and late-night movies. For sharing your talents with me. For including me in your adventures and explorations.
Sometimes I have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to be friends with me. And I say that not to solicit comments to the contrary, because I think everyone struggles with this at one time or another in their life. When I look at others, it is very easy for me to recognize their talents and their strengths and their unique qualities that make it obvious (to me, at least) why someone would want to be friends with them - they are so conspicuously cool that it just makes sense that people would naturally gravitate to them and be their friends. But when I look at myself (and again, I think this is true for many people), it is harder to recognize my own talents and strengths and unique qualities. It's no wonder, then, that I am sometimes amazed that others actually enjoy my company. But I guess that's the beautiful part - they see in me what I see in them. Together, as friends, we make up for each other's lack of perspective and vision.
Again, I'm not saying any of this so someone will validate my existence. I am simply trying to describe the indescribable feelings of gratitude that I have for the people in my life that help me recognize my own self-worth. Trying to express my gratitude for their continual support and love. For their patience and persistence. For accepting me as I am, rough patches and all.
So, no matter how long I've known you, no matter what distance separates us: Thank you, Friend, for being my friend.