Last night, as I lay awake in bed at 4:45, I did what any normal human that can’t sleep does and turned on Friends. Not sleeping is pretty normal for me. A lot goes through my head as soon as it hits the pillow, maybe it’s because my brain is so big that it needs a lot of time to process things, or maybe it’s because at the exact moment the side of my face grazes the pillow, everything wrong I’ve ever done comes back haunt me. The memory of calling my first grade teacher “mom” comes rushing in and I can feel the embarrassment all over again. And aside from not being able to sleep, I also don’t enjoy it. I think I could be using that time for much wiser things, like for finding the cure for cancer, or for reading books about history, or for eating.
Back to Friends. It was the episode called “The One with the Ride-Along” where Joey, Chandler and Ross go on a ride-along with Phoebe’s cop boyfriend. They hear a gunshot-like noise (it’s actually a car backfiring), and Joey jumps to protect Ross. Chandler gets all upset because he wonders why Joey protected Ross instead of him. But really, Joey didn’t jump to protect Ross, he jumped to protect, wait for it, his sandwich. Literally, so relatable. So, I got to thinking (I sound like Carrie Bradshaw), I have so many people that I would jump for knowing that they would do the same for me.
This past week was one of reunion, as it has always been. Everyone comes home for Thanksgiving, and it almost feels like we’re back in high school. I pulled myself together the day after chemo last week and had my friends over for a pregame before they were off to the bar. I felt good last week, but not go to the bar good. Plus, I’m not really drinking much these days and what’s the fun in being the only sober one in a 50 mile radius of the bar? There is none. I am truly, truly, #blessed with the friends that I have. From home, from school, from both. New friends and old friends. Near and far. People I have shared memories with in Westfield, Delaware, Chambers St., Africa, the DR, and how can we forget, Grotto’s. People who know to call my mom Wendy, even though that’s not her name and we don’t know why we call her that. People who know how much Stuart Little annoys me. People who accept, but also question, me for not liking cheese. People who know not to ask me how I’m feeling every day because I’m doing just fine, most of the time. People who have shared ups and downs.
There are strangers who have become people I can turn to, people who have been through similar experiences. And even though I can’t totally say I am thankful for this little bump in the road, I can say I am thankful for the friends I have made as a result of it. Strong, generous, good-hearted people. People who have performed small, but overwhelmingly significant, acts of kindness. People who have shown that they don’t need to know you for long to understand you.
There are the friends that you haven’t seen in awhile, but when you do, everything just falls back into place. Like no time has passed. Like life hasn’t changed. And it kind of gives you a sense of comfort.
There are the friends you have on Instagram that you may not be close with, but they always throw you a like. It’s like there’s an unwritten contract between you that says to be loyal to each other. Like 4 a like.
There are the friends of the past, who have impacted your life in one way or another.
And there are your best friends. The ones who are always there. The ones who get you like no other. The ones you may know a littleeee too much about. The ones who have seen you at your best, but have been the most helpful at your worst. The ones who you talk to in a group chat every day. The ones who you may not exactly talk to every day, but something always reminds you of them. The ones who I don’t need to give a little brief about when I mention them to my mom because she knows who they are. The ones that you send ugly, and I mean ugly, snapchats to. The ones who don’t know how much they can brighten my day. The ones who joke that they would jump to save the sandwich, but you know damn well that they’d jump for you.
After a couple weeks of feeling like a different person, it was my friends who helped me feel like me again. Last week was a good week. A week where chemo didn’t take over my life. A week where I wasn’t confined to my bedroom. It was a week filled with seeing friends, a week where I got to eat two plates of Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers the next day, a week that will motivate me to get through the next round of chemo.
So shoutout to all my franz, hunnies, amigos, penpals, friends who are like family, family who are like friends and people on social media. Because you keep me young.
I was going to make a little slide show of alllll my pals, but I had a better idea. Here’s a pic of me and an emoji head. If you’re my friend, or would like to be, just imagine your face here instead of the emoji. Look at how much fun we’re having. Ta-da!