I just went back and looked at past blog posts - Amanda, this is the third birthday blog post I've written to you (2011 & 2012). That means I have kept up this blog for two years, going on three! ME! Who was doubtful and said to you on that night when I opened the blog that it probably won't last more than a month. Look at me now! Thank you.
Today is my friend Amanda's 24th birthday! While looking back and re-reading the past blog posts I've written to her on her birthday I felt mixtures of nostalgia, joy, and thankfulness: Nostalgia for the moments we have shared together, joy for the memories we have created, and thankfulness for the friendship we have created. Amanda has taught me a lot over time. She has helped me to grow and taught me what a solid and honest friendship should be. She has also inspired me to be a bigger person and to do great things.
This past year was the first time in our friendship where we lived apart from each other. And not just in different cities. We lived on different sides of the world: me in Calgary, Alberta and her in Beijing, China. I've seen many friendships diminish with distance. But when you put two people together who cherish a friend, a relationship that means you have someone to lean on and confide in, someone that listens to you in times of happiness, sadness, and darkness, a person who picks you up when you are down - that's a friendship that lasts through thick and thin, near and far.
Amanda, as you begin your 24th year, I want to reflect on what this past year has meant to me and our frienship.
Firstly, you inspired me this past year. I remember upon arriving back in Calgary from my Christmas vacation at home, I FaceTimed with you at an ungodly hour in the morning and talked through with you where my head was at with my career and the future. I saw how successful and happy you were with your adventure in China and I wanted that for myself. You inspired me to capture the moment, to take it all in while I have the time, and to just jump!
You should also know that you taught me honesty this past year. To be honest with myself and to be honest with others. Though we didn't get to FaceTime or Skype as often as we both would have liked while you lived in Beijing and I in Calgary, when we did I often left our conversations feeling motivated and rejuvenated. You listened to my woes and you reminded me to just be true. With friends, with romantic relationships, and with family. You got me through some hard times, and for that I am thankful.
Distance doesn't have to change everything. I am so happy that we had this past year to grow our friendship. If nothing else, this past year has taught me that we will be friends forever (as cliche as it sounds). You play an important part in my life, and though I may not always show my appreciation as clearly as I would want, you should always know that I love you and who you are. You don't ever need to change. Just keep on being you! I only hope that I have impacted you in a small way the same way as you have impacted me in such a big way. Honestly.
Happy Birthday, Amanda!
Love, always and forever.