Hi. I've been gone for a while. Have you noticed?
A lot has been going on with me. I can't go into it right now. Suffice it to say that I have been struggling a lot with depression, and things which would be distressing even without depression have exacerbated it. I simply have not had the energy or focus that I would like to devote to writing.
There are sustaining forces, thankfully. I want to tell you about one of them. Really, I should have mentioned her long before now. It always feels personal writing about someone I know, and it can be hard to get the words out. I'll do my best to tell you about Julie.
This is Julie. Well, one of them is. They aren't both Julie. The other person is Savanna, about whom I will tell you another time.
But seriously, guys, Julie is AMAZING. I am an introvert by nature, and shy about asking people to hang out. I haven't always been that way. Years of unpleasant happenings and various rejections drilled that into my psyche. So if I seem unfriendly, or I don't ask you over, or I say we should hang out and yet I never make plans--it's because I am terrified, TERRIFIED of rejection.
Somehow Julie understands this. She texts me, "Hey, what are you doing this weekend? Let's hang out." And of course I want to, because she's completely awesome, and lots of fun. I just find it really, really difficult to extend the invitation myself.
See, here's the thing. I think that EVERYONE is much too cool to want to hang out with someone like me. Logically, I know that's not true. Logic doesn't play well with feelings. It took years of Julie's persistence (I've known her since 2004!) for me to finally accept that maybe I'm not a pity case. Maybe she actually does enjoy my company.
Quite apart from the much-needed self-esteem boost, she just does wonderful things. When she moved to North Dakota, she gathered together a box of the most wonderful, random, exciting things and mailed it to me. Such a lovely surprise! Tea, chocolate, honey, and lots of fun toys. Most of the cool mugs I use are from her, and I think of her every time I have my morning coffee or tea.
I can talk to Julie about what's going on in my life, without fear of judgment. She dotes on my children, and they adore her. I've been seriously depressed for some time, and last week she showed up with a bag full of good things, including an autographed CD.
Looking over what I've written, I realize that I still haven't managed to capture the essence of Julie. She is goodness, she is hope, she is light in a dark world. She is kindness personified, and she shares her journey toward personal betterment, which in turn inspires me to be a better person. I can't believe how lucky I am to call her my friend.