Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day #34 & #35: you have my heart, you are my heart

I have been listening to Liz Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" lately. In fact, I listened to it in its entirety on my trip to South Carolina. It's amazing how reflective you can become when you are alone for 8 hours with nothing but your thoughts. In many ways, Ms. Gilbert's story speaks volumes to me. I can really relate to this woman...searching for spirituality, heartbreak after heartbreak, and stumbling upon true love (I'm still waiting for that part :) ). She talks a great deal about God and love, and loving yourself and loving those around you. After my weekend with one of my dearest and best friends, having a chance to see my brother and sister in law, and deep personal reflection, courtesy of a road trip, accompanied by the wise words of Liz Gilbert, I have come to the conclusion that it is my family and my friends who have my heart, and are my heart.

I wish I was better about telling people how I really feel about them. It seems so much easier to compliment a perfect stranger than to tell your sibling or closest friend that you love them. Isn't it also strange that we seem to hurt the ones we love the most, and reserve our sweet tendencies for those that are certainly not deserving. I've decided I want to stop this less than stellar trend, and let all of the people in my life know how special you are to me, and how complete my life is because of your love and friendship.

First of all, I have the most remarkable family. I have a mother and father who left behind the only lives that they knew in distant lands, and came to this country searching for a better life for themselves and for their children. They instilled in me a sense of duty, honor, respect, and most importantly a deep and profound love of family. I have two of the best siblings a girl could ever imagine. A brother with a sweet and gentle demeanor, who has taken on and accepted the role of protector and male role model after the loss of our father. He has done so with grace and dignity, and I know for certain he is making our father proud. To my sister who is strong and able, yet kind and gentle in her own way. She is my role model because of her endless devotion to causes she is passionate about and because she lives life with such conviction. I am so thankful for my dear cousin Karen, who I have finally had the chance to get close to over these many years. She is one of the loveliest human beings I know. And to my brother in law and sister in law...I couldn't have asked for or picked better people to be my siblings' partners. You are the other brother and sister I have always wanted.

To my friends, you are my chosen family, and I love you. My dearest and best friend Heather, you are my sister, and I cherish our friendship. You are a friend, a guide, and always there for me. To my other dear friend Amy...I feel like in many ways we are kindred spirits and most importantly travel buddies...you have held me up during some of the lowest points in my life, and are always there for me when I need someone to talk me out of doing something stupid. To my dearest friend Missy, who is such an inspiration to me. I see what you have accomplished, and what a wonderful mother and human being you are. You leave me in awe. To Margo, I am so honored to call you a friend and travel companion. You have taught me to be strong and independent, and follow your heart. To Kristen Z for being my friend since childhood, and despite difficulty, for standing by my side when I needed you. To Kristen A, we have bonded over an event so painful, that somehow, I feel like you are one of the few people on the planet that understands my pain, because you have also experienced it. To Ilana, for your sweetness and kindness. You are the kindest person I know. To Nick M. for being my big brother, and for being my foundation when I felt like I was going to fall. To Kate, one of the most amazing people I know. I'm so glad that not only can my sister call you a friend, but so can I. To Sara, you are remarkable, and are one of the purest and most sincere people I know. I feel lucky to call you a friend. To Chad and Oscar for just being fabulous. I love you guys! To my work friends, you make it a pleasure to go to work everyday. And to anyone I may not have mentioned...you are all so special to me. And of course, my sweet furry children Kate and Casey. You are my babies :)

So, thank you all for being a a part of my life. You are my happiness and my joy. Aristotle wrote that “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” My existence is that much fuller and that much full of purpose because I know each and everyone of you. I want you each to know how much you mean to me and how much I love you. I am indeed, the luckiest girl in the world.

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