I’m snarky. I am competitive. At times I can be downright cut-throat. I am slightly neurotic. I am messy. I am a germ freak. I know myself well enough to acknowledge and accept that I possess some less than attractive qualities. I am a lot of things. I have been described as a lot of things. But I have never been called the B-word. Oh, not that one…I have definitely been called that one a time or two. The word I am referring to is “bitter.”
I sat on a bench outside of the school, and I heard “bitter, bitter, bitter.” I heard it on repeat over the phone. This is someone I admire and respect. Her words echoed hours after we hung up the phone. I can’t let it go. Is she right? Am I? I don’t think that I am, but who in their right mind would believe that they are? But, she is intelligent and successful and kind. She wouldn’t say this to me unless there was some truth to it.
I spent the entirety of a week analyzing my behaviors over the course of these chaotic divorce, single mom years. At the end of that week, I decided that maybe she was right…to a degree at least. So, I begin this “letter”:
Thank you to my friend who had the guts to call me out on my bullshit. Thank you for bringing to light how truly fortunate I am. Thank you for making me realize how ridiculous I can occasionally be and how lucky I am to have the people I have in my life. My friends and my family have been more supportive than I could ever ask for.
My mom sends me surprise packages of makeup and chocolate, any little thing to cheer me up and brighten my day. My sister never fails to bring along her homemade goodies and a bottle or two of our favorite wine. My brother has supported me financially way more than any sibling should have to (although I did teach him to read and tie his shoes, which are priceless!). My dad, in the midst of all he has happening in his own life, calls me frequently to check on us…to see if I have eaten dinner, to remind me to sleep, etc. My GG, the most glamorous woman I have ever known, will come to my rescue at the drop of her wide-brimmed hat.
My best friend in the universe continually lights candles for me at church even when I scream at her that God isn’t listening to me. My best guy friend is the one who talks me down every time I have a court date to face or something that seems insurmountable; he always reminds me of who I am and my strength. My coworkers listen, laugh, and care. My friends, near and far, will still answer my 5 p.m. phone calls. I appreciate my friends who have been there since the beginning of the end, and the ones I met somewhere in between. The friends who send me funny memes, the ones who distract me with happy hours and dancing, the ones who love me through it all. And, of course, the friends who have wiped my tears and filled my cup, encouraged me, distracted me, loved me.
I thank you and you and you and you and you; I don’t know what I did to deserve all of you, but I am eternally grateful. Even if I don’t say it, I love you and I appreciate you and you know who you are. Thank you for all of the sweetness you pour into my heart even when I am being the B-word.