Throughout the course of the summer, I finally wrote back to a fourth-grade teacher who sent a card to me after my high school graduation. I never got a chance to respond until a year later. During my time at home, I had more time on my hands than ever. This time, I really wanted to acknowledge a friend who has been there for me and has helped me realize that it is okay to open up.
Dear friend who has been there for me,
I could repeat myself over and over again when I say this has not been an easy semester. Mental health becomes a bigger priority than ever. Some of us have faced burnouts for a few months. Otherwise, we have finals coming up, and that means all these assignments are due. However, I could not have made it through this semester or this year without the help of my friends.
More than ever, I have been grateful to have so many friends who will be there for me. I know that is part of what it means to have friends. Friends are one of your biggest supporters. They are the people who you know you can rely on. It is interesting how while the pandemic has pulled us away from people, it also brought some of us closer. I made better connections because this pandemic has brought some of us some loneliness.
It has been amazing to see growth in some of my friendships. In a healthy friendship, there is trust, and there are boundaries that are properly communicated. As someone who prefers to have my own time, I find that direct check-ins can feel a little intrusive. Therefore, it helps when people are able to respect it and allow me to have space before I can approach anyone else again. I have a friend who has recognized this from me and has fully respected it. Also, checking in on people does not always have to be direct. Some people approach it in subtle ways. I have friends who just start conversations with me, and maybe they do not realize this is a way to check in on someone, but it opens up the opportunity for me to speak about something if needed.
I have a friend who has been going out of her way to make sure I am okay. It is the sweetest thing that anybody could do. She has offered to let me come over to rant, and she has made sure on numerous occasions that I am hydrated or have a box of tissues. I think it is so hard to check in on others if you have not had the time to check in on yourself. It is a nice thing to do for someone, and I hope that the people who are always caring for their friends also care for themselves. It is a weird time, but it is amazing when you have a friend who you can trust to rely on.
So, as a reminder, I think this is an easy time to find oneself a little isolated. If anything, take the time to check in on your friends. I am sure happy that I have people who care so much for me and most likely for others. And if you are one of those friends, I hope you take this moment to breathe, take a drink of water, nap, watch a film or show, or anything to take care of your mental health too.
With much love,
Your appreciative friend