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There are many ways that I have thought about starting this. Many of them are cheesy and goofy––but none of them really captured what I wanted to say. So, I thought that I would keep it simple: thank you.

Thank you to the best friend that this article is written about. Because of her, I am able to have enough confidence to actually vocalize my appreciation for everyone else to see. Funny enough, even though I love to write, I have not always been great at expressing my feelings through words. They never really made it past the first threshold of my brain, never really became real words that others could hear. That all changed when she and I became friends. She challenged me to express myself, which was a terrifying, first-time experience for someone who struggled to do it their entire life. That is why I have decided to give her the thank you that she deserves now that I am able to. 

Thank you for creating a home that I can run away to when I have nowhere else to go. You have always welcomed me with open arms and usually a, “are you hungry?” You rarely ask why I need to come over until I have already leaped into your bed and grabbed the closest stuffed animal. You then rarely interrupt as I go into a full-fledged rant about the most dramatic reenactment of any minor inconvenience that has led me to your doorstep (you never fail to take it as seriously as I do, though). You understand my need to vent and even though you are mild-tempered compared to me, you never stop me from being able to express myself. This endless support has impacted me in such a positive way. You make me feel safe and you have always given me the room to voice my own opinions (even when they are incredibly wrong). Because of this, I am now able to do it with others. 

I notice how you have changed me in the little things that I do every day. I notice your impact on the way that I carry myself. I notice it in the fact that I vocalize my boundaries now with others. When I did this the first time, I will never forget the, “I’m so proud of you” that came from you––it encouraged me to do it three more times that month. I notice it in the fact that I’m not afraid to be myself, because you have always told me that that was enough for anyone. I notice it in the way that I have shown you some of my darkest sides and you continue to see the light in me. You have never once judged me for anything, and you continuously surprise me by how easily you can understand me without me having to say a word. I always felt that I was too complicated for others to understand, but you make it look incredibly easy. Every time I feel that I did not convey myself well enough, you turn around and say, “I have a Maddie translator, it’s fine.” That Maddie translator has saved us so many times that I have lost count. 

Thank you, for teaching me that hugs are sometimes needed. You are the first friend that I hugged willingly. I have never been one for physical touch among friends, and I have never minded keeping my distance. But when I am with you, you help me to bring down my walls to the point that I find myself reaching to hug you before you even have to initiate it. I remember the first time that I hugged you without you having to ask. You were so incredibly happy and I’m pretty sure it was the smallest, quickest side hug that you have ever received. But you knew how important that first small step was for me (I have really upped my hugging game since then).   

Thank you for teaching me that I am more than enough. You have shown me that you are lucky to have me, that I am a positive impact on your life. You have shown me that I am valuable to the ones around me, and I cannot thank you enough for what that has done for me. You show me every day that your life would not be the same without me and that people notice my presence and my absence.You are an amazing human being and I wish more people were lucky enough to have you in their life. You are selfless, kind, understanding, and incredibly funny (even if you don’t think so). I am so happy to have you in my life, and even though I can never say it enough, I will say it one more time so that it doesn’t become too redundant: thank you. Thank you for solely being yourself, because that person has forever changed me.

Hello! My name is Maddie and I am currently a junior at Winona State University. I am majoring in Communication Arts and Literature Teaching in hopes that one day I can help other students to enjoy reading just as much as I do. When I am not working towards that, you can find me with friends, reading, writing, or binge-watching my favorite shows and movies.
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