I haven’t written a love letter since my one year anniversary with a high school boyfriend who preferred to be addressed as a mythical animal. When I think of the earnestly affectionate and altogether gag-worthy notes of relationships past, I’m tempted to put my pen down. But today I’m not writing to my first love; I’m writing to my true loves. They are the people who fill my life with generous joy, howls of laughter, and endless wine soaked wisdom. They are the women whom I am fatefully growing up beside, and the friends I call when life is questioning me. They are the girlfriends I text when I trip in front of cute boys, when my makeup is really flawless that day, when I witness a hilarious moment, when the art piece in the bathroom of my favorite coffee house reminds of their taste, and when I really need some love from the ladies who know me best. If I can write a love letter to my senior prom date, I can most definitely write one for the women whose friendship surpasses the boundaries of breakups.
I challenge you to get the words moving, to think of the people who make your life richer, and to say the things that are important to you whenever you remember them, not just in birthday instas.
Dear Jennie, Remember the road trip to Charleston when we took 400 selfies that no one will ever see in 14 hours? Me either. I love you. I love your resolve. I love how in our lives we are always changing and in our friendship, we are always the same.
Dear Tori, Thank you for being just as bad at composting as I am. I couldn’t live with anyone who didn’t get just as angry at the world’s injustices and drink four cups of coffee a day. I love you and your angel hair pasta havin self, forever and ever.
Dear Jaime, Someday I hope someone loves me as much as you love food. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our years solving the world’s problems over our favorite meals. I’ll see you at the beach. Also, thank you for teaching me another love that lasts forever…the love of mozzarella.
Dear Hannah, Thank you for being friends with me after I followed you around the first weekend of college, I think it worked out well. If I’ve ever had a woe cross my heart without telling you, or without your kind words making me feel considerably better, I can’t remember it. I love you (and your weird ass dinosaur hands).
Dear Kelsy, I may have thought you were bat shit crazy during our first week in the dorms together, but that’s irrelevant now (even though I was right). Without you in my life, I’d have a lot less fun, that I know for sure. Stay safe this summer and play Roxanne in my honor. I love you, your loyalty, and your ability to laugh at anything, especially yourself.
Dear Anna, I hope someday you understand why I can’t be at home to see you grow up, and that one day you move a thousand miles away and learn all the wonderful things that I did about life in new places. You teach me more with your bravery and compassion than I ever could as your big sister. I’ll be seeing you soon, I love you more, and STOP GROWING.
Written by Mara Strobel-Lanka.