Lessons in Friendship

Friendship has never been a simple topic for me. In my adolescent years it couldn’t have been more confusing.  As much as I yearned to be an average girl or even an average kid for my age, I never was.  I was spinning within the confines of my mind trying to make sense of the world around me.

Luckily, my parents were wonderful.  Extremely open-minded and kind, they allowed me to experience the world in her best shades.  They never pressured me to be anything but happy. They encouraged me to think independently.  My opinion was nearly always asked. It was always considered and their decision explained.  I rarely felt slighted or undervalued. I felt loved.

Having such a solid family foundation, it was difficult to relate to children who were mostly judgmental, spoke frivolously and were extremely concerned with impressing others.  Eventually I caved and began to fit the mold.  I had grown tired of standing out and not having close friends.  I made the effort to make friends, and it worked.  I listened to how they spoke, how they acted, dressed and I emulated them.  I faked it until it became my reality.  The real me was always there, but with a pretty little facade I had so carefully crafted to cover my true identity.

For most of my preteen, teenage and young adulthood I shied away from sharing my deepest thoughts.  I only allowed a select few to hear the inner ramblings of my untamed soul and shadows of my mind. Everyone else was happy to know the filtered me.  The one presented to them on a platter of trained responses and stifled thoughts.

Eventually I grew tired and began to speak my truth – to gradually show my many shades to the large group of friends I had obtained.  I distanced myself from the ones that were inhibiting my growth and shared myself more with the ones I had always connected more deeply with.  Surprisingly, my thoughts were welcomed with open arms.  Well, not always, but the majority of the time.  Being the most honest and pure form of myself has brought me such great joy and an amazing sense of connectedness to the people with whom I have chosen to share myself with.

I now find friends everywhere I go. What, may you ask, do I consider a friend?  Someone who is honest.  Someone who tells you how they feel.  Offers an ear to bend, a shoulder to lean on and advice when asked.  Someone who helps you because they want to see you succeed, not because they will benefit from it. Someone who accepts you and loves you for your unique and quirky self. I offer this freely now.  Those that appreciate and reciprocate are like family to me.  I have so many amazing friends and the list is growing.  They fill my heart, enrich my soul and hold my hand from miles away.

I am so thankful for the friends in my life – family included.  The honesty we share binds us.  While it is sometimes a struggle and I fear for the response to my honesty, it really is best.  When it comes from a pure place of love and compassion, the receiver will know it.  Being vulnerable is where it’s at!  Vulnerability is not a weakness – it’s a strength.

Thank you to all my compassionate, thoughtful, passionate and vulnerable friends.  You make my days brighter. I love you.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

So here it goes…

As I sit here and try to think of a clever Mission Statement, Statement of Purpose or Grand Master Plan for this ErinTerese site, my mind draws a blank.  I would love to tell you that I have a clear plan. Oh crap, who am I kidding?  I’d love to tell me I have a clear plan!  The plain and simple truth is that there is no Master Plan. No finite Mission Statement for my intent. But I have a longing in my soul. An energy and drive that pulses from the tips of my toes, through my fingers, circling around my eyes and ears and flowing through my mind.

I feel the desire to share my thoughts and feelings with you, my reader. Even though I don’t know who you are yet, I want to know you.  I want to hear your stories and learn from you.  I want you to hear my stories and tell me what you’ve learned.  Life, for me, is all about stories.  Life stories.  Stories from your childhood.  Stories from yesterday.  Stories you’d like to write for yourself.  Hearing other people speak, reading other people’s words and watching people from afar, is what gives me passion and purpose.  I know myself better, when I know others better. I understand the world more clearly, when I understand others more clearly.  The more I can relate to you, dear reader, the more I can relate to the world and the closer I am to finding “it” – whatever “it” may be.

I have no idea where this journey will take me…  Where this journey will take us.  But please come with me.  I would like you to read my work and comment, share and give me your feedback.  Send me your favorite blogs, links and videos. Let’s go on this journey together and try and find the “it” we have been looking for – assuming you haven’t found “it” yet.  If you have, that is awesome!  Please share.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese