I'm so grateful for my friends. I tell you all privately in awkward situations in my own non-emotional and non-touchy-feely ways that are often devoid of warm fuzzies. For example, when you drastically cut your hair and I need to change the topic to avoid my selfish feelings of "no! don't change! i love the version of you I know!!!" All of you weirdos, I love you all.
While you guys are kinda stuck with me and my craziness and my opinions, my acquaintances aren't. I love you both.
When I converted, a whole bunch of acquaintances (and some friends, too) completely ditched me.
I wasn't so cool anymore (heck, I was never that cool), and that meant that when I covered my hair and prayed in the middle of Chipotle, they disappeared from my life.
Literally, one day I had like a list of ten potential bridesmaids in mind should I ever get married and was concerned about how I could possibly choose; the next day, I was like, 'who the heck would I even invite to a wedding?!'
It was partially my fault too, I know, because I was busy learning, reading, buying scarves, working, going to college, and all the other fun things I decided to do at once... Yes, I disappeared a bit myself. But I didn't stop caring.
A lot of those people weren't that important, in hindsight, but when I think about those friends and acquaintances who stuck around, I'm blown away with gratitude and I'm inspired by you. I'm incredibly thankful that you respect me, have compassion for me, and care about me even a little bit.
Today, a girl I met maybe a handful of times in college shared a really beautiful message about my blog. I barely knew her. She was the previous roommate of my roommate. We had a similar group of friends, but we didn't have like emotional eat-Ben-&-Jerry's nights where we cried about boys or something dramatic that people do in movies to celebrate friendship. We just kinda knew each other.
This white chick took Arabic classes, respects Islam, respects African Americans... Heck, she even is saving the whales, people! On top of that, she has a good enough soul to celebrate good in the world. She's not Muslim, not black, not a refugee, but she knows we're all in this thing together.
I don't know her all that well, I just "Facebook know her," but what I do know, I really like. Nope, take that back - I love.
She celebrates all kinds of people. She speaks out when she sees something that's wrong or unfair.
When I grow up I want to be just like her.
She's like maybe two years older than me.
For example, here's some of her last posts from this past week:
I'm so proud that in all of life's craziness that God inspires people not to get sucked into the hate and the crazy. To stand up for what is right, even if no one is standing with you.
If God graces me with the honor of being in Heaven, I really want neighbors like this chick. I bet she's totally down to let me borrow a cup of sugar .... and possibly a kidney.
Thank God for people like you.
While writing this, I realized I'm so thankful to call you more than my acquaintance, but my role model and more importantly, my sister in this world and hopefully in the next.