There is a weird change happening. I realized it today, I was laying on the floor, feet up against the wall, phone to my ear. It occurred to me that my Mom is my best friend. Growing up, I never had the Mom who was my “friend.” She didn’t blur the line between friendship and parenthood – she was my mother first and foremost. I’d come home with my paychecks, she’d remind me that they belonged in the bank. I’d walk out the door and I’d have a text from her ten seconds later, telling me when to be home. You best believe when I walked through the door at 12:04, she was sitting in the living room waiting for me. When I begged her to dye my hair, pierce my lip, and stretch my ears (… embarrassing), she denied me a thousand times over and ignored my bouts of teenage angst. I didn’t dare go behind her back, the idea of my Mom being angry with me, terrified me. She wasn’t afraid to tell me I was wrong or what I could do better. But when I got in a car accident last summer, I knew I could call my Mom and she’d take over the situation, calming my nerves, handling the insurance agency, and smoothing the wrinkles. She is the Mom I aspire to be. Endlessly kind, firm, and loving. 

Now, years later, I appreciate the hard ass my Mom was. My appreciation for her has sprouted and I come to realize how much she does on a day to day basis. I’m independent of her in a lot of ways – taking that step back has let her become my friend, not just my Mom. 

With graduation at the end of the tunnel, I find myself thinking more about the real world. Not the world I know now, eating buttered noodles for dinner three times a week and scouring the internet for the cheapest textbook deal. I’ve found a new slice of myself and let a lot of things go. I’ve traded nights at the bar for nights in my bed, watching Food Network, and doing whatever craft I’m into at the time. I tried to stifle it for a long time, but that’s what I like. Took awhile, but I let go of the “college ideal” where I drink too much beer, spend time with subpar friends, and lose sight of what’s really important. 

Finding that kind of acceptance with myself has opened me to a softness I never really had before. Coming to that realization that nothing is really that big of a deal brings you a new happiness. Yeah, my summer classes are full of busy work – and a lot of it. But what will it matter in another year? I have my sights set ahead of the present day worries, I tell myself I need to get through this to bring me a step closer to a job. To my own apartment. To the life I really want to be apart of. For the longest time, I pushed everyone away, until I decided whether or not I liked them. My first impressions rarely went well. I’ve shed that defensive skin and learned that being nice is so simple. Takes way less effort than being.. standoff-ish. 

I’m so focused on what is yet to come, but I don’t want to forget to be present. I’m twenty, I’ll never be this young and irresponsible ever again. I’m embracing it, but I’ve found the balance between being Kate and being twenty. This Thrash Lab profile on Zoe Nathan talks about how important it is to be present. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the menial things and loose sight of how great it is to be alive, have people in our lives who love us, and our surroundings. 

I’d be lying if I said I got here on my own. My Mom has kept me afloat the last few months with her long distance advice, but Kent has kept me grounded and sane. In fact, in the graduation card my parents sent him, my Dad wrote ‘thank you for being a rock for Kate. God Bless.’ Naturally, it made me teary eyed. Kent is so comfortable with himself, one night he said, “why do you even go to the bar? You don’t like it.” Why are men so skilled at making things simple? He is my absolute best friend, my rock and I try every day to be a little more like him. He’s kind, insanely weird, and makes me laugh. I don’t have to protect myself from him, I know he has my best interests at mind. I truly believe if everyone knew the kind of love Kent and I have, everyone would be a hell of a lot happier. 

Love is patient,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”> it is not easily angered,<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”> it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil<sup class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”> but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I have to wrap up this sappy appreciation post before it turns into a novel. Working tomorrow afternoon, and then my weekend starts. Gainesville, I’m comin’ for ya.

ps. oh my GOD I love Justin Timberlake recently & some Joey Bada$$ to combat my white girl music choices.