my other life
These blog posts predominantly focus on my work and my relationships with clients…. But I would like to show you a different side of my life.
Many people do not know that I have been pursuing my Master’s degree in addition to growing my photography business. This little piece of my life story has been going on for the past two years. During this time, my life has been turned upside down completely. I’ve often spent time in two and sometimes three separate states, driven 5 hours almost every day for classes and am now living alone in a separate city from my husband and sometimes my pups for my clinical rotation at the Cleveland Clinic.
During this time most of my friends at home have been extremely understanding and I couldn’t be more thankful for their love, support and willingness to pick up where we leave off in our friendships every single time. My friends at home are priceless and I’m blessed by their faithfulness and encouragement. But this post isn’t truly about those dear friends.
This blog post is for the friends I have made along the way on this journey.
I met three of the girls, who would become some of my very best friends, the summer before we began the program together. We needed one last prerequisite course before we could begin in the fall… so we ended up taking a neuro class together. The four of us were all a little shy and didn’t really connect right away. Ang and I exchanged numbers and she eventually offered me a place to stay with her as needed when we began our fall semester. We became close very quickly after that.
When fall semester began, we also met Courtney and she fell into our little group of friends quickly too.
Fall semester brought the five of us together like a tornado.
The stress of grad school and the amount of work strengthened our friendships and made us all practically inseparable.
We ate, slept, cried and breathed grad school together for two whole years.
We’ve had our ups and downs. Really, we have.
I know they will agree with me when I say that grad school makes you crazy. I’ve said things that I shouldn’t have (and I didn’t mean) when I was tired, stressed and emotionally hurt. Sometimes it is really hard to say you’re sorry for the wrong you did while you’re hurting too. I hope that they can forgive me as I’ve forgiven them.
These stressful situations make for strong friendships and lasting memories.
No one else can ever understand what we’ve been through together and that makes a really strong group of friends.
We’ve been through so much together in these past two years. We’ve been through long distance relationships, first dates, road-trips, saving stray puppies and kitties, late night Kroger trips, cookies for dinner and breakfast, millions of cat videos, loss of family members, relationship struggles, the shock of breast cancer, Zumba in the living room way into the night and Netflix binges. We’ve driven with the windows down singing (screaming) at the top of our lungs, explored a new and common city together, had hundreds of lunch dates, helped women in the throes of drug addiction, volunteered our time to the elderly in the community and enjoyed late night runs along the flood wall by the Ohio River. We’ve run late to class together countless times… once even running through parking lots and jumping construction barriers with root beer floats and hot dogs in our hands. (yes, the result was very sticky and we were still late.) We’ve had quiet mornings together with coffee or tea and late nights with containers of ice cream. We’ve had cookouts, sleepovers and parties, encouraged each other through countless class presentations and covered for each other when we had to miss a class. We’ve enjoyed puppy snuggles, the birth of a nephew, a recent engagement and will soon be partying at a wedding at the end of this year! And then we will finally graduate… counting down to December 18, 2015 🙂 Graduating the day before my birthday!
These are the girls who have held me when I’ve cried and laughed with me in times of joy.
I want to take this time to honor them.
This is Alyssa. She is a beauty.
She is basically amazing. Alyssa is our ring leader. She is also our “mom” in a way… even if she doesn’t want to be. We’re always asking her for information because she is the most organized in our group… not to mention she is a killer graduate assistant that gets stuff done.
Alyssa has a gentle soul and is a natural comforter. She is super sweet through and through. A wonderful friend to have. She is an amazing Aunt to her new nephew Briar and is constantly bragging on him! Alyssa is a fellow alumni of The Ohio State University and she loves those Buckeyes! She is a devoted girlfriend and loves her family like crazy. She is hysterical, has the best laugh and knows how to have a great time.
Alyssa is going to be an amazing Occupational Therapist when this is all said and done. She is such a dear friend to my heart and I am lucky to have her in my life.
This stunner is Courtney.
Courtney is so many wonderful things. I love her with all of my heart. She is a spitfire with a little southern accent thrown in. She’s a pinch of stubborn with a wild side and knows how to put on a tough face.
But shhhhhh… deep down she is a softie and seriously one of the sweetest people you will ever meet if you are lucky enough to see that side. She loves puppies and is a complete pushover with her Oakie, baby talk included 🙂 She is a kind hearted, hard working girl who is about to have the job that she has been dreaming about since she was a little girl. She is determined and follows her heart and her dreams. Court is also a master shed hunter who is close to her southern roots and her family and is crazy about her fiancé.
She is amazing. She is a beautiful friend with a gentle heart. I am completely blessed to have her as my friend and I am so glad that we’re on this journey together.
Meet Miss Tiffany. She is gorgeous.
Tiffany is so unbelievably sweet. She is one of the most considerate and thoughtful people that I have ever met. Tiff amazes me constantly with her ability to set aside her own stresses and worries in order to help someone else with their own. She is a great listener, empathizer and constant encourager.
Tiff is seriously a hard worker… She is always doing what needs done and then some more. Always above and beyond what is expected. She is an amazing girlfriend, loyal supporter and top notch Zumba instructor.
Tiff would tell you that she is shy… and she is, but once you get to know her she has the greatest sense of humor in the world. We once spent an entire class (and several more over the years) where she introduced me to cats in bread… There was definitely hysterical muffled laughing and silent tears streaming down my face, just to give you a picture. (disclosure: we have never breaded cats and don’t condone it either.)
Tiff is one of the most caring people I have ever met and I am so happy to say that she is one of my best friends.
Finally…. This is Angela. But I like to call her Ang. (Court tried Angie once but it didn’t work so well 😉 )
Ang feels like a sister at times. My twin in so many ways. I understand her so well because we often feel the same way about everything! She is my prayer partner, fellow worrier, comforter, encourager and cheerleader. She is a great shoulder to cry on, amazing listener, and confidence builder.
She is one of the most compassionate people I know. She is also a hard worker and stands up for herself and others who need it. This girl perseveres. She never gives up. Ang is super independent, while very much in love. She is a romantic at heart and is definitely destined to have an interior decorating business on the side. (She is ahhhh maze ing!) She is a super amazing auntie to the boys and can’t resist their puppy snuggles even though we all know that she will be known as a crazy cat lady in her old age.
We share in our wanderlust, love for sweet things and our heart for helping others. God has really blessed our friendship and brought us together. I couldn’t feel more blessed to call you one of my best friends and I couldn’t imagine my life without you.
I miss them. All four of their beautiful souls. I never knew I could miss them so much. I hope that they have grown to love me as much as I love them.
Spending two years of our lives together and now trying to become grown-ups while we’re apart, is definitely not peachy. It’s only been six weeks in the “real world” without you all but I miss the closeness to our friendships, ridiculous storytelling and the constant support.
This little letter can’t express just how much I love the four of you as well as I would like it to. We have come through so much together and this experience will make us friends for a lifetime.
You are truly some of the best friends I have ever met and I love each of you so incredibly dearly.
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ~Karl Lagerfeld