At the start of this swim season, my coach and I were having a heart-to-heart about personal matters, swimming goals, and everything in between. We came across the topic of friends, mine to be exact, and I remember her nonchalantly hinting to me that friends should be people who make you feel good about yourself, and people who bring out the best in you. I was sad and I was talking and I told her about times of betrayal and negligence and being that she’s someone, actually the only one, that I can talk to about basically anything, it hit me hard when she asked why I wasn’t friends with other people, wasn’t friends with more of the girls on our team. At the time, I got the impression that she didn’t like some of my friends because of some of the things I’ve told her or the way I act around them or some other false reason, so I took her words into consideration but not to heart. I do love the girls on our team, but I’ve never been ridiculously close to any of them to the point where we sit together at lunch, hang out outside of school, or talk and see much after the season ends. Two months later, I’ve come to realization that she is so right, and that I’m beyond lucky to spend time with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Because though my best memories and laughs come from the nights spent doing crazy, dumb, or spontaneous things with my closest school friends, school can be tough and life can be hard and sometimes it’s good to have a group of different people you love just as dearly and can be yourself around. So tonight, I’m almost in tears writing end-of-season notes to my coaches and friends, specifically the most wonderful eight girls I’ve shared a lane with and had so many laughs with the past few months.
So- to Sharon, thank you, for always trying so hard. For doing your best every day and for teaching us all how to be a better person. For being the greatest role model for us all, a wonderful captain, and the nicest girl. Thank you for never giving up and for being so positive and so caring about everyone. Thanks for all the lane posters you’ve made and decorations you’ve bought and things you’ve done to try to bring our lane together, to try and bring our team together. Thank you Madie, for being energetic and nice and always in a good mood. For making bad days a bit better and for always smiling and always working and being a spectacular person to be around. Thank you Ece, for being the sweetest girl, ever. Thank you for making me feel better about myself through compliments and advice, and thank you for putting everyone in a better mood with some not-so-funny jokes and a contagious laugh. Thank you Laura, for being someone so easy to talk to and so easy to relate to. To remind me that we’ve had some wonderful times in the past, and that it’s okay to have harder days and that things will be okay. Thank you, Hanneke, for always being a spectacular friend especially when I’m not, for being kind to everyone and a wonderful person. For being easy to talk to, easy to laugh with, and a blast to swim with. Thank you, Jena, for being one of my favorite freshmen, and so nice all the time. Thank you for helping me realize that we’ve all got our own issues, and that it’s possible to manage things within your control through everything, and be quiet, fun, humble, and basically the opposite of a drama queen simultaneously. Thank you Carly, for being so cute and so sweet and so nice every day. Thank you for all the hugs and sweet words and for making me feel better, without even realizing it. Thank you, for being you. And to my dearest baby Megs, thank you for being a friend. For working hard every day, for comical stories, for the vent sessions and funny snapchats and for everything in between, thank you for making this season okay. I’m so proud to know you and I love you so much, I love you all.