I get by with a little help from my friends

The Wonder Years was a great show for so many reasons—the life lessons, the hope, Kevin and Winnie, the Arnold family, Paul.

And the theme song, of course.

Life is full of ups and downs—or “peaks and valleys,” as many people like to call them—and it’s nice to have your people around for those times. They’re there to celebrate with you and share your joy during those positive times, and they’re there to walk alongside you and offer you shoulders to cry on during those dark periods.

Last Friday was one of those not-so-great days when you just want to crawl into your bed and hide from the world for as long as possible until you muster up the strength to get up and eat Popsicles or candy or something else that doesn’t hold a significant place on the food pyramid (which I think should be discussed with the creators of that thing, by the way). I wanted to forget about the things I couldn’t forget, and I wanted the hurt I was feeling to magically disappear.

But that didn’t happen.

Two of my friends from work texted me that night to check on me, and even though that didn’t make everything go away, it reminded me of something: We need our people.

I went to a get-together on Saturday that I had been looking forward to for a couple of weeks. When I first started running and competing, I met a lot of different runners in the area and started to make new friends. One of them invited me to run with his group, but someone else advised me not to run with that group because they were too fast for me, and I wouldn’t enjoy it (yes, we were adults, not in middle school). I went, anyway, and she was completely wrong. Sure, they were definitely too fast for me, but they didn’t care about that. They were so nice and fun and encouraging and wanted to help me become a better runner.

They did that and so much more—they helped me become a better person.

laz_gq
Laz thought we were at a GQ shoot.

Over the years, life changes occurred for all of us (as they always do), and we don’t all run together like we used to. But the friendships and care for one another are still there, and that’s what it was always about, anyway. We’ve supported each other when we’ve been at our worsts, and we’ve cheered with one another at our bests. These are the people you want in your tribe in every moment you face. So I was more than excited to be able to spend time with some of them on Saturday.

Dalton and Steve are honestly two of the most genuine people you’ll ever meet. They love people like they should, and it’s contagious. And when they ask you about the things going on in your life and how you’ve been doing, you know they aren’t simply asking out of social protocol. They actually care. They can make you smile without even trying, and you walk away feeling like you opened a pack of Starbursts that was full of only the red ones, the best flavor of them all.

Then there’s Laz, who picks on me more than anyone I know but in a way that makes him one of my best friends for life. He really has one of the kindest hearts there ever was, and you know his teasing and goofiness are simply ways he shows people how much they mean to him. He uses laughter as a method of healing, and it truly helps.

I also was able to catch up with Fonz and see Disco, who are two people who would do just about anything for anyone. They may hop onboard Laz’s OOC (out-of-control) ship, but you can’t help but smile when they do because I’m pretty sure neither of them has any maliciousness in them at all.

Spending time with your people won’t make all of your problems go away, but it sure helps you get through them because you know they’re not going to let you face them alone. We can all be messes at times, but it’s nice to know there are those who care enough to love us regardless and to accept us as we are and wherever we are. We don’t have to cover up who we are or what we’re going through. We need only be us, and that’s enough.

God sure knows what He’s doing when He sends people into our lives.

What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears, and I’ll sing you a song.
And I’ll try not to sing out of key.

But even if you do, your people will still love the song just as well.

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