Friends Come & Go

I remember being younger and thinking that “friends are forever” and that I would be so blessed to have my closest friends in my life forever and ever and that nothing would ever tear us apart- we wouldn’t be like other people who grow apart- because that just would not happen to us. I am blessed to have had the people I called my closest friends in my life at some point, because I truly believe they helped me become the woman I am today, but we were not lucky enough to stay “friends forever”. The funny thing is that people come and go in your life everyday, some of them strangers, and some of them friends. Life is such a crazy, fast-paced ride that before we even realize it, sometimes we lose some friends and acquaintances along the way.

At High School graduation, I remember crying relentlessly, hugging my friends close. It was a mix of excitement and sadness; I would be leaving behind my friends, my best friends to go off to college. This is one the first experiences I had with losing friends. It isn’t like I even lost friends, I just lost touch with my friends and the relationships became strained between lack of communication, distance and different interests. I think this is a fairly common experience for this age group as we moved out of our comfort zones, tried to become independent and make friends with completely new people.

Fast-forward to college:

In college, you meet so many people it is almost overwhelming. But during this time period, I believe you meet some of the people that will become your lifelong friends. This was such a fun time in my life because I felt like I had such a wide variety of friends and so many acquaintances and I just remember it as being an extremely happy period in my life. We learn so much more than what we are studying in college; we learn how to live with others, how to deal with others and how to create bonds with people that will last a lifetime. I have a couple of friends from college that I consider lifelong friends and hold dearly to my heart and cannot imagine my life without them.

Then you graduate and things change again (FYI I hate change if you couldn’t tell). You move away, or your friends move away and everyone gets real people jobs or are studying for GREs and applying to more school. Friendships and relationships become estranged and you start to see which of your friendships are resilient enough to overcome all the changes and strain. Unfortunately, you realize that it is no longer convenient for certain friendships, or that without binge drinking on weekends you and another friend no longer have common interests, or simply that you just lose touch with one another. This is a sad time because I remember reflecting on just a few months prior when I was so happy and seemed like I had such a close group of friends. Now I had a real job, and my hours were crazy and I hardly got to see my friends and it was challenging to plan outings with everyone’s varying schedules.

Over the past few years, people have come in and out of my life- for better or for worse. There have been times when I have been so upset, stayed home and cried over a glass of red wine and sulked about why my friend doesn’t want to be my friend anymore , or why I heard that this friend was talking to that friend about me and I wondered what I must have done wrong.

I still deal with the sadness from time to time because I feel like over the past few months, my relationships with my friends have changed greatly. I have a few close friends who I would do anything for, and I know they would do the same for me. But then I look back and see there are such strained relationships with friends that I don’t even know if I can call friends anymore.

We used to be so close and do everything together- laugh, cry, cry because we were laughing so much. We used to tell each other everything, not fearing judgement from each other, we used to stuff our faces full of junk food just because we didnt care. We used to know each others schedules and we used to enter each others houses without knocking. And now I couldn’t feel farther apart- I don’t know what you are up to lately, I don’t know how I would even start a conversation with you if I saw you. I would hope that it would flow easily, but then again there has been so much lapsed time. Things just seem different. There have been a few challenges our friendship faced, but I never would have guessed they would have brought things to where they are now. I guess this is just part of the changes that occur. I will always look back on these friendships and smile at the memories, and occasionally I will be saddened by the fact that things are so different now. But what I have come to realize is that I can no longer sulk on this. Friendships are tumultuous, people come and go. Despite it all, those who are going to stand by your side will continue to do so and those who will slip away will slip away.  I cannot dwell on how things are different, and I won’t consider these “failed friendships”, but ships that have sailed in different directions. Maybe one day the wind will blow us both in the same direction again, or may it won’t. But I have learned something from every friendship I have had to date: it takes two parties to make things work and I cannot solely place blame or guilt on myself for these friendships not working out- that is just life.

I am so grateful for those in my corner- through all my good times and bad- they have helped me more than I can ever express.  As I move through this journey called life- this hectic, crazy, rollercoaster- I will hold my friends close by and let them know how much I appreciate them. I will not dwell on those friends that have slipped away; everything happens for a reason.

I have always been a people-pleaser, and I always wanted to be friends with everyone and make everyone happy, but I realized that I was doing that at my expense.  I need to care about myself and want to be friends with myself before I can expect others to want to be friends with me and this is one of the things I have learned over the past few years that I still need to work on.



How have your friendships changed over the years?


The Good Lie

Tonight I had the pleasure of watching Hollywood’s version of storytelling the tragedies and triumphs of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” in the 2014 film, “The Good Lie”. I must say that I initially had some hesitations, but was really impressed overall with the entirety of the film. The acting was on par (many of the actors are actually survivors of the refugee camps themselves), the storyline was genuine, and every minute of the movie tugged at my heartstrings.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, I highly recommend doing some quick reading/research. It is a terribly depressing and horrific part of history, but it is also moving to see a group of people come together as “brothers”  to protect one another and simply try to survive despite the unfathomable terrors surrounding them.

The Lost Boys of Sudan were collectively given their name when roughly twenty-thousand displaced children and orphans trekked thousands of miles in the late 1980’s to seek refuge in a camp in Kakuma, Kenya after being ambushed in what was known as the Second Sudanese war.  I won’t get into too much of the history, because it is worth researching and educating yourself if you are interested.

Honestly, until a few years ago, I can say with one hundred percent certainty, that I knew nothing about this group of people, this war, this struggle and struggles similar to these. I know, how naive of me.  I grew up in a small, predominantly Caucasian town in Southern New Hampshire, and not to knock my school or education, but I do not remember learning about topics such as these. Yes, it is very depressing and upsetting to learn about what these people went through, lived through, died through, but it is real life. It puts things into perspective.

I first learned about this population a few years back during my junior/senior year of undergraduate school at the University of Vermont when some fellow classmates and I were assigned to put together an educational presentation to a group of resettled African refugees in our community- Association for Africans Ling in Vermont, (AALV).

What a lot of people don’t know (myself included prior to my education and time living here) is that teeny tiny Burlington, Vermont is a location that is part a national refugee resettlement program that houses those seeking refuge and asylum from their country of origin.  I can’t even begin to explain how foreign it must be to some of these people to come from living in a village in the deserts of Africa to living in subsidized housing in Burlington, Vermont- a place where people talk different, dress different, eat different , do everything different. I could continue to go on and on, but I digress. For anyone interested, I highly recommend doing some research and watching some documentaries and movies that touch upon this subject.

My personal favorite is a documentary from 2006 entitled “God Grew Tired of Us”.

Secondly, the movie I began speaking about at the beginning of this post, “The Good Lie” is an excellent (in my opinion) Hollywood redo per-say of the “God Grew Tired of Us” storyline.

I encourage you to learn more about this population- do some research, do some reading, watch these films, talk with these people if you have the opportunity. I work in Burlington, VT so a lot of the staff and patients at my job are immigrants and refugees and although we generally tend to think that they can learn a lot from us and our culture, we too can learn a lot from them if we open our hearts, minds and eyes.

The Good Lie

DIY: Homemade Make-up Remover Pads

Sometimes I like to get a little crafty and make things just for the sake of making things, but I must say, this was one of my more practical creations. Recently I was perusing around on Pinterest and came across many different concoctions and creations for “homemade” face cleansers and make-up removers. Its a simple concept, seems easy enough and practical at that. I mean come to think of it I go through sooooooo many packages of make-up remover wipes that it actually isn’t funny (and gets pretty pricey). So naturally, I looked around my vanity to see what “ingredients” I had that I thought would make a good, hydrating, gentle, cleansing make-up remover.

Here’s what I found…

Hannah’s Homemade Makeup Remover Pads Before you begin, make sure you wash your hands (after all you are going to be touching the pads that will be touching your face and if your hands are dirty, well…). And keep in mind, these numbers don’t have to be exact!

  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sephora’s Waterproof Makeup Remover
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Tarte’s Maracuja Oil (this stuff is SO amazing and does not clog your pores, you can use any oil really but for my skin, I know this oil does not cause me to break out and it helps clear up my complexion)
  • (Optional) I used a few sprays/spritzes of Sephora’s Daily Makeup Brush Cleanser because it has antibacterial properties in it and my rationale is that if we use it to clean our tools that we use on our face, it should work as a great cleanser added in our own makeup removing solution.
  • Glass Jar (Mason Jar, Pyrex, anything airtight to store your pads in)
  • Cotton Rounds from a drugstore

Now for the fun part! Gather all your supplies and get ready to make your final product (I know I am so nerdy that I get excited over something like this…)

my chosen ingredients

my chosen ingredients

Next, add the water and the rest of your ingredients (the oil, the cleanser, etc) all into one cup. Stir- the oil will separate from the water, that is just science, but try to mix it up as best as you can. Grab your glass storage container of your choice (making sure that it is clean obviously) and add about 5-6 pads to the bottom of the dry container. Now pour a small amount of your premixed concoction over these few pads– you will see the pads absorb some of the liquid. Keep alternating between adding small stacks of pads and adding the cleansing solution over the pads. By the time you are done you should used up most, if not all, of your mixture and the pads should be saturated and there should only be a little bit of liquid “floating around” down at the bottom!

This is after all the liquid mixture has been added and as you can see the pads are saturated and all you need is the lid!

This is after all the liquid mixture has been added and as you can see the pads are saturated and all you need is the lid!

Ta-da! And that is it! I was so excited to try my new makeup removing pads right away & am so happy to say that they did not disappoint! It was fun to create something of my own that I need to use daily and it was so easy because I just used everyday items  and products that I already have lying around.

the finished product in an airtight container!

the finished product in an airtight container!

Honestly, you can really choose whatever ingredients you think will work best for your skin as long as you have the water, an oil, and some sort of “cleanser/toner”. Experiment a little and let me know what you think/try!