Writing is how I process. Writing for public consumption is how I practice vulnerability. Allowing others to see my perspective and insight and inviting challenges to my perspectives remains one of the most effective avenues of my personal growth. I’ve felt the need to get back to writing (er processing) and it struck me today that combining a #gratitudechallenge with a #writingchallenge is the perfect combination for me. Today will start 14 days of daily writing. Thank you for being a part of it. Gratitudes will be posted in random order. At some point I might decide some are more important than others (or maybe not – We’ll have to see what shakes out during the process), but I can tell you with certainty, the order posted is not a hierarchy or ranking of their importance.
I’m starting off this challenge with one very specific quality for which I am so, so grateful: My friends’ senses of humor. I am blessed with a loyal network of the smartest, wittiest women (and men) in existence! They all possess this perfectly balanced cocktail of compassion, generosity, and humor that makes them such wonderful people, but lately I’ve been really appreciative of how much we laugh together.
I think there is something quite beautiful about laughter within friendship. First of all, laughter requires vulnerability and it creates connection. Think about when you meet someone for the first time. If you laugh with them, don’t you feel some sort of a connection? Maybe it’s only as deep as, “I enjoyed that time together. I feel better now than I did before our interaction.”
Brené Brown teaches about knowing laughter. In this article, she said, “That’s what happens between people when we recognize the absurdity of the belief that we’re alone in anything. If there’s a feeling you have, other people have it. If there’s something weird about your life, other people have lived it. If there’s something kooky about your body, other people have that, too. We’re not alone. There’s some kind of tremendous relief in that and I think it can only be expressed in belly laughter. This tremendous relief that happens the millisecond we realize, it’s not just me. That’s what good laughter is about. It’s about knowing that you’re not alone.” Let’s take it a step further. Knowing laughter between friends inherently relies on and is fueled by trust and insight. Good friends know each other’s hot button issues, their quirks, their worries and their joys. There’s a comfort that allows for such a vulnerable exchange of the perfect joke, a timely TikTok video, a random video of a friend dancing to her favorite song simply to make me smile and to convey, “I trust you enough to make a fool of myself with you.” I think what I love most about my friends’ humor is their language and wit. A sharp tongue mixed with knowledge & experience on a vast array of topics makes for a great friend in my book. Equally, I love that my friends and I can laugh at ourselves and each other. I’d consider us all fairly bright, but we all do dumb things from time-to-time. Having the freedom to share those moments with someone you love and trust to laugh with you instead of at you is something to treasure. Man, am I blessed.
So, thank you friends (and family). Thanks for the memes of my kids, the deep sharing riddled with sarcasm and swearing, the fascinating stories and passionate rants about all that’s wrong and how we’re going to solve the world’s problems. I love you and I appreciate you.