Shine On

I want to tell you about my friend Rae Rae. Because tomorrow is her birthday. Because she is one of my favorite people.

We met through our mutual friend, the infamous Bird, probably over six years ago now. Bird used to rave about her to me. “Jonesy, you are going to LOVE Rae Rae! You two are going to be friends. I just know it!” * And she was so right. I immediately fell in girl crush love with Rae Rae.

Bird, Rae Rae & Me

Rae Rae is a rare gem. She’s one of the truest people I know- loyal and loving, fierce and tender, wicked smart, wildly inappropriate at times (like me!), hilarious, thoughtful and giving, and totally beautiful.I mean check out those eyes!

She is a fighter and a survivor even if sometimes she forgets that she is. She beat cancer. She works tirelessly to help at risk youth to succeed in college, often going above and beyond the call of duty. When Rae Rae cares, she CARES, and you know it. She probably beats herself up more than I do and we often commiserate on our hours of therapy, internal processing,the challenges of personal growth and reading of many self-help books. We’re both in recovery for people pleasing so we can call each other out. Can you imagine? Two people pleasers calling each other out?  It’s kind of comical but we try. She is one of those people I can completely be myself around. When I’m with her I laugh more, think deeper, and feel more settled into myself. I only wish she and her partner, Run Run, lived in Seattle.

If there was one thing in the whole wide world I could give her it’s this: the ability to look at herself and see what I see- a woman of beauty, truth, strength, and love. She really has no concept of how wonderful she is and I wish she did.

Every year around this time I come across a paragraph in The Book of Awakening that reminds me of her:

“Having an honest friend- one before whom you can dump all your heart’s pockets and still feel that you are worth something- is a form of wealth that will buy you nothing but will give you everything. And mysteriously and rightly, to find such a friend, we must be such a friend.” – Mark Nepo

Thank you, Rae Rae, for being that friend. I love you with all my heart. Happy Birthday.

*A lot of people call me Jonesy but Bird started it. And yes, Jones is my actual for serious last name. Original, eh?

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