Some Long-Distance Love

Galentine's Day

Courtesy of the official Parks and Rec Twitter account.

Happy Galentine’s Day, all you poetic noble land mermaids!

Leslie Knope was right (as always), Galentine’s Day should be a national holiday. It’s a day to celebrate female friendship in all its forms—from the sisterhoods we established in school to the best friends we found in fandom and all the love we’ve chosen and nurtured along the way.

And if ever there was a year when we needed Galentine’s Day—a day designed to remind us that friendship is a valid and essential kind of love, a day to reach out to the women in our lives to tell them we’re thinking of them and that they matter to us—it’s this year.

We’re all a little more isolated this year.

Last year, we found ways to connect—we had Zoom happy hours and FaceTime dates and coffees shared on porches or in parks. But this year, we’re all a little more tired, a little more burned out. So many of us have faced struggles even beyond the universally traumatic experience of living through a global pandemic for two years, and we bear the scars of it.

Connection is hard when you’re just trying to keep your head above water, when all you can think about is surviving from one day to the next or how you’re going to find the energy and strength to get out of bed in the morning.

Even on the Internet, the place where we should be connecting with more depth and enthusiasm than ever before, things have changed. Social media has become even more of a void we all just shout into, an increasingly negative space that so many of us have had to take breaks from for our own sanity.

Things are hard right now.

Loneliness and loss of connection is hard.

But there’s a difference between acknowledging that and staying in it. And today I refuse to stay in it.

So consider this my hand, reaching across the void to pat you on the shoulder or hold yours or offer you a hug or a cup of tea or a mimosa (fair warning: I make them strong).

I see you—whoever you are.

And I’ve got you.

Today, on this day to celebrate the power of women and the bonds we form with each other, I’ve got you. I’m here to remind you that your struggles are valid—no matter what they are. I’m here to celebrate your victories—no matter how small they may seem to you. And I’m here to remind you that even when things feel lonely and weird and hard, you are loved.

You are so loved.

Yes, this is obviously a love post (see the bottom of this post for how to play if you’ve never been around NGN for one!), but I know that’s not everyone’s favorite kind of content. So if you don’t want me to shower you personally with love today, please consider this a general blanket of comfort for all of us to snuggle under until things feel better.

I love all of you. NGN wouldn’t be what it is without all of you. I wouldn’t be who I am without all of you.

And no amount of time, distance, or global pandemics can change that.

I love you on the days you feel like a badass and the days you don’t want to get out of bed. I love you not for what you give to me and to everyone else, but for who you are. Because if you’re reading this post, chances are we’ve interacted in some way, and if we have, then I love you.

That’s just how my heart works.

So if you ever have days when you don’t feel loved, Bookmark this post, even if you choose not to leave a comment on it to get some specific love. Read it and remember that even if we don’t talk often or we’ve never met or we live thousands of miles apart, I love you. I see your struggles and your strengths, and I feel honored to call you part of this family. Because even one visit to NGN—if you come with an open heart—makes you part of the family.

Join the love today if you’d like, but if you’d rather just lurk and enjoy from afar, I hope you still know that today is a day I’m celebrating you. Because you deserve to be celebrated.

You deserve to be and feel loved.

That’s what today is all about.

Ladies celebrating ladies.

What a day to be alive.

**For anyone new to a Love Post, here’s how it works: Make a comment on this post with your username (and things like your Twitter or your Tumblr URL if you feel like people might know you better by those identifiers). Then, sit back and let others reply, telling you how much and why they love you. Finally, if you want to, you can share the love! Reply to your friends’ comments on this post and tell them how awesome you think they are.

Even if you’ve never posted at NGN before or think no one will know or remember you, leave a comment. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

8 thoughts on “Some Long-Distance Love

    • I am just so proud of you. The last year has been a really hard one on you but through it all, you have kept fighting to find yourself and to build a life that you can really love. I know that it has not been easy in any way and has involved a whole lot of changing the way you interact with yourself and the world but I also see how much it has made you blossom and shine even brighter.

      More than anything else, I love how much you are leaning in to how much you love softness. In yourself, in other people, and in the things you put around yourself. It helps bring you to life and is the thing that pushes you forward when you need it and grounds you when you need that at other times. You have such a beautifully soft heart that wants to love people and encourage them and support them and to see you turn that back on yourself has been so good to see (especially as the person who always wants to give that to you). You are learning how to give yourself the things you need to be at your best and your best is always going to be someone who loves with her whole heart and cares deeply. Like you said in this post, it’s just who you are.

      I love that you’re getting to see and fall in love with and trust the Katie that I have always seen. The one who is willing and ready to face her fears when there’s something she really wants at the other end. So many of these changes have been internal for you and that makes it a lot harder for the people around you to see. But I see what a difference they’re making in the way you live your life and the way you are settling in to who you are and who you can be. I see how much easier it is to trust yourself and the things you know you want and value and live accordingly. You’re honest and open in a whole new way and it’s been such a privilege to get to go on this journey with you. I may have held your hand as you navigated this dark forest but you’ve been the one doing the work, letting me tug you forward sometimes but always in the direction you want to go. I can’t wait to continue to meet the person you are becoming. I love you so much.

    • Katie! You are one of the most generous people I know, and I love that you extend that generosity to yourself, too—which includes being honest about the hard days and about what you need. Thank you for setting that example. I always trust your listening ear and look forward to your thoughtful notes and gifts, and I admire how good you are at things like this: finding so many ways to show friends that you care. I’m grateful to have found a friend I share so many interests with (and to keep exchanging more)—it’s nice to not feel alone, and that’s part of what you’ve given me for years!

    • Picture me telling you this while hugging you on a street corner while waiting to cross or on a random Disney Springs walkway or while we’re cuddled up in a very nice hotel room…

      I love you. Just everything about you. I would need to break out the thesaurus for all the different words for how much I love and care about and appreciate you. But I’ll try my best to just do it without outside assistance, so bear with me… 😉

      A very long time ago I told you that you had a quiet strength to you, and I stand by that statement all these years later. I love that you do not have to be the loudest person in the room to often be the one with the strongest convictions and the one whose love runs deepest. I love that you are as steady and sure as they come and as patient as the day is long. You love without condition, and it took me until this year to realize what a rare and precious gift that is and for me to fully appreciate what I have in knowing I have that with you. The way you love is so rare and beautiful, and it’s a reflection of you: rare and beautiful.

      There is nobody in the world like you, and I love all the things that make you the person I am lucky enough to call my best friend.

      I love that you have the most adorably expressive face in the world when I get you talking about something you really love or something you’re really annoyed by (or when you’ve had a good cocktail and we’re making each other laugh). I love that your smile lights up your whole face and how easy it comes when we’re talking. I love how warm you are—and how naturally that comes to you. Your warmth was one of the first things I ever noticed about you, and over the years, that has only become more evident. You have the softest, most gentle, most genuinely caring heart, and just because you’re quiet doesn’t mean it’s not seen or appreciated. (You are my secret marshmallow Yoongi for a reason). I love that I often try so hard to be sunshine, but you are steady in your warmth like a fireplace on a cold night. That is what I will always think of when I think of you and your love. Steady. Warm. Comforting.

      I could keep going and talk about how much I love traveling with you and sharing food with you and creating this life together that’s both filled with incredible bucket list moments and 5-star dining experiences and grounded in Sunday Skype dates and peanut butter toast (and the occasional brunch cocktail). I could talk about how much I love that you are the one person I get to go to for celebrating big moments and small victories and for comfort through really hard things and things I can’t tell anyone else. I could wax poetic about your cooking skills and media recommendations and incredible gifts that have always been such a clear way for me to see into your big, beautiful heart. I could say that you are my favorite person to stand in a long Starbucks line with and the recipient of my best hugs because you just fit perfectly there.

      But instead I will just say this: when I was at my absolute lowest, you held out a hand to me and promised me I wouldn’t be alone as I figured out my way out. And you have kept that promise ever single day. Your reassurance, support, and love kept me from getting lost in the dark forest. And your ability to show me the ways you love yourself in kind and gentle and tangible ways has helped me believe I can do the same. You have always believed in my ability to not only love myself, but to empower myself to make my own choices about how to do that. And I will forever be grateful for that belief and for every time you pushed back when my brain was being awful and every time you celebrated with me when I had a good day.

      We’re really good at this, and such a big reason why is because *you’re* really good at this. Nobody is better at loving me. And thanks for allowing me to learn how to get even better at loving you too.

      Happy Galentine’s Day, babe.

      Thanks for everything. ❤

    • Heather!! The first thing my little one-track mind keeps thinking is just that I’m SO excited you’re watching Better Call Saul and can’t wait to follow your experience. Love your taste in TV! But more than that, I love the glimpses I get at your friendship with Katie and how honest and supportive it is, which is really the gold standard. I so admire your character!

    • Kelly! First of all, I love you for visiting this post and letting me say nice things about you! That is one of my favorite things about you—you are so open to love and kindness and friendship and connection. You have a very open heart and a personality that draws people in. It was one of the first things I noticed about you when we met in person all those years (lifetimes???) ago. Your energy is bright, and your enthusiasm for so many things is infectious. There is a reason we all want to watch what you’re watching. You talk about media with such insight but also such fondness. It’s inspiring!

      I love that you understand WDW priorities, the glory of Christine Baranski, football heartbreak, and now the sweet torture of being a Chenford shipper. I love all of our shared interests and all the ones we share because we dragged each other in. 😉 I love how my days feel better after FaceTime sessions with you. And I love knowing I will get to watch probably too many AllEars YouTube videos and Dickinson episodes on my couch with you soon!

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