I feel like the most memorable people in our lives go back to the very beginning. Or, at least our memories of them do. I believe that we remember the very first moments in which they became a part of our lives and even the subtlest of details get stored in that place where everything matters.
I remember the very first time I met Tor. I remember where we were and what the weather was like. I remember how stressed I was and how calm she was. I remember that there was exactly three people in line between us at the coffee shop.
Tor and I are the story of two people who were meant to meet. We even have the mutual friends who would say “you really need to meet my friend, Tor…I think you two would really get along” to prove it.
And so, finally, one day, we did just that.
I remember grabbing my coffee, running up to her in all of my frazzled glory and giving her a huge hug. I remember apologizing to her profusely for being late and disheveled, and she looked at me with the most compassionate eyes and simply said “it’s totally okay! Come as you are!”
Come as you are.
Four words that I will never forget and four words that will always make me think of her. Four words that immediately showed me why I needed this girl in my life.
I think we spend a lot of time thinking about how other people make us feel when we are around them and not enough time thinking about how we want other people to feel when they are around us. And Tor taught me this. She taught me this the moment I first exchanged words with her and she has continued to teach me this throughout our friendship.
Come as you are.
Very few people had ever said that to me before. Very few people had ever looked me right in the face and said, “Gen, it’s okay. You are enough. Right here…right now.”
Months later, she would sit in a parking lot with me as I poured my broken and battered soul out to her. Tears filled the car and every word of our conversation. Yet, it was okay.
And that’s the thing about my beautiful friend; it’s always okay.
You are not expected to be perfect or “better” or even fine.
You are just asked to come as you are.
It was obviously a big deal for us when this man came along that took hold of her hand and her heart. It was a big deal to hold our breath as this new person walked into her life. It was a big deal to watch a person we love find her perfect match in this world.
For me, it’s been a year of photographing friends. It’s been a year of standing on my side of the lens and watching their lives unfold in new and wonderful ways. And even more so, it’s been a year of being able to breath deeply because all of these people I care about – they have chosen someone who embraces their dreams…honours their strengths…and protects their hearts.
They have chosen people who have asked them to come…just as they are.