Photo Nov 14, 6 06 27 PM

there’s a beautiful sense of comfort and ease that comes from a relationship where you know that the other person likes you as you are, just as you are. you can let all the facades and the games go. you can say whatever the hell is on your mind, without fear that something you say will cause them to turn away. it’s freeing. it’s invigorating.

and, in a way, it’s that person’s way of allowing you to continue to grow. by accepting you as you are, there’s no feeling of ever not being enough. and that’s a gift in today’s culture, where so often we are told by peers, the media, and that voice inside our head that we are not enough. relationships that reinforce support and growth are a a rare and exquisite thing.

i’ve been blessed enough in my time here at heidelberg to make many of these kinds of relationships. the kind of relationships that don’t need constant upkeep and checking in. the kind of relationships where i am reminded that i am enough.

i was blessed enough to be reminded of this on my recent trip to saint louis, MO last weekend with the political science department. i have known most of the people on the trip for at least three years (thanks to model un). there’s a special kind of bond that comes from a friendship that initially started out of both a shared academic interest and a travel experience.

we spent 9 hours in a heidelberg van on the way to an international studies conference in saint louis and we spent another 10 hours in the van on the way back. we spent the entire weekend glued to the hip, sitting in on nerdy research presentations and exploring the city and drinking wine. and through it all, i never once had to worry about how i was being perceived by the people that i was with. i felt truly comfortable with them, and i knew that they knew that i was enough.

this gave me incredible freedom on the trip. i yelled along with trashy miley cyrus songs during the van rides, free from judgement, screaming along completely out of tune, grinning and entirely swept up in the moment. i was free to nerd out during all of the presentations, salivating over the intensive research that had been done (and the gorgeous clark-kent-esque presenters!). i drank wine and had a girls night, staying up until 3 and ordering late night pizza, schlumped around in pj’s and glasses and make-up free. my conversations were not measured or filtered, because i was in such a safe environment that they didn’t need to be.

relationships like this are a rare thing, and my time in saint louis reminded me of that. i am so lucky to be surrounded by people like this: people who want me to just be me, people who aren’t forcing preconcieved notions of who i should be onto me, people who don’t have crazy expectations of how i should be acting. these people make my life a small slice of heaven, and i couldn’t be happier.