I’m living vicariously through you, too.
To the people in my life that are going back to school and pursuing an array of dreams and degrees, I live through your agony of being a student, the late nights and the never-ending work. I love when you brag about a good deal or being able to use your student discount. I love watching from afar (and hopefully back home this late spring) as you overcome obstacles and your hard work pays off!
To the people in my life that are working jobs that don’t pay but changing the lives around them, I live vicariously through your service and dedication. You may never feel the recognition that I know you deserve, but I love hearing about your successes. I love hearing about the nonprofits you are starting and the moments when something comes together and starts to change the world around you for the better.
To the people in my life that are buying houses, getting dogs, and getting married, I live through your commitment to places, people, and animals. Your choices are exciting and foreign to me and I love everything you share with me about how you are doing joint finances (THE MOST INTRIGUING THING…FOR REAL), how you chose a realtor, and just how much you love your puppy child. You’re doing things that I can’t even imagine, and I love every moment that I get to learn more about it!
To the people in my life that are living close to home…or at home, I live through all of your silly stories of your parents. I love the way you love on your family and old friends. There is no shame in being home…my parents have been some of my favorite roommates. I live through the traditions you get to continue and ones we used to share, especially when that includes Dozinky days…I haven’t been home for that in years. I adore seeing you spend time with other people I love on too.
To the people in my life that are traveling the world, or living in places I love or in places that I dream of, I live through your every move. I love the pictures you share and the cultures you learn about. I love how intentional you can be with the ideas you share both at home and abroad. I live for the new music you share with me and the current events I learn through you. I feel your loneliness at times and your glowing culture overload at others. I love your courage and I admire your flexibility.
To the people in my life that are dating around with no rush to see where it goes, I live for your stories. I live for the moments you fall head over heels for someone new. I love your terrible first dates and your even worse second ones. I overly enjoy the new things you are forced to try and the amount of Starbucks coffee you must ingest for the sake of socializing. I especially appreciate your vulnerability and courage.
To the people in my life that are living alone and/or far from loved ones, I live through your journey. I delight in the fact that there are brave people like you that can make it look easy. I find comfort in the wisdom you have to offer and the trials you’ve had, as well as your successes. I live through your excitement of when your routine changes or you get visits from a loved one. I admire the way you love them, just like I equally admire your need to make sacrifices to take care of yourself. I adore the way you maintain long-distance everything. I’m beyond glad to have you in my life, because you make all of my own adventures seem a little more doable and help me know that all of it is possible.
To the people in my life that are having children or have them already, I live through the glimpses into your lives that you share with others. I appreciate the reality behind the all-nighters with the flu. I love the funny anecdotes about a plan gone wrong. I admire the time and thoughtfulness you put into planning family vacations or educational outings. Keep doting on your kids, I love seeing it. (Also, I feel ya. I may not live with them, but I understand a lot about being exhausted from children at the end of the day. Thanks for sharing those moments too.)
To the people in my life that are watching their children graduate and slowly crawling into retirement, I live through every moment you’ve shared with me in our past. I adore the way you’ve built homes and families and the stories you have to tell. I admire the fact that you’ve capably navigated the future that looms ahead of me and thrived (or seemed to thrive anyway). Your genuine selves and ability to work hard is everything I hope to possess. Your slip into retirement is well-deserved and I love hearing about your new hobbies…and having access to some of the products of that. I also live for your love of Facebook memes (even if you don’t realize they are memes) and sudden love of drinking that I never realized until I turned 21.
To the people in my life that are still in grade school, I live through your energy. It depletes my own, but I love how excited you get when you tell stories. I love how there are so many things you are trying for the first time. I admire the open dreams in your heart, your world is one where everything is possible. I love that most of your problems are small, I love that you sell Girl Scout cookies and fundraise for your schools. I live for Halloween to see what creative ideas you’ll come up with next and how in the end, I’m really not surprised that you are so clever. You are more athletic than I will ever be, so please keep letting me know when you have sports competitions, I live vicariously through those too.
To my family, I honestly live through every little thing that you do…except maybe the dentist. I enjoy reminiscing on the woes of having a dog while you try to hush Gibson in the background. I love the gossip, the long-distance drama that doesn’t involve me, and the near daily weather reports. I admire your thoughtfulness and I dream of being as good at sending care packages and letters someday. When you just come in from chores, gardening, or cutting wood, I suddenly want to do all the things I tried to avoid throughout my childhood. I even miss butchering chickens…but I suppose I’ll be around for that this summer…? I love the way you appreciate the things around you, even if they’ve lived through the same pattern for the last 30+ years. I admire the way that you are present, I think I live through that the most.