Last weekend, in random passing conversation, I heard someone tell her nephew that when she was growing up, she admired another little girl and wanted to be very much like her.
Tonight, on the way home from a day trip to my aunt's house, that same person, my cousin, told me the same thing, again, with a little more detail.
My cousin, Tarah, one if my best friends post-high school, my "Bean," told me something she had never told me before.
She told me that when we were little girls, she admired me. That she pretty much always has. That she wanted to be like me growing up. That it was a big deal and honor to be able to hang out with me in my room. That she played the clarinet in the school band... because I played the clarinet in the school band.
I never knew these things.
Growing up, we played together, loved each other, and were friends for many years. She's about 2.5 years younger than me, but it didn't matter. My cousins were some of my best friends. There were a few years that we weren't close, due to distance and some other issues, but then in college, we found each other again.
We found similarities in interests, life events, activities, passions, etc.
We became best friends.
We realized we are, in many ways, very much like each other. So much alike on ways, that we joked once to her mom over the phone "it's like we were spawn from the same being."
Yes, we used that particular phrase... because we are cool like that.
Her mom replied something to the effect of, "what do you mean you were spun from the same bean?!"
Oh, how we laughed.
And then, we got matching spinning bean tattoos.
Talking tonight, hearing her tell me those words... filled me with gratitude, joy, awkward embarrassment, a sense of awe, a paradoxical combination of humility and ego boost, and also reciprocity.
I think I was so blown away with the comment that I didn't tell her that I admire her too. I don't genuinely feel that I'm that admirable, and certainly don't see myself as such, but goodness, it felt absolutely magnificent to hear it. I felt (and still feel in the regular) like a socially awkward nerd.
I truthfully may not have wanted to be just like her growing up, partially because I was older... but there were things I admired about her all along. I always thought she was beautiful, funny, smart, strong, and brave.
And she still is. And I still admire her for those reasons, among others. She perseveres. She's a hard worker. She's compassionate. She's outgoing.
She's pretty spectacular. I'm lucky to have her.
So, in case I didn't say it aloud to you in the truck tonight...
Tarah, I admire you, too. Love you, Bean.