Hey Lauren, it’s February 10th, 2011. Well, technically it’s February 11th, but I say the date ends not at midnight, but when you go to sleep. And I haven’t gone to sleep yet . . . you know how that goes. Anyway, it’s February 10th – your one-year anniversary of being on the Love Bomb team. You were one of the very first ones, my friend. And seven months ago you took over leadership of the team. You’ve now officially been running it longer than I have. Congratulations . . . and thank you.
I remember the very first time I ever noticed you, when someone pointed me to a piece of writing you had done. It was really, really good, so I went to your blog to read more. And what I found there was even better. After reading for 30 minutes, I remember tweeting something like, “This is what a blog should be. Raw, real, vulnerable, beautiful.” And that’s just your writing! Your photography is gorgeous. Intelligence is crazy. Personality is fun. You look like a model. And your heart . . . that’s the best of all. Do you know why I asked you to take over the team so long ago? Not because of anything listed above. That stuff helps, of course, but your heart, Lauren – you just straight-up LOVE people, in a way that I knew I never could.
Every week you lead the Love Bomb team in reaching out to a person who’s struggling, and you lead by example. When I read what you write to each person, the sincerity and empathy in your words are striking. And not many people know this, but you follow up with the people we help. You keep in touch with them. You become friends. You take a vested interest in their lives. Wow. That’s what people in this world need so much more of, and you’re always willing to give.
So today, on your anniversary, I wanted the rest of our team to give a little something back to you. Everyone goes through personal struggle, and you’re no different. I understand that you’re in the middle of a rough time right now, and so do some of our team members.
But know this, Lauren:
I tell you that a lot. I know you know it. But what I don’t tell you nearly often enough is that you changed my life. You brought joy back into it when I was in a very dark place. I finally started laughing again, and 9 times out of 10 when I laughed, it was with you. That did so much for my soul last year. So, so much.
You were surprised the other day when I agreed with someone about how talented you were. That made me realize that I’ve been pretty quiet with my praise for you. Now that we’ve been friends for so long, and you’ve worked for/with me for so many months, I totally understand that you’re brilliant. Because I know how much you’re capable of, I also expect a lot from you. And while I think that being demanding drives you to become better in certain aspects, I never want you to feel that I take you for granted.
I don’t know if you know this, but I still read almost everything you write. I look at all your pictures. I talk about you to everyone. In fact, often when my family members ask how I’m doing, they ask how you’re doing as well. Because you are family to me. You’re my sister, Lauren, and I want nothing but the best for you in this life, whether you continue working with me or go far off into the world to do whatever is next on your list.
Thank you for always being one of my best friends.
Thank you for leading this team by example.
Thank you for loving unconditionally.
Thank you for being you.
You are enough.
You are loved.
I love you.