December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
If one friend were to get the “Friend of the Year Award” I would have to say hands-down it would one of my best friends, Abbey Levenshus.
Abbey is, for lack of a better term, an inspiration. Not only is she a rockstar in our department – she has a number of publications, is an outstanding teacher, and a stellar student – but she is a role model to me on a more personal level as well. A mother of a beautiful (and friggin’ adorable!) 18 month old, Abbey has shown me that you really can have it all: an amazing and supportive husband, a wonderful family, and a successful, promising, and prolific career and future ahead of her. If I could be at least half of the Ph.D. student Abbey has proven to be these past two years, than I would consider that an achievement.
On more than one occasion, Abbey has offered me sound advice in all aspects of my life: whether it had to do with school, my relationships, my future, or my fears and insecurities – she has always been there for me to lend an ear, or offer another perspective. In all of my highs and lows of 2010 Abbey was there to either be a shoulder to cry on or a hand to high five with.
I wouldn’t say that Abbey’s impact on me was a sudden burst – no, it probably was more gradual – a friendship that grew stronger and deeper in the past two and a half years we have been colleagues at UMD. And looking back on it now, I’d have to say that having Abbey in my life has really, truly, and honestly made me a better person. She’s not only changed my perspective on the world – I have learned to appreciate my life and be thankful for everyone and everything in it – but she’s also changed me. I am smarter, wiser, and more mature because of her. And I highly doubt that my life would have been the same if she were not in it.
So Abbey, thank you, for being the friend of 2010. I love you, and I hope that I have done at least a fraction of what you have done for me this year.