Lauren N. Lankford
Lauren is such an amazing person, friend, writer, mentor, artist, photographer; and who knows what other great talents she has that I don't know of yet!
I met Lauren when I was seven and she was ten, while my family was living in Ohio over 10 years ago. Because of our age difference then, we didn't hang around each other that often and therefore weren't as close as we possibly could be.
Probably one of the few reasons we knew each other at all -and she has always been somewhere, in the back of my mind my whole life- is because the two of use share not only the same first name, but middle as well. I just had to mention that because I feel so honored to share the same name as her (and I think it's pretty neat as well :]).
I don't believe that there are enough words, phrases or expressions that I can give out to tell you how awesome LNL is. I feel SO lucky to even know her let alone be her friend and she be mine.
It's so funny how you can have met and known someone so many years ago, not speak to them for so long, and then one day you decide to send them a message through a social networking site; only to find out that you have so much in common and can talk to one another as if you've been close friends throughout all those absent years.
I have almost the same opinions, thoughts, ideas, sense of humor, taste in art & photography, ETC with Lauren. I love that I have someone that I can talk to about just about anything or any subject, knowing there won't be much disagreement, haha. It's nice to have a friend without much conflict.
Lauren's one of those people whom you cannot wait to hear about what she did over the weekend or what she's going to do after she gets off from work or any other interesting thing she might be doing at that moment. LNL leads probably one of the most interesting and adventurous lives that I know personally; it's fascinating. Oddly, she can also make the most random situations and things she see's in her life appear normal with the way she'll write about it. Which of course, is another branch in her tree of awesome-ness.
Her faith is so astounding to me; to have lived the life she has so far and still be so strong in faith and belief, it's beautiful. She inspires me to read my bible more, to dig deeper into my faith and go further down my walk with Jesus. Lauren was raised in a family that was controlling-relegious, but has found a way to take that upbringing and make her love for God & his word so much more stronger on her own; without a sense that it's obligation, but a joy & priveledge (as it is and should be) to be loved by Him. LNL is truly 'fearfully & wonderfully made'.
She seems to have become that older sister I never had, one that I didn't know I needed until now. For she can always, always help me through or better understand whatever I'm going through. Even if it's for just 5 minutes before she has to head out the door, and I need to talk to someone, she'll take the time to let me know that everything will turn out fine and I shouldn't worry so much as to other people's issues and problems, because they aren't my own. Things like that that I need to hear, just no one's put forth the effort to really help me figure out my problems and guide me through little things that pop up to worry me from day to day.
Lauren is also one of if not the most amazing artist I have ever known; through paint, pencil, digital film, and many other mediums that I probably haven't had the chance to see yet. Lauren is one of the few people that's really inspired me to get back, really back into photography & writing (including this blog.). Her work is so brilliant, creative, unique, stunning, pretty, interesting, fun, bright & colorful; if not more than that. I truly believe that someday she's going to be just as influental to me as to millions of people; LNL just has that star-like quality that's almost at it's full, ready to pop! and be out there for so many more people.
I honestly don't know what my life would be like without Lauren & her insight, influence, and the zillions of conversations we share.
Lauren, thank you for being such a brilliant, tried & true friend! I value our relationship so much and the dozens upon dozens of conversations we share each week. Thank you for all the honesty, compassion, advice and love you have bestowed upon me, I am so blessed to have you in my life. I appriciate you letting me in, into your mind & heart. You are such a beautiful and insightful person Lauren, there's not much more to say; for you're such a deep and complex (in a good way :]) girl, I really don't know how to say all that you are and what you & your friendship mean to me . I can tell you that there is no better big-sister-like person I could have ever asked or hoped for to have; thank you for not only being a great friend, but sister in Christ as well. You have such a soul that is filled with a beauty of understanding and care that I'm always grateful to have influencing my daily life. Thank you very, very much for being there for me and allowing me to be there for you, <3.- L