Please use this blog to remember, share and honor ALL that was the endlessly charismatic Lindsay Rawot. This Cruel Summer banner was personally designed by Lindsay as the header for one of her own blogs.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amanda Zwilling

I think that it’s only natural to be influenced and inspired by one’s best friends to a certain extent.  Personally, though, I know that the number of ways that Lindsay inspires me on a daily basis far exceed that of a typical friend.  Many of the ways that I’ve been inspired by Lindsay over the past few years are extremely obvious; I’ve worked to establish and raise money for a scholarship in her memory at Duke and I’ve committed myself to increasing the number of donors in the National Bone Marrow Registry.  I’m a vegetarian, and I try to be as eco-friendly in my daily life as possible.  I overaccessorize proudly, and feel way less guilty about shopping online.   While these are extremely important on a practical level, the ways that Lindsay continues to inspire me on a day-to-day basis are far more meaningful to me:

Lindsay inspired me to believe that family is your most important and best friends.  I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve grown up in an unusually close and supportive family, just like Lindsay.  Although I’ve always known that my parents and siblings are a source of unconditional love and support, I learned the meaning of this on a different level through the Rawot family.  Billie, John, and Brandon would and did do absolutely everything in their power to support Lindsay emotionally and physically, and the mutual love, friendship, and respect between Lindsay and her family was tangible.  I have been inspired to know the true meaning of family through the entire Rawot family, and what it means to be completely selfless and dedicated in a family bond.  I have never cherished my friendship, love, and trust, with my parents and siblings more than I have learned to over the past few years, and we have all discussed the Rawot family’s influence on this.  

Further, I’ve learned that your best friends truly are the family you choose.  As Emily perfectly described it, Lindsay treated her friends like kings and queens.  Lindsay taught me that true friendship has no bounds.  It was without thought that I committed myself selflessly to my friendship with Lindsay after she was diagnosed, but Lindsay has inspired me to really understand who my true best friends are, and commit to those friendships with no abandon.  Lindsay knew the meaning of true friendship, and showered her best friends with love, support, encouragement, advice, and the most perfect gifts.  This memory continuously inspires me in my friendships, and I strive to emulate her quality and strength of relationships in my own.

Lindsay has inspired me to allow myself to be passionate in everything that I do: friendship, love, crushes who will never be love, my education, fun, partying, learning, reading, discovering the world around me; I’ve learned never to apologize for who I am. Lindsay never settled for less than what she felt she was capable of, earned, and deserved, and I try to hold myself to the same very high standard.   I learned from Lindsay never to be embarrassed or feel compelled to explain myself when following my heart, intuition, or mind, and that my true friends, family included, will be supportive when on these endeavors.  

I’ve been inspired to live more spontaneously.  As I wrote about on the blog last year, Lindsay loved to be spontaneous and lived life with a certain attitude of ease unattainable by most.  I’ve tried to take the little things in life less seriously, and be more spontaneous when it comes to fun and following my heart.

Lastly, Lindsay has inspired me to never, ever give up.  I have never met someone with the level of determination and fight that Lindsay embodied, both during her battle with cancer and before.  Lindsay taught me never to give up whether the battle is something small that is merely important to me, or something as consequential as life.  Lindsay’s perseverance gives me perspective everyday, and I feel so lucky to call Lindsay my inspiration, role model, and best friend.

LAR – I miss you more and more everyday, but you are in my heart and with me in everything that I do.  You have touched and inspired more lives than most could ever hope to, and I am so proud and lucky to call myself your best friend.  Happy 25th Birthday Linds.  Infinite love, hugs, and kisses, today and always.

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