Today (in honor of her birth) I want to discuss one of my oldest and dearest friends (and hands down one of my favorite people in the entire world). I met Laura in 6th grade when we were assigned to work on an in class assignment together. The project was simple and demanded we create step by step instructions for a project or task (for example “How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich”). Since we were both “overachievers” (or simply over-thinkers) we decided to work on the project outside of class in order to create a more intricate model. Since Christmas was just around the corner we felt festive, broke out the American Girl catalogue, took a trip to Michael’s and made up our own “Christmas Piñata” of sorts. The project itself was pretty silly but one thing led to another and eventually we were having sleepovers, passing notes to one another through math lessons and spending recess making up code names for all the kids in our class. I’m so thankful for the project as it introduced me to my best friend.
Over the years I formed countless memories with Laura. I switched schools and was worried our friendship would end however we only grew closer. We shared summers with her family in Maryland and my family in Wyoming. We snuck out in the middle of the night not to meet boys or drink alcohol but to walk through her neighborhood pondering the meaning of the universe and planning hypothetical trips to Pluto. She was the first to hear about my first kiss, losing my virginity and falling in love. We spent an entire weekend eating fudgsicles and writing important figures on the names of the sticks for our “popsicle stick collection”. Edgar Allen Poe was one of the select few that made the cut. Like all friends seem to do at one point or another we had a falling out one year and it broke my heart. I worried that our friendship was damaged beyond repair! Of course we made up and in time grew closer than ever.
We attended separate colleges on opposite sides of the state but managed to stay best friends. We visited and sent letters, we talked on the phone for hours and when we were together it felt as if we were never apart. Don’t you love friendships like that? Though we both grew up and evolved our friendship remained just as whimsical and silly and full of love as it was when we first bonded at age 11.
Now I view Laura as more than just a friend, she’s the closest thing I have to a sister. We share so many memories of growing up together, facing challenges with family, friends, boys and within ourselves…I can’t imagine a life without her in it! Over the past few years she has impressed and inspired me with her growth emotionally and intellectually. Though she is crazy and quirky and weird (the reasons I love her by the way) she is simultaneously one of the most mentally sane people I know. Now that she is in Tennessee studying to become a counselor I’m even more fond of our long phone conversations. You really can’t ask for anything better than a best friend training to become a therapist. At the end of every long winded rant (on my part) I emerge with a sense of clarity and serenity. She’s going to make the best counselor one day, but she already makes the best friend!
I am a firm believer that everyone you allow into your life serves you in a different manner. We have those we can dance on the tables with, those we can discuss classic literature, those we can laugh with and those we can rant to and then there are those people whose souls so closely match your own…with those people you can do just about anything and you’ll find you are having the best time of your life. It is such a privilege to have such company in your life.
Today is Laura’s 23rd birthday. She is a truly special human with a heart of gold (just like the Wild Waves employee we used to say that to back in 8th grade). The world is a brighter, quirkier, warmer place because Laura is in it. I swear she’s going to be my maid of honor someday!
Do you have any childhood friends that you have remained close to over the years? Isn’t it fun to share so many memories and so many phases of life with someone?