Monday, October 31, 2011

on new beginnings.

champagne is the best send off.
this past weekend was my friend amy's last one in town. she's off to houston, where her fiancee lives, to find a new job, a new home, a new life.
amy and i first became friends in nyc. during our first year of school together she kept a small group of friends. her boyfriend lived far away, and she rarely went out. i have a distinct memory of her answering a question in one of our classes, sweater tied over her shoulders, pearls gleaming. she was, i thought, not my cup of tea. and, i assumed, i wasn't hers. so the year continued. we never spoke, probably never though much of one another. just another classmate.
shortly before the fourth of july, in the first half of my summer internship, i got an e-mail from amy. a girl who i have rarely said boo to. she wanted to know if i was going to be around that weekend, would i be going out, could she join. it was going to be my only weekend off all summer, so with a shrug and a perplexed smile, i e-mailed her back and said, sure, why not. i was going out with a couple of other classmates, also in nyc for the summer, who weren't abandoning the city that weekend. amy arrived with wine and cupcakes, and we talked for a few hours before heading out. i heard about how she recently broke up with her boyfriend. how she avoided meeting new people because she thought she was being loyal. how she regretted it. but mostly we laughed. about our jobs. about new jersey. about all the things we would do when we went back to nashville. by the time we had our first alabama slammer at the bar, we were inseparable. we went back to nashville, attached at the hip, and in march i will stand by her side as she marries that boy she's moving to texas for.
amy said that when she told her mom how lonely she was that summer, and her mother encouraged her to e-mail me, she balked at the thought. we weren't friends. we never talked. i'd think she was weird. and her mother said
"amy - to have a friend, you have to be a friend."
and with those words, amy e-mailed me, and a whole new chapter of our lives began. she put aside her anxieties and put herself out there. because that's the thing about new beginnings. sometimes we have to do more than meet them halfway. sometimes we've got to meet them all the way. i know amy is nervous about going to texas. i know she's scared that she hasn't found a job yet. i know she's nervous about where she's going to live. about how it's all going to work out. but maybe, it's like her mother said, to have a friend, you have to be a friend. well, to have a new beginning, you gotta be the new beginning.
all in.

"Fear plays an interesting role in our lives. How dare we let it motivate us. How dare we let it into our decision making. Into our livelihoods. Into our relationships. It’s funny isn't it? We take a day a year to dress up in costume and celebrate fear." -- The Office


  1. I am guilty of not putting myself 'out there' enough so I can empathise with Amy. But you are so right, sometimes you have to meet someone all the way in order to get what you want. It takes a very brave person to reach out like that so I have no doubt she will land on her feet in Texas! Good luck Amy!

  2. I love hearing the story of how friends became friends. So true about just needing to sometimes go all the way to be a friend, start a new beginning, change something, etc. I need to do a better job of that.

  3. And thus I love you, Colleen. And Amy, too, and your beautiful friendship together.

    Thanks for meeting me half way. I am so glad you did.

    Now tell me, where can we find these Alabama slammers?!


  4. I love this story. It is fantastic that you guys became lifelong friends.

    P.S. I had to look up a dark n stormy. I had never heard of it before. And...yum!



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