i met jess, my college roommate, because she lived in my dorm my freshmen year. in the second half of the year, we quickly developed a very close and amazing friendship. i've had a few friendships start like my one with jess did. where you meet and click and can't stop talking and laughing and you just know. but jessica was the first person with whom this happened. the amount of laughter in my last semester of my freshmen year was beyond me. we talked about getting a cat and made up ridiculous stories and said he'd be the ring-bearer in our weddings. in a little tuxedo, naturally. we met some boys and stayed up late and laughed and snuck by the security guards in our dorm. it was perfect.
|i love dumbo. she loves disney.|
when we came back for our sophomore year we got that cat. we delved more into our majors, our friendships, our relationships. we went on spring break together and threw parties together and did all the things you should do in college. the summer after our sophomore year i went on study abroad and missed jessica and chandler, our cat, an inordinate amount.
|dressed as pirates. with our treasure.|
but when i came back, my relationship with my boyfriend, which had already been falling apart, was over and done with. it was a hurtful end, and to boot, i was also hurt by one of my friends and roommates in the process, someone jessica had been close with since childhood. our group of friends was in shambles and jessica was one of those, quite squarely, caught in the middle. i was so hurt, upset and angry that i was often blind to what others were going through, what they were struggling with.
life, as it's apt to do, slowly but surely, and painfully, went on. i got better. got happier. moved on. we all did. and throughout it all, jessica carefully balanced my friendship with that of our old roommate. they had known each other a long time, and i worked very hard to be ok with that - jessica was one of my dearest friendships. i didn't want my hurt and anger to consume that too, as it had done to so many other things.
it wasn't until a few years later, as i contemplated dating one of our other friends, that i started to understand what a struggle it all must have been for jessica. one night, seemingly out of nowhere, she got upset in our bedroom, afraid that we'd go through something all over again. a bad break-up. losing friends. the struggle to maintain it all at the same time. it was a smack of reality that i wasn't the only who had been hurt, or struggled to get it back to good.
that night made me think of how jessica had handled what had happened. i realized she demonstrated, in it's most selfless and basic form, what it is to be a friend. because sometimes our friends will disappoint us. they will make decisions and take actions we don't agree with. they will let us down. sometimes, in the process, we will be hurt. but a true friend is steadfast, is constant, is faithful. they have the courage to tell you what you're doing wrong and stand by your side at the same time, ready to be with you when it, inevitably, all comes falling down.
and that is jessica. she is the embodiment of courage, of steadfastness, of a constant. since college i have tired to emulate her more - allowing my friends to stumble, and make mistakes, and be wrong. i am honest about what i think and true to my beliefs, but i don't leave their side. and i expect, and receive, the same from them.
our friends have a lot to teach us if we pay attention. i was lucky early on to receive this lesson from someone who could not have taught me better and who could not have been a better friend.
|dreams do come true!|