I went back to 2008 today, when Taylor Swift still sang country and I still believed covergirl beige was the best foundation for this pasty white girl. I rolled my windows down with an Ag teacher and we listened to old Tswizzle albums and sang with the heart of Celine Dion. We jumped from song to song laughing, windows down-forgetting due dates, and gradebooks until Long Live came on and it took me to you.
The you who went skinny dipping with me in broad daylight and got caught by my sweet old granny. The you who faithfully burnt my cd filled with Lips Of An Angel, Hackeysack, and way too many Dashboard Confessional songs. You were my best friend who signed up for it all- just for me. We fought high school together and then peaced our in true fashion- short and sweet. We talked for hours and still to this day, I know your number by heart.
It also made me remember you… the 3 Of you, that made me embrace college fully. My 3 completely different freshman roommates who taught me so much in that short year. You taught me how to grow up… how to drive on the interstate, how to go through an actual emergency situation.. you loved me, every incorrect southern inch of me. You taught me that heartbreak can be the hardest in the form of a best friend.
Then, as I went down the line, there was you. The girl who taught me that I may not sing but I make music with my words. The girl who, to this day, participated in one of the most defining events of my life. Who taught me about Real life Jesus and stood on a stage and said.. I am washed by the water. That moment will forever shape my whole life. And then… We were in a book together. You just didn’t know.
I remember moving to a new place, 100 thousand miles away from my home and you were the opposite of what I had ever been friends with. You were bold, crass, and dirty in the most amazing ways. You taught me about loyalty and friendship and what it really means to feel like we are apart of something. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way again about something and sometimes, I’m scared that I won’t. One of my favorite nights was locked in that office going over our dreams on a whiteboard. I was surrounded by so many yous. You who taught me about finding your identity and made me proud to call you my southern sister… you who taught me all about the importance of Indian and Thai food and took me home… you who loved my dog and was always his second mom. You who took me in and became my Ann (my faithful nurse),you who taught me about Ghanaian music and How To Get Away With Murder. And finally you, who taught me to be a leader and how to be an adult. I love you. All of you.
My favorite line to the song is how I will always think of you. I’ll always tell them your name. And my friends, your name will live on in the most amazing, tall tale of stories… with crowds going wild and us fighting dragons together….
But if God forbid fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures