July 2008. I moved to Richmond, Virginia with naïve wonderment, hopes, and dreams, and very little plans. One year later I had already formed amazing friendships and relationships with great people. The first and most important was with my friend Jess. We did practically everything together including late night weekend shenanigans. We have seen ups and downs, relationships rise and fall, good nights full of Baltimore Zoos and not so good nights full of PBR. Dancing the night away, walking the city during the day, and living like girls in their early to mid-twenties. Fast forward to July 2014. We are standing in line outside the Byrd Theater, she in yoga pants, I in sweats, mumbling about how late this movie was starting (945pm), and watching all of the people drive by with their windows down yelling about how much fun they’re going to have in just a few short hours. Here we are, both now in the third decade of our lives, decked in flip flops and pony tails at ten o’clock at night and I looked at her and said, “You know, five years ago we would be in your room sitting on the floor in front of your mirror putting on makeup, beers in hand, getting ready to go join them.” She looked at me and said, “What a difference five years makes.”
She was right. I wouldn’t change my life for the world. I’ve been able to have wonderful life experiences, good and bad. I’ve gone through the entire progression of young adult life to adult life and made it out of the other side wiser and better for it. I can’t even imagine how much wisdom I’ll accrue during my 30s. And I’m not saying at all that Jess and I are duds by any means, because when we go out, we go ALL out, it is just less frequent and usually a holiday or a special occasion or a wild hair, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is this: Look at where you were five years ago. Look at all of the life you’ve been able to live, all those phenomenal days, both good and bad. Now, just imagine the next. And will you have a friend or partner good enough to weather the ride with you and stand by your side in elastic clothing and smile as you realize how long you’ve been taking the hits together? I hope you do.