We met in early 2010 through mutual friends. We clicked immediately, but not with the local convenience store that thought we were trying to steal Oreos. You thought my name was Lauren, but I guess I can forgive you.
We spent our remaining teenage years together following around the local skater boys and chasing each other into the woods when we would finally escape them. We spent our days submerged in nature and would dance the night away at clubs. We drank endless amounts of 40’s and would later move to Portland and inevitably develop a taste for pretentious (damn good) craft beer. So many parties and mindless games of Kings, beer pong and flip cup that transformed our friendship into deep conversations about life, health, and happiness over a much more adult beverage known as “Kentucky Blackbird” mason jars at a bar where an older man worked that had the most badass sweetheart attitude in the world that kept us coming back *insert batting eyelashes*.
Exploring the woods is something that reminds me of you completely. This is what we both grew up doing and upon meeting each other, brought that many more adventures and love for this earth into our lives. Remember the time we picked up nearly 15 bags of garbage on the side of the road in Cresco? Remember that time we came to a giant tree that had completely fallen down and we walked along it? Remember that time we hiked the Delaware Water Gap at 6am with a bottle of champagne and orange juice? Remember that time we came upon a section in the woods that was filled of flowers? And then a random man took our photo? Any time we were bored, or to be honest any time we wanted to do ANYTHING, we always found ourselves in the woods. It is where I feel at home and at peace and I know the same for you (other than at Ruby’s Spa getting a massage and soaking in the steaming hot soaking pool which it seems like we did night and day). It’s as if we discovered our true selves exploring the woods and strangely we did this together as we both absorb the idea that solitude is bliss. Perhaps this is a reason we have such a mutual understanding of each other. We understand the significance of being alone to build clarity for ourselves.
Another thing that will always remind me of you: thrifting. We have always shared this euphoria around thrifting and it seems to bring us such relaxation and joy. Remember when we spent nearly 3 hours in a thrift-store in Seattle? Remember every Wednesday we would leave the Salvo with a garbage bag each full of treasure? Remember trying to sell our clothes all the time just to buy new ones? Remember ALL of the mugs?! We share a love of mugs that goes deep – we have matching mugs, have gifted mugs to each other, and you even painted one for me (not to mention still to this day actually taking the time out of our day to send photos/video evidence to each other of newly discovered to-die-for mugs wherever we are in the world). Remember when you found that eyeglass case perfect for my eyebrow tools? I’ve still got it here in New Zealand, baby. But nothing compares to the hand-made gifts you have given me that will literally die with me. “Any regrets Laura?” “There is a drawing I never received for my birthday by Crystal because it got lost in the mail overseas, I just cant seem to let it go!” They are one of a kind and are completely irreplaceable so thank you for always showing me the love in the form of hand-made gifts, nothing is sweeter.
We have had so many adventurous nights like the one that began with running into a potential mood killer at a Gardens and Villa show to then accidentally smashing a glass onto my bedroom floor at nearly the peak of our night to drooling over how dumb and handsome Ashton Kutcher is in Dude Where’s My Car?. So many shows and events with you – however of course not all ended this way. Some ended in you being lost in Philly for the whole night after a Tame Impala / Flaming Lips show, or meeting them through a metal gate after a different Tame Impala show (was this our first?), you being my saving grace after/during the “Led Zeppelin Experience”, getting groovy in the VIP section at a Beats Antique show, drunken slip n’ slide in my backyard, losing your birthday card and nearly your present on top of Jess’s car, camping in Tillamook State Forest pounding down a case of Rainier in the sun jumping into a swimming hole, having an incredible misunderstanding at the back of Marita’s in Stroudsburg after a tattoo convention, winning a trophy at a costume contest dressed as bloody angels, being hypnotized at the Fuerza Bruta in NYC dancing under pouring down water and another time rushing to NYC to see a visual album by Animal Collective but being turned away for being 5 minutes late – speaking of being late, let us remember our hot air balloon groupon voucher fiasco that we messed up for an entire year. Being nearly knocked around by a girl who just could not control her excitement at ANOTHER Tame Impala show in Portland, Gardens and Villa again in Portland, running into TWO unwanted suspects at a Tycho show, endless coffee dates and then giving up coffee together, doing yoga with candles in a public gym next to the washing machine, your 21st birthday in Atlantic City hanging out with a Lil’ Wayne drawing tattoo artist (oh and you winning $1,000 and then going straight to the bar and ordering shots of Patron), you giving me a tattoo in your bedroom…10 years of friendship, I could go on and on.
It amazes me that ever since we met, we have ALWAYS lived far from each other and refused to let that fate ruin our bond. Even when I moved to Philadelphia we never missed each other’s birthday. I would come to you, you would come to me. My house party, or your house party; it would never of been the same without you.
Other than the fun stuff, you have seen more of my depth than literally anyone that I know. We have been there for each other through heartbreak upon heartbreak, crisis after crisis, through so many tears and so many fears. We have been there for each other cheers after cheers, haircut after haircut, city to city, coast to coast, and now continent to continent. You have known and seen me before, during, and after it all. We bonded on our crooked teeth and you truly made me feel comfortable for the first time in my life with them. We would floss for fun and it was great; you even loved me when I got braces for my 21st birthday. You loved me when the greatest tragedies of my life affected me the most tremendously. You held my hand and held my heart when it seemed no one else would. You believed I was better than these circumstances and stood up for me when I could barely breathe. You gave me a place (literally) to sleep when I had nowhere to go. You have made me meals to nourish my soul when you ran out of words and watched Friends with me to bring the medicine of laughter back into my life. You truly LISTEN to me and never put me down and give me advice from a perspective that I will always respect.
You are one of the strongest people that I know and an incredibly powerful woman. Your smile ignites such comfort into my life and your generosity is overwhelming. You are incredibly creative in everything that you do and it is so gratifying to be a part of your life (even from afar) and I am overjoyed to continue to watch your creative mind develop and beautiful soul touch the lives of those you open your heart to. Thank you for always showing your heart to me and being one of the realest of the real.