Mathematically, I spent 77% of my life uninterested in Sarah. That percentage is in direct correlation to the fact that our moms wanted us to be friends when we were kids. We refused.
My earliest memories of Sarah were at church, mainly when I stared blankly between her and her look-alike sisters. I hoped one of them would identify as the sister that was my age.
That childhood phase of confusion lasted until Sarah’s first day at my high school. She transferred after being home-schooled her whole life, and felt nervous on her first day. I didn’t say hi.
To the people of New York City: say hi to Sarah on her first day.
I rarely thought about Sarah until we led a retreat together towards the end of high school. Afterwards, Sarah popped an invitation to get coffee together. Sure, we had been friendly, but never one-on-one friends. I wondered what on earth we’d talk about. I mentally prepared an “emergency-list” of topics in case the conversation ran dry.
When we finally got coffee together, tears literally streamed down my face from an obscure raccoon joke she made. That’s Sarah’s way. She pulls you out of your comfort zone and you can’t help but love her for it.
To the coffee drinkers of New York City: laugh at her raccoon jokes. She takes her coffee with cream and sugar.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Sarah is moving. To New York City. Also known as…far away from me.
I’ve always preferred leaving to being left.
Anyway, back to Sarah. The most beautiful thing about Sarah is that she does not even realize how special she is. Throughout our short few years of friendship, I’ve watched boys try to contain that.
To the boys of New York City: don’t box her up. She’s perfect as is.
If I’m an extrovert, well, Sarah is an extra-extrovert. Sarah’s the one who always welcomes the oddball into the group. She prefers “you” focused conversations.
To the oddballs of New York City: you’ll feel at home with Sarah.
I’m trying hard to pick my brain for my favorite memory of my friendship with Sarah. There are so many. Maybe one would be the time that we laid in the grass on our college campus with twigs in our mouths.
So New York City, please, tell me that Sarah will find friends as weird as me waiting for her.
As Sarah gets ready to move away, I’m working to be less selfish about how it affects me and more excited on how it affects her. I hope she finds exactly what she’s looking for.
Sarah loves to tell people’s stories behind the scenes. She coaxes people into realizing the brightest part of themselves. It’s no wonder that her stories feel so alive. I admit, it’s my not-so-secret wish to see her on the front lines of journalism one day. I hope that New York will be the first step in that journey for her.
So New York City, you better get your act together. Make sure her new apartment has a handy key holder right at the entrance so she doesn’t lose her keys. It won’t help, but it would be a nice sentiment on your part. You’ll also need to host frequent country concerts. That way she can wear her old cowboy boots that remind her of home.
Most of all, New York City, prove to Sarah that she already is the person she has been waiting all this time to be. Show her that she’s drop-dead funny; gritty; purposeful; honest. Remind her that I’m only a phone call away.
P.S. New York City, please provide lots of twigs on the ground for when I visit. We’ll need them for when we’ll lay in the park and pretend to be walruses. That’s your most important order of business.