nobody loves me quite like you love me

A few posts ago I wrote about a writing contest that I entered over at Hello Giggles.  It was a writing contest call “Tales from a Bestie” and I wrote a piece on my former Roomsmate and how we met.  It felt good to right it, to reflect on our first weeks and months of friendship.
I was not, however, chosen as one of the finalists.  Although I read the posts that were chosen and they were seriously good!
I did, however, get an e-mail back from them asking me to pitch some ideas for the website.  They said they liked my voice and thought I had an interesting point of view.  Which was cool to hear since I tend to think my point of view isn’t all that special.  But maybe because I see it everyday.
I’ve been trying to put myself out there more, in the writing world.  I’m trying new things and making myself put my ideas out there.  But it’s hard, friends.  It’s hard to look at the world around me and think so many thoughts but then to write them down in a way that others would be interested/challenged/whatever.  But I want to keep trying, so we’ll see.
I have other writing news that I’ll be sharing in the next couple of days, but for now, here’s the piece I wrote on the Rooms, for your reading enjoyment.

Relationships are full of moments.  Significant ones that change everything like a cannonball into the deep end and insignificant ones like a drop into an ocean.  Most of them go unnoticed in the real world.  There aren’t any orchestras following us around to swell and crash when something is happening that we should take notice of, like in the movies.
Imagine with me for a moment – picture a grad school orientation in a small room full of chairs and a podium, the walls lined with coffee, tea and assorted pastries.  It’s late August in Chicago which means you could cut the humidity with a knife, every window in the room is open but it doesn’t help the stale summer air circulate.   As I walk in, I instantly feel the social pressure of the situation.  A room full of mostly twenty somethings all wearing name tags and mingling.  Everyone is subtly eyeing everyone else – sizing each other up if we’re all being honest here.  I look around and across the room I spot a girl my age but much more put together.  She’s chatting with a group, laughing periodically and I feel a pull toward her.  I immediately know that this girl and I are going to have a story.  Either we are going to come out of this program as best friends or we are not going to get along.  Later when it’s time to break into groups, I end up in her group, where I learn her name – Hilary.
The next day there is a breakfast for the whole school and the professors.  I end up sitting with Hilary again and at the end of the introductions and announcements over eggs and coffee, I decide to through out an offer – “Wanna walk to get coffee before whatever’s next?”
“Sure, can we stop at my apartment first?”  To which I respond “Sure.”  And that was it.  The moment we became friends.  I’d later come to find out that Hilary hated coffee – everything about it.  So her agreeing to go with me was a bit of an anomaly.
Fast forward two months, Hilary comes over and tells me we need to talk.  We go into my room, close the door and she is grinning from ear to ear.  We had been petitioning our campus housing to let her move into the third bedroom of my apartment.  We had finally gotten a yes and we celebrated the moment we became roommates.
In a lot of ways, Hil and I could not be more different.  She is a pastor’s kid who moved from the south to the west coast before coming to Chicago.  I didn’t become a Christian until High School, moved from the east coast to Colorado before moving to Chicago.  She is up to date on fashion and trends while always being perfectly accessorized and before we moved in together I couldn’t even paint my nails efficiently.  She is a pop music queen and I have a tendency to be a bit more indie inspired.  She loves movies with car chases and lots of action where I could watch chick flicks everyday and never get bored.
But at the same time, we always found common ground in the strangest places.  We both knew all the words to every song on Robyn’s 1995 release Robyn is Here.  We both loved to dance it out when stressed.  Neither of us were morning people and need caffeine before we can even think about talking to each other.  We’re both into craft beer and love to find pubs or neighborhood bars to frequent.  She’s a planner and I’m a follower of plans.  We just tend to fit together in the oddest of ways.
There was this one moment that seems to sum up our interactions – we were driving home from church in my car.  As we listened to music and talked through what homework we needed to do that day I asked her to remind me to do something when we got home.  She pulled out her phone and added a reminder to remind me.  I laughed and said, “One of my favorite things about you is that you set reminders to help me remember stuff.”  And she looked at me in disbelief and said, “That’s one of your favorite things about me?”
But the truth of the matter is that yes, in that moment I realized that she was the type of friend who went above and beyond to help her friends.  This was just a small example of it.  She was constantly helping me become a better person, a better friend, a better pastor.  It was a moment when I realized just exactly how much I appreciated her in my life.  That mundane moment that really didn’t mean a lot was the moment when I realized she was the best kind of friend, one who cares deeply about you – not because what you could do for her but because she loved you.
I’ve heard that it’s hard to live with your friends but once again, Hilary and I were an anomaly.  Although I am positive we often got on each others nerves, we also had no qualms about just coming out and saying what was annoying us.  It’s not that we didn’t fight, it’s that we fought out of a place of mutual respect and aimed for compromise.  I remember a few tense conversations standing in our kitchen, each of us refusing to turn away until it was resolved.
One night in particular, I was in my room crying over some dumb guy.  We had been at a party and I came home early to wallow.  She stood in my doorway giving me that look that I knew meant she had something to say that I did not want to hear.  When I asked her opinion she gave it to me and I was right.  She essentially told me what I already knew – I was wasting my time on someone who could care less about me.  It was within that quiet moment that I realized she wasn’t ever going to sugar coat something that I needed to hear.  We didn’t need the sugar coating anymore – we were Besties – the fact that we loved each other unconditionally was all the coating we needed for the hard truths.
Our friendship has had hundreds of other moments.  Good moments – dinners out, birthdays celebrated, new crushes discovered.  Hard moments – hearing that she was moving away, new heartbreak, big life changes.  And all the in-between moments – runs to the store, car singing, texting about the latest bit of celebrity news.  Each of the moments are treasured.  She is one of the best people in my life and regardless of the fact that life has taken her to the west coast and kept me in the midwest, we continue to be the anomaly in each others’ lives.  She is one of the only people who can call me on my crap and keep me laughing while she does it.  She’s a beautiful friend and I hope we get a million more moments together.

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