I am BEYOND excited and have been waiting for the moment Casey aka bestie aka favorite redhead would be gracious enough to write a post for me. She is one of my FUNNIEST friends, so funny I don’t do abs prior to hanging out with her because I know I’ll get enough of a workout laughing at her stupid stupid
self jokes. Last weekend Casey came and visited and it was some much needed girl time. Best laughs of the weekend came from Casey doing push-ups at a bar on a Sunday night, Casey falling up the stairs in order to catch our train, and Casey trying to jump on top of a giant rock failing multiple times in what made a hilarious snapchat video. The arrival of her post also comes at the perfect time because of our recent Bronze match loss. I’m certain if I had to write this week it would be all doom and gloom but instead you get a super sweet, extra funny post that I hope will inspire you like it did me.
**WARNING SAPPY POST BELOW**
(parentheses plus italics plus ** = IJ’s comments)**
IJ is the kind of friend that meets you at the airport with a beer in one hand and her phone recording you for snapchat purposes in the other. She’s the kind of friend that tells everyone all week that her ‘best friend’ is coming into town so that by the time you get there they all hate you because they’re so sick of hearing about you. She’s the kind of friend that has 18 best friends (including Evy McCoy)*- and all of them really are her best friends- because she has a heart the size of Texas and a knack for making people feel special. She’s the kind of friend that takes you on a boat tour of Copenhagen even though it’s her 6th time to do it in just a few months, because she wants you to see the city she now calls home. She’s the kind of friend I want to be, and the kind of friend i’m extremely lucky to have in my life.
…She also happens to be the kind of friend who posts TERRIBLE photos of me on Facebook just because she looks cute in them, but thats a story for another blog post, and I suppose we all have our faults. [I will get you back someday.] (Best picture of Casey ever she looks just like Mr. Burns, hotttttie)*
Being able to live across the pond with IJ in my own time zone has been one of my favorite parts of being here. We’re having our own adventures but doing it side by side, comparing notes and commiserating along the way. This weekend visit could not have come at a better time for either of us, as we both needed some TLC and best old friend time. And by old I obviously mean longtime friends— apparently we have to clarify these things now as two ‘dang near 30’ ladies who are both the [beloved?] ‘grandmas’ of their respective new friend groups.
It’s a time of unknowns for both of us. For those of you who follow IJ’s blog posts religiously [you should], then you know that she is dealing with a lot of unknowns about her life in the near future—where she will live, what she will do, etc. For me, I’m finishing up grad school, beginning to write my thesis, and starting to look for jobs. Neither one of us can tell you where we will be living in the fall, who we will be working for, or where our lives will take us. Neither one of us can tell you our preferences for what our life will look like, either, except: Not home. Now Mom, before you read this and start crying, know that home, to me, is a beloved, sacred place that I miss all of the time. But it feels right for me at this point in my life to miss it- sometimes an insane amount- but not to return there permanently. Yet. IJ, I know, feels the same.
“Is there something wrong with us that we don’t want to go back home?” She asked me as we were walking one day. “Are we running away from something?” I have always looked at my move to Berlin as running towards something I have wanted for a very, very long time. But in a way, running towards this dream meant I was running away from others. It’s impossible to run towards one thing wholeheartedly without simultaneously running away from something else, so I guess in a way we’re both right. But I know for her, she was running towards a dream as well. She doesn’t truly in her heart believe she is simply running away, because playing volleyball is one of the great joys of her life and she has spent most of her life single-mindedly running towards it. It requires some significant sacrifices to be here, chasing this particular dream at this particular time. Sacrifices she and I would both like to continue to make in the Fall, if at all possible, even though we complain and cry and feel overwhelmed about them at times.
Between the eating*, boat tour, rock climbing [loose term for me struggling with one, singular, medium sized rock] (SO FREAKING FUNNY)*
and general exploration of Copenhagen, I had the distinct pleasure of watching IJ play the game that she has given up so much to play. It was the best part of my weekend, watching her on the court. This was the crux of the thing we had talked about on and off all weekend— this is the thing she has given up so much for, the thing she is dealing with so many unknowns about in order for the chance to keep going, this is the thing that makes her heart beat fast and the thing she can never get enough of. This game, the opportunity to play again, the opportunity to have an adventure while pursuing her passion, is what makes all of those other things worth it. To watch IJ play volleyball is to watch my friend live out her dreams, and, by the way in case potential recruiters are reading this, she is DAMN good at it. [You can find IJ’s playoff highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4yg-9jrZRM&feature=youtu.be
she is an athletic, beautiful, volleyball unicorn. hire her.] (Biggest eye roll ever and probably a punch you know where Casey and 18 best friends)*
(IJ at this point hates me, but just trying to help a sister out. also I want somewhere new to visit in the fall, please and thanks.)
…To watch IJ play volleyball is also a horrifying reminder of the huge gap in natural athleticism and ability between us, she is a graceful, agile athlete through and through and I often times trip while trying to jog, but I tried to not think about that too much as it makes it difficult not succumb to insane jealousy when your bestie is so perfect and talented. (barf)* side note: IJ and I first met on a volleyball court in 8th grade. it was apparent even then that one of us was meant to be there and one of us was perhaps *slightly* less naturally inclined towards the sport.
Despite the grossly uneven distribution of athletic prowess between us, she has remained one of my oldest and bestest friends. Her ability to face her current difficult situation with grace and poise is yet another example of why I am proud to be counted in the very elite, exclusive, small, tiny group of her 2 dozen best friends. 🙂 Unknowns will always be in our life, and despite the best planning and making the necessary sacrifices and decisions, we still aren’t guaranteed everything we want. But I believe, as cheesy as it is, that nothing meant for you misses you. And I firmly believe that IJ has some incredible things meant for her in this life. At the end of the day, no matter where we travel, we take ourselves with us. There is no running away from that. This is something you learn when you pick up and move halfway around the world. For some of us expats, this can be a difficult thing to face, this idea that moving across the world for a fresh start will fix your problems or change you in some fundamental way, and people can be severely disappointed and surprised to find out this is not the case. But for IJ, this is great news, because she’s been traveling with the best company for years now, and will continue to do so no matter where she goes and what she ends up doing.
So for now, the unknowns are the constants in our lives. The only thing we can really count on is not being able to count on much right now. Being okay with the messy in between, and trying to live life to the fullest in between fighting tooth and nail for a future that involves living abroad. And knowing that we did our best to be present, to enjoy the time we had here, and tried our hardest to fight for the dreams and plans we wanted to see come to fruition. And, unlike trying to eat as much ice cream as IJ does, that will never be a mistake. (never regret eating ice cream)*
IJ, my wanderlusty friend, thank you for being an adventurer, the greatest friend, and simultaneously an inspiration and a terrible influence on my life [going out the night before a flight is a TERRIBLE idea, and I blame you for the less than ideal flight home]. You are a slice of home for me and Copenhagen is lucky to have you, although I am quite sure I will never be allowed back in.
*every single solitary thing IJ had planned revolved around food. which works great for someone who is a professional athlete and has the metabolism to match, but for myself, I found that my pants had shrunk by Monday morning. I mean obviously it was worth it, but for those of you planning to visit, I recommend an intensive workout plan before and after. and not just for the food, but for the running to catch the train because IJ always underestimates the time it will take to walk there.… not that i have started an intensive workout plan. Its more like, my fat pants are now just my pants and i’m learning to be okay with it. #moretolove
There you have it. My amazing, talented, wonderful best friend spewing about our current lives and relationship. Casey’s presence this past week has been the perfect reminder of the precious people I have supporting me both near and far and how I couldn’t chase my dreams without them.