three years ago on this very day, these words were spoken to me by someone i had never met. when you reach out to somebody who is a complete stranger, there is a very good chance their response will either be non-existent or very limited. not only was the reaction i got full of kindness and compassion, but it was five words that forever changed my life.
first and foremost, what you're about to read is inspired by an unbelievable post that my best friend wrote and dedicated to me this morning. it literally left me speechless--which as you probably have figured out by now, is extremely rare for me. after i blinked the happy tears away that filled my eyes as i read her post, i suddenly looked up at the date on the iHome sitting on the desk in front of me. september 24th. something seemed oddly familiar about that date. i logged onto facebook, went to my inbox, and typed in the words "soul mate" under search.
and there it was. exactly three years ago on this very day:
september 24th, 2007 at 7:22 PM
"hey girl...we have a couple mutual friends on facebook and i kinda stumbled onto your profile..so..hi..haha. i was looking at the blog page and i read the stuff that you wrote. you're REALLY talented sara. i've actually been dating a guy for a little over 5 years and we (well...he) decided that it was best to take a break right now. i think he just needs some time to figure out himself and the idea of 5 years was really scary for him. it's just a break (hence the "in a relationship" part on my profile) and we're still talking everyday, but reading some of the stuff you wrote about breakups and relationships in general was really inspiring:) i also laughed out loud when you said "my cats are my best friends" because my cat was sitting on me as i was laying there reading it. ...which obviously scared him and he jumped off haha. i just wanted you to know that your writing is definitely appreciated. i literally felt like i was reading a really really good book. i love to write and i have tons of journals filled with lyrics, random thoughts, and letters that aren't meant to be sent. it's really courageous of you to have that stuff out there for the world. i know i already used to this word...but its seriously inspiring. my best friend, a guy whose been like a brother to me for about ten years was adopted too, so i definitely connected with that part when i read it. that's awesome that you're so close with your family. it sounds like you've been through a lot, and i know i don't actually know you, but i can tell that you're an unbelievably strong person. anyway, i know this is really random...but i felt like i could tell, just through your words, that you're a really genuine person and i had this feeling like it was important to tell you that. i hope you keep writing girl:)"
as you have probably already figured out, the quote at the top of this post is the first thing that sara ever "spoke" (wrote) back to me. of all of the days for sara to write a tribute to me and our friendship, she--without having any idea that today was exactly three years since we met--chose this morning to write that. but that's the way our friendship has worked since day one, not by coincidences, but through destiny.
this is it. the first place we ever became "sara and fanny." i know you're wondering when i took this picture. it was about a month ago when i was driving near peace college. i knew it might be a while before i found a good use for it, but at the time something inside of me told me to take it right then and there. sara is absolutely right, from the minute we sat down at that outside table, we instantly became best friends. in my (almost) 25 years, i have lived for 9,093 days and the day that i met sara mclamb, is one that i will never forget. i remember the smile that spread across her face the first time she looked up from her phone and saw me. i remember when she propped her feet up on the chair next to her and the bottom of her ripped jeans slid up a little to reveal those faded little moccasins with the stars on them. for the life of me, i can't tell you what i had for dinner last week, but i CAN tell you that sara was wearing white socks under those goofy beat up shoes and at that very moment, my life was never the same again.
different day. same ripped jeans. same socks.
another day (out of my 9,093) that i will always remember is one that took place in a room very close to my heart (and the heart of every girl that went to peace college). the computer lab. mental picture: it was just another ordinary sunny october day in raleigh, and i sat in the computer lab with my new best friend. in my dark navy peace college hoodie, my feet were lazily hoisted up on the desk (as they often were) and i was doing my first myspace survey. sara sat next to me, squinting and holding her face about two inches from the computer screen, and called out one-bedroom craigslist ads to me. the semester was coming to a close and it was her first opportunity to live off campus. after an hour of rattling off different street names and apartment buildings, she casually--almost as if thinking outloud--mentioned the idea of finding a roommate.
"what if i was your roommate?"
sara's fingers stopped typing and without looking over at me, she smiled to herself and said "yeah right. i'd like to see the day you move out of your parents house." here's the funny thing about sara and me. of course our friendship has grown and changed in many different ways over the past three years, but in the first three weeks of knowing each other, we already knew every detail, every story, and every little piece of each other's lives. she knew me well enough to know that not for a second, had i ever considered moving out of my parents house anytime soon. i hate change, and i had never lived anywhere but home in twenty two years.
"no seriously. let's do it."
thirty minutes later, we had a two bedroom house in downtown raleigh with a wrap around porch, rocking chairs, and a puggle named butter. okay, that didn't really happen; but once sara saw the serious look on my face, we immediately began planning our future as roommates. i knew that one day i would have to move out of my parents house, and i realized that the only person in the world i wanted by my side when i made that transition was sitting right next to me.
through our two years of living together, we went through a total of 4 moving days, 2 leases, 7 pets (if you count all the goldfish), 148 totinos pizzas, 493 asian restaurants, 529 nights of staying up late talking for no reason, 147 naps on the floor, 319 pots of spaghetti, 14,430 hours of laughter, 28 hours of tears, 92 cases of coors light, 38 house parties (39 if you count the toga party where nobody showed up), 2 graduations, and 302 slumber parties where we shared a bed and a disney VHS after a scary movie.
before sara and i ever moved in together, i remember talking to her over the computer one night about how lucky we were to have found each other. even though it was the very beginning of our friendship, this thought struck me: "i know that we won't always live ten minutes down the road from each other." now if you know sara, you know that her immediate response before i even finished my thought was "i don't want to talk about it!" a few weeks later, we lived ten steps from each other, two years later, we lived two hours and forty five minutes from each other, and now (if you've read sara's blog you'll know that she did the math) we are 2,588 miles apart. i'm not going to lie, at the end of our daytrip to wilmington where we said our first goodbye and exchange going away presents, it was possibly the hardest moment of my life.
little did i know, i would return to raleigh two weeks earlier than expected and get to see sara twice before making my journey out to california. when the rumors of my move began to spread around to our family and friends, the two of us were repeatedly faced with one question: "what are you guys going to do without each other?!" yes, we would physically be further apart than we ever had been before, but "when you have a friendship like ours, you can survive anything." i read an amazing quote the other day that i will never forget:
"we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. we are spiritual beings have a human experience." ~teilhard de chardin
through one click of a facebook message, i found my soulmate. i believe that soulmates come in all different forms, but the basic idea is that they are someone you not only know in this lifetime, but are connected with on a soul level and have known in many other shapes and forms. that is exactly why the concept of distance doesn't exist between sara and i. she was right to say that when we need each other now, the reality is that we have to fill up our piggy banks and set a date, but in all truth, there is nothing that could ever stop me from getting to her. i realize that it's unrealistic to hop on a plane every time sara is crying on the other end of the phone, but if we really needed to get to each other, there is nothing--not money, not time, not distance, not jobs--NOTHING that could stop me from making my way back to her. if i woke up tomorrow morning in outer space, i would crawl to little river if i had to. three years ago, i made a promise to her that i would never leave her; and i plan to keep that promise.
as for now, i'm counting down the days until sara hops on that plane and i get to see that smiling face in person again (31 days to be exact). aside from there being a few more states in between us, nothing has changed. she's the first person i want to tell when a good movie comes on TV. picture (and sound) messages of her cats pop up on my phone at least twice a day. and we spend hour after hour after hour on the phone, half of the time just going about our days and occasionally asking the other one what movie they're watching or what they're eating. sara is naturally that kind of person. the one you want to be around constantly, the one you want to tell your secrets to, and the one whose stories you could hear over and over again. her laugh is contagious, and there's something about her sarcastic nature that is so hilarious, it almost makes you want to ask stupid questions just to hear her response. she is one of the strongest, move brave people i've ever met; but occasionally you'll still hear her yell "mama hold me!" not only is she driven, but she is one of the only people i know who ACTUALLY makes a change when she says she's going to. as ironic as it is, she was one of the driving forces behind helping make my dreams of moving to california come true. she's my backbone. she commends me for being such a positive person, and the truth is that a lot of the time, she's the one who brings it out in me. so today, on this day that just happens to mark three years since we've changed each other's lives, this one is for you. for my best friend, my better half, my soulmate. i am with you every day.
i love you to california and back.