I am, without a doubt, the luckiest girl ever and the amazing women in my life are reason number ONE why this is so. At the top of the amazing women in my life there is a special spot reserved for my roommate of three years, the Silent Bob to my Jay, the person that made Tallahassee an unforgettable college experience, and my hetero life-mate forever; Grace.
I met Grace while working at Safari in the Governors Square Mall. It was a hippie type of store. Grace was an art student at FSU and I was a hot mess attempting to figure out life while at TCC. I remember being weary of her – this tall, blonde, fast-talking co-worker of mine.
But when she confided to me that she needed a roommate and I admitted the same, we made a decision that would last for the next three years years and make us both more miserable and more happy than we knew possible. And we moved into our first apartment on North Meridian St. in 2001.
The first year was interesting. It was the year of 9/11, the year we got kitties, the year Grace’s car was stolen during a FAMU homecoming, the same year her and Mike broke up for the first time and Grace turned 21, as well as the year I began exploring responsible adulthood. We drank, we hung out, we made art, we had friends over and we loved life. That year FLEW by.
The second year couldn’t have been more different. We had a kickass apartment behind Vinyl Fever on Pensacola Street and that was the year Krista moved out, Grace and I traded rooms, I found the Womb Chair on the side of the road, my Grandmother passed away, we had our biggest falling out followed by our greatest moment of honesty and forgiveness, and I turned 21. At the end of this year we decided to make it work as just the two of us, and what followed was one of the best years of my life.
Our third year – in Continental Park Apartments off of Ocala – was amazing. This was the year we were in our groove; the year we became truly and 110% bestfriends. This was the year I started to move on from LL, Grace busted her ass getting her MA in Fashion, we adopted a kitty named Audrey, we had neighbors and a group of friends we loved, I finished my AA degree and found something to do with my life, and we inhabited one of the brightest colored apartments of anyone we knew.
I remember that year as though it lasted four. We just did so much and packed so many memories (read: parties, drinks, and for me: boys) into it. I knew that when this year ended and we went our separate ways, that something amazing was ending. I can’t describe the emptiness I felt the last night in our apartment. (Vicki: thank you for all the work it took to cheer me up!) But either way, I had hope that we would stay in each other’s lives even as she drove off in her car with a U-Haul to Indiana.
I’m happy to say that this weekend – with Grace here in Florida in my home that has so many pieces of our life together – my hopes and dreams came true.
Grace is still the girl that can finish my sentences, that exclaims with delight in the same ways as me, who tackles life and shopping with the same amount of energy, who plugs into my life with zero effort and whose voice I LOVE waking up to because I know we’re going to dish about crazy dreams and pick up on our conversations from the night before.
She is the true definition of my very best friend and I am so very, very lucky to have had the chance to intertwine my life with someone so amazing.
Have you had an amazing roommate or a girl who came into your life exactly when you needed it? Did you stumble upon a sister you didn’t know you needed that grew into a friend you can’t live without?
If you answered yes to those questions then I encourage you to set aside some time and truly appreciate those relationships and all their history. Because these relationships are what make life worth living. They balance out the monotony of work and commutes and excel reports. And despite great physical distance or excessive length of time since your last visit, it will set the tone for your future and it can be just as fun as the past that got you there.
To Grace: I love you to pieces. This weekend pushed the re-set button on my very heavy heart. I remember who I am, what I’m doing, why I’m here, and what REALLY matters in life now. Thank you.