The dorm room was like any other. It was the beginning of term and didn’t quite have the overpowering musk of spilt beer and sweat––it was still mild. The windows were open, offering a light breeze; and while it was no longer summer, it wasn’t quite fall. The boys who lived in that room had taken the door off the closet hinges, laid them over their desks and created what any great dorm room needs: a beer pong table. It was not a party, but a simple gathering. The room with the beer pong table belonged to two boys, one who was from Chicago, a track star; the other a tall fellow who pretended to be Australian. Because the dorms here were in an apartment style, this room was connected to a few others, along with a bath and living room. Some of the other suite mates had joined, though the number of us remained below ten.
The year was 2007.
And of any dorm rooms to enter, She walked into this one.
At the entrance of a beautiful girl I suddenly felt conscious of my clothes, my body, how I stood, what I said. Before I was carelessly present, not concerned with how I came off, and suddenly it was all I could think about. She entered with her bright smile, blonde hair and boisterous laugh, and I became hollow. Pushing myself to the edge of the room, trying not to be seen.
Like any college night, the conversations got louder, the beer pong less competitive, and the mood more jovial. Other girls filtered in, and as they entered I noticed her get closer. New beers were passed out, a discussion of what parties to crash had, and when someone got a word in, a laugh was quick to follow. Sitting on the edge of the room, the margins where I felt most comfortable, I was talking to my friend about music. He was sharing what bands he enjoyed, and I listened suppressing scoffs.
At a mention of one band, her eye brows lifted and she walked over to us. I have no idea what she said. But my body relaxed. She took a seat nearby, and the hollowness started to drift. She wasn’t like the other girls. She spoke my language. I was comfortable. Excited even. Could this be the one? Had I found a girl I could finally connect with? With my insecurities on hold, and my boldness high and mighty, I asked if she wanted a shot of Captain Morgan’s. She looked me dead in the eye, jumped off her seat and grabbed the bottle. Pouring the shots, with only a minor dribble on the table underneath, we clinked our glasses, and threw the far too sugary shots back.
There are tales of love, and tales of woe. Stories of tragedy, of unrequited pain, and diminished hope. There are classics, novels read time and time again, of love bigger than the world, bigger than our hearts could ever imagine. We are fed these scripts, we watch these movies, we digest these songs. We think of love, we drown and dance on its stumbles, we are picked up by its peaks and mountain tops, until each day is one gigantic climax. We learn to yearn, we learn to grow, we break, we fall. And if we are lucky, if the universe has it in its mind, it will send a blue eyed and blonde hair girl into the room you randomly have occupied for very few minutes. She will catch your eyes, walk over to you, laugh at your jokes, and ask your name. She will pour you a shot, and then spend the rest of the night in your company, arms untangled. Taking to the streets with you, as if you had never been apart and will never again be.
The year was 2007.
And my soulmate had just walked in.
They tell you of love in contingent forms. They write it down as if it could be boxed. They whisper what it looks like, how it should feel, where it might take you. I know them to be wrong and the story to be different. It is not easy, but it is true. You are not just another line in a song, nor a notch on a bed post. When I close my eyes and rest my hand on my heart, yours beats. You are everything I could have ever wanted, and more.
Her name is Molly, and today she moves. New York is stealing her, and I would love to be mad, but the emotion that drops on my feet and lands in my stomach: good ol fashion jealousy. New York you scoundrel, how dare you get the best thing that ever happened to me. How dare you take her away. I hope you know what you are getting, I hope the cold winters, the sweaty Augusts, and the sky rises realize the Win coming their way. When a star moves we see a flash against the night sky, today when you fly across the many states between us, some may look up and see a spark. Because that cargo, that butt in those seats, that’s my best friend, and she’s about to conquer the world.
Having lived together over an accumulative nine years, it’s a reality my brain can’t catch up with. A wall between us? Sure. 3000 miles? The fuck.
But I didn’t write this to whine, and I know the band will just get better, but I couldn’t let you go without an ode to everything you are, and all that you are destined to become. Because here is the thing little muffin, Areina and I love you so much, we will LET New York have you. That’s right. We will put down our bow and arrows, our charms and crosses, our chasers and whips. Because the world deserves to sit down face to face with you, and laugh at your jokes, cringe at your social interactions, and be in awe of your determination.
This girl. This woman, this creature is a force to be reckoned with. The boys want to be her. The girls want to be her. I want to be her. And while it saddens me to watch you go, the reminder I get of how lucky we are, that pendulum of truth, has been swinging back and hitting me square in the face. Because to know you, is to be completely and utterly enthralled with you. You take something simple and make it grand, you take disgruntled notes and turn them to music, (nutz, nutz, nutz), you took an Oregonian girl and stood beside her as she became a global woman, you make everything better, and you are by far the funniest person I have ever met with the softest skin. Let them judge us, allow them to stew in their misunderstandings, for you are not merely a roommate or friend, you are every heartache, every win, every break down and each breakthrough that I have survived. She has held my hand, held my hair, and made me food when sick. She taught me the names of flowers, the bands to watch out for, and how to be unapologetically and authentically me. Even in the darkest and bitchiest of moments, she would take me back. The nights spent on my bed chit chatting about this or that, are the nights I went to bed smiling. For to find someone, and to have her sit on your bed, or lay on your legs. To find the girl who wants everything for you, who makes you feel like anything is possible. To be with the woman who makes everything better, is to put a pause on the fast movements of a revolving world.
The pier was like any other. Made of wood, with massive bolts holding itself together. It smelt of fish, tourists, and old candy. It curved at the end, creating an almost elongated stretched out L shape. The planks were constantly swarmed by seagulls and pigeons, much like the wharf was in a perpetual throng of tourists. The shops and restaurants hadn’t changed in decades, nor had their menu or offerings. Because this was a transitional place in town, it was unnecessary for novelty. When the visitors are always visiting––it makes for little necessity of change. It was a neutral day in fall, not too hot and not cold, on a work day afternoon. I was heading into another evening shift after a day of school.
She was just coming off her morning shift. As we walked towards each other I noticed her purpose. She wasn’t just about to walk by, she was headed for me. As she got closer I could spot her coffee colored eyes, tan freckles, and dimples sent from God. Or whoever doled them out. She waved her arms and yelled my name.
The year was 2009.
And of all the wharfs on all the oceans, my Love walked down mine.
In a world of 7 billion people, the three of us found each other on a rackety old wharf, serving over priced beers and bullshit clam chowder, constantly wiping off the ketchup that had dribbled down our bare legs after clearing dirty plates or marrying reused bottles. We were simply here for the tips, having no idea our lives were changed forever. Many people spend their entire lives looking for the people who make them happy, looking for someone who will perpetually make them feel at home. I was lucky enough to find TWO, and in only my second decade on this planet.
I know I am privileged in many ways, I am quite clear that my cup runneth over. But this isn’t about the roof over my head, or the money in the bank. The greatest thing to ever happen in my life was to find my tribe, my band, my bunniez, my counterparts. When I close my eyes and think about what I am grateful for, their faces appear. To find not just one, but two people, that have a strong enough gravitational pull to stop the world from spinning, and make everything seem perfect, is, well fucking astounding. The time I have spent with these two are the moments that make up everything I love. We have giggled to the end of the world, cried, screamed, puked, danced, and been there to hold each other when nothing else felt right. I am on this planet as a beacon of love, and these two taught me exactly what that meant.
To be fully accepted when all clothes and masks are off. To be celebrated when you are simply being you, is a gift I will forever cherish. And although my heart aches to watch my soul mate go, I can only imagine that we are now more capable to share this love, this level of acceptance and respect to more and more people. For our love doesn’t end here, it simply stretches that many more miles. What we used to keep hidden in our apartment is now blasted wide open for the world to see. So I write this as an ode of love to you, Milly Babs, but also as a call to action: what would it look like to treat, speak, and interact with everyone you meet today, relating to them as their greatness. Not their mistakes, not a wrong doing, not a judgement or opinion, but simply what they bring into the world. What would today look like if you reflected every person’s greatness to them? For this is what my soulmate does to me everyday, without even speaking she galvanizes me to be bigger, better, and more badass than I was yesterday. It impacts my clients, my work, my writing, and the strangers I meet. And instead of leaving this love, this unconditional space of acceptance and celebration, for just us, what if I honored you and everything you are, by seeing it in others?
How might we change the world if we interacted with everyone, not from their automatic ways of being or defense mechanisms, but in complete joy and acceptance of who they are? What’s possible if we put down the distance between us, and acknowledged the closeness? The connections? Lets get what we came for, and put it back out.
So today Molly, as you travel on that plane, as that flying machine takes my soul mate away, I vow to not drown in silence and tears, but go out, and love each person as much as I love you. The world doesn’t need us to sequester our love for each other away, it actually needs us to stretch it wider and wider. 3000 miles wide, and all the more deep. Thank you World for sending me not just one, but two of my persons. Thanks for allowing me to step into the version of myself that binds me in love and purpose. I do not walk alone with out you by my side, but stand taller because I now understand what it means to Stand. To be a beacon of Possibility, Love, Joy, Laughter, and Connection. My best friends brought me the world, and I take on the task of giving it back. To leave the world as rich in connection and joy as they brought me.
Nothing makes me more proud than pointing you out in a crowd and saying her, that one right there, that’s my soul mate. Nothing brings me greater happiness than sitting in a room with my two best friends, and getting enveloped in each other. I reckon I’m the luckiest girl in the world. And now I imagine it’s high time I share that luck with the rest of you. So New York, here she comes.
The year was 2018.
And my soulmate got on a plane, and our love took over the world.