I knew this girl in college. We met in one of my classes freshman year. I think it was Women's Studies. I loved that class....woke up in that class....literally (it was at 8am) and figuratively. Anyway, we met and became fast friends. You know the kind. You meet and everything just clicks. The conversation flows easily. It's stimulating. The connection is heart-warming, and you just know you're kindred spirits. I am lucky enough to have a handful of friends like that, but this particular relationship was different. It was more.
Anyway, for the next 5 years (yes, it took me the proverbial 5 years at UCLA to finish my two majors) we were inseparable. We did everything together. Took the same classes, became RA's together, drank together, road-tripped together. Hell, she was even there when I had my knee surgery. Through everything, broken hearts, broken bones, mid-terms, all-nighters, finals, football games, summer jobs, up until several years after graduation we were together. We got our first jobs together, and our second and third. We helped each other move into our first apartments. We moved across country together. Commiserated with one another while all our other friends were getting married and having babies, and we remained on a seemingly endless roller coaster of bad dates and loser boyfriends. Yup. We did everything together up until I left my job at the Bronx Zoo a few years back. Since then, not a word. We've lost touch, and I cannot find her anywhere no matter how hard I've looked.
And I miss her...sorely. She was great. Smart. Funny. Fun to be around. Creative. Passionate. Ambitious. Brave. Warm. Optimistic. Goal-oriented. And very adventurous. The kind of person who always had an interesting story to tell and something funny to say. People liked being around her. I liked being around her. I liked her stories, envied her bravery and adventurous spirit. I admired all the things she was willing to try and do without regard for who was watching or what other people thought. She traveled and lived all over the world in Japan, Thailand, China, France, Ireland. She was even our school mascot. She road-tripped across the country a couple of times. Sang at graduation. Sang in restaurants. Picked up and moved across country with no job and nothing but what could fit in her car. She was adventurous like that. And like I said, her bravery, her willingness to try anything no matter how crazy, inspired me. And at a time when I seem to be lacking in inspiration, I miss her even more.
Hopefully some day, she and I will catch up again. Until then....wherever you are....I hope you're doing something crazy...singing in the streets....living in Africa....studying the tribes of South America....handling exotic animals....running marathons....practicing medicine....for my sake as much as for yours.