all these love songs, and where the hell are you, my dear?
i lived with jessica for a summer, and she was my successor as aias president at the u of a. i guess the first time we really spent time together was in DC during the summer of 2001 - we mostly ditched the conference to spend time around DC, hanging out in the museums and meeting more interesting people than we thought we could meet at the conference (i'm perfectly aware of the irony here, don't worry). the summer after that, we lived together in clarendon, giving design advice to the city and the mayor that unknowingly presented us with homemade porn instead of movies about the once beautiful city (sam will no doubt remember this, as well, since we gave him the task of returning the film to the mayor). i remember hanging out with the boys from k-state in dc (though i can't, for the life of me, remember their names), one of them photographing her at every available opportunity, and me thinking, for the moment, how incredibly beautiful she was.
and then there's natalie. i don't really remember how my connection formed with natalie - i think she was in first year, and i was in third year, i guess as aias pres, but i can't really remember when we started talking. it was one of those weird things - one of those situations where you meet someone and you can talk about the most obscure things, reference something that happened many years ago, and they totally GET IT. you don't need words or situations or circumstances to understand each other; it's just there. i can call natalie tonight, ask her to pick me up from the airport, and she's THERE (though admittedly, it's harder from dubai than it is from fayetteville). and, last year, i was on a jury that was selecting scholarship applications, and i came across nat's, and i was reminded of how incredible she is. speaking many languages, background all over the middle east, some of the most beautiful artwork i've ever seen, and thinking, for the moment, how incredibly beautiful she is.
and then there's neil. neil was my high school sweetheart, i suppose. but like
things in high school, our relationship was mostly superficial and terse (though not in duration). and like most high school relationships, there were things about it that really stung and things about it that were really sacred. and while i can dwell on that all night (and believe me, i could), what really strikes me are the stories i've heard over time - small tidbits about interests and actions and studies and understanding that while we "grew up" during college very far apart, we really grew up together. i feel like that no matter where we are, we really aren't that far apart.
and tonight i had dinner with the mayors of jessica's adopted hometowns (portland and eugene), and i've been sending music to nat as a new resident of dubai, and i recently rediscovered neil on myspace (or he rediscovered me, whatever), and i feel so incredibly connected to them, no matter what the distance entails.
but then there are those friends who are THERE, those that maybe you "forget" to feel that innate connection to, because you talk to them every single day. they are the murrye's and the michael's of your friends - the ones you know you can forever count on.
murrye has watched me grow so tremendously over the last several years. perhaps at a distance at first, but by the time we were in 5th year, we were absolutely inseperable. i remember the very, very first day of architecture school, when laura said "take a look around, because these are the people that are going to be in your wedding." sure enough, carrie and murrye were my bridesmaids and luke was an usher in my wedding.
but murrye has evolved from a close confidant to my very best friend. during the last three years, there has been no one, and i mean no one, that has provided me with the insight, courage, and inspiration on a daily basis that murrye does. to be cliche, murrye has seen me at my very best and my very worst, and she always looks out for *me*, moreso than the situations i get myself into. and over the last 3 years, i've watched her grow tremendously. she's went from a phenomenal designer and artist (which she is) to this beautiful, confident person that knows no boundaries. it's hard being best-friends with a drop-dead beauty (which she also is), but it's much easier being best-friends with an incredibly beautiful person that will always be so, even when she stops being telegenic (though i've seen her mother, her physical looks will never disappear).
and then there's michael, the love of my life. i can't seem to talk about him without recalling cheesy thoughts of bad poetry. just a few nights ago, he wrote me an email, recalling some early love letters he wrote me (he's packing up our apartment, remember?), asking me to please not "roll my eyes" at him. that really about sums it up - anything i could tell you about our love would probably make your eyes roll. but, after 7 years, i'm still completely fascinated and intrigued by him, and the fact that we finish each other's sentences only adds to that. we have this understanding of each other that completely transcends whatever it is that we do on a daily basis, and i feel lucky to have found this person when i did.
so where does that leave us? i think it leaves me incredibly rich, with a multitude of people i can reach out to all over the world. it also leaves me a little baffled - how can you ever know the impression that you make on someone else?