In the wild, spontaneous nature of the world, our friendship makes it bearable


one of our moms idk

Jessie Warren (said best friend) and I at John Ball zoo one year. We clearly had impeccable fashion taste!

In 2008 at four years of age, we met at a park, unaware of the years ahead of us. Through preschool, elementary school, middle school, and the final years of high school now, our long friendship has remained the stability in my life.

In our early stages of being friends, our creativity collectively began to blossom. We wrote incoherent songs about whatever first graders could dream up and invented a “handshake” that we used as a way to communicate from across the classroom or as a figurative way of saying “goodbye” to each other. 

Our houses became familiar with each other and always welcomed our nonsensical personalities and imaginations. We created games and storylines that we invested our entire beings into, especially in The Sims, where we would make characters with intricate backgrounds and family trees. No matter which house we ended up at for a routine sleepover, you always had your laptop in hand, enabling our excitement for our ruthless Sims playing. On top of our overwhelming creativity, we kept up on our film skills on our infamous iPods and documented whatever miscellaneous videos we thought of. Some of those videos are still accessible to this day, embarrassingly enough.

Growing up, we also had our yearly trips to Frankenmuth for your birthday, the classic Art Prize visits in fall, and spent multiple days up at your cabin in the warm months of summer. Some of my favorite memories stem from these places and quite literally developed a few of my current interests. Any time one of these events approached, my excitement would shoot through the roof. Due to unforeseen circumstances, these places were unavailable to us this year, leaving me to feel empty in a sense. But now new traditions have developed, and we can find joy in more local areas as well.

We cry about our grandmas, we discuss feminism and politics, we talk about our existential theories and thoughts, we lament about our situations and frustrations, and the list goes on.

Now as we are teenagers; our conversations consist of more heavy topics and are fueled by our deep passions. We cry about our grandmas, we discuss feminism and politics, we talk about our existential theories and thoughts, we lament about our situations and frustrations, and the list goes on. We constantly express our love for the YouTuber, Kurtis Connor—as we are both citizens of Kurtistown—and watch his videos on repeat. We now accidentally watch horror movies that come to be hilariously traumatizing. We attend every school dance with each other instead of formal dates and always end up having more fun in the subsequent hours at your house.

We both still remember every lyric to our chart-topping theme song that shall remain nameless. Our inside jokes have become more and more incomprehensible, and the daily TikToks we exchange give me a well-needed boost of humor in the blank days of January. And whenever we go almost anywhere in public, we end up having an unusual but comical interaction with a stranger, like when we went to the antique store in Eastown and had a “spicy” conversation about a Belding Library t-shirt with that random man.

But the most meaningful thing on top of it all is you being there for me. You always showed up to every one of my repetitive and cringe-worthy dance recitals. You invariably express support, love, and kindness to me, and I am so grateful to have a one-in-a-million person like you in my life. 

Through the deepening cracks in reality, our friendship has provided me with comfort and laughter. The trip I went on with you out East to visit your family was a highlight in the dim year of 2020. Our differences collide making us alike, and whether on a New Jersey beach or on a dock outlooking Rainbow Lake, we both can admire the sunset presented for us for an extended amount of time and truly see beauty beyond the surface. I have no doubts that by the time we are decrepit old ladies, we will both be living in the same nursing home. And, as you know, I will be playing my tunes too loudly, so make sure to yell at me to dial them down.

When I think of the word best friend, the only face that comes to mind is yours.I love you, and I thank you.