I could sit here for hours and list off the reasons I’m so sad to have lost one of my best friends. It would be really, really easy for me to go on and on about how she should still be here, and how when I get off the phone with Leanne, I still want to call Jessica too. Or when I can’t get ahold of Leanne, I still want to be able to dial Jessica’s number because one of them always answered. I could tell you about how regretful I am that I pulled away the summer that she died. Or how sometimes I see someone who has the same hair she did and I have to look twice. That I miss her so much and that I still cry because it’s just not right that she’s not here.
Instead I’m going to tell you how she impacted my life, and how I want to make her proud.
Everything changed when she wasn’t here anymore. All of the sudden I was afraid of dying, because I knew I wasn’t really embracing my life. I was going through the motions, not even really thinking about who I was or what I wanted. And then, once I realized this, I just wanted to live more fully. To take more chances. I thought about all the things I wanted to do in my life, the adventures I wanted to take, how I wanted to pursue making art…. I just wanted to stop caring what other’s thought I should do or say and start being true to myself. After all, I don’t know how much time I’ll get.
Very often, I get sucked back in to what’s comfortable. What’s logical and reasonable and responsible. I start thinking I should settle for a job I don’t like again because I make twice what I do now in a job I love. I think about how my clothes should match, or how I should pay more toward student loans instead of flying somewhere to see friends. I do the safe thing instead of taking a risk that scares me. I settle.
And then I see this
It’s taped above my desk.
And I remember I HAVE to do those things I said I was going to do when she left. Because what Jessica taught me was to be brave, to go after what I want, to do what I think is best, and that it’s not important that your clothes match. I love her and miss her so much, and I hope she’s in my dreams tonight, so we can hang out on her birthday.