52 Letters: #2

Dear Chels

I don't want to write about it. It's pretty personal putting it all out there.
I find it actually hard to see you. Not in a "I can't stand this" way but in a "don't move away best friend" way. Lame, I know, but if I see you then I remember you're leaving. If I hide out in the new house and unpack and watch cable and text you, you're still here and things feel pretty much the same. But it's not going to be the much of the same. Not without you around. I know, I know, Wisconsin is way better than Texas would have been, but dude I'm really going to miss you.

That first time we met at Arin's birthday I thought, she's really happy. You marched right up to me and introduced yourself and told me I looked nice in my Juice photos. High praise coming from someone so fashionable (I mean for dog's sake I knew you wrote a style blog). I liked you almost instantly, you know how I love compliments, and that red-headed hub of yours seemed like one heck of a bonus friend. But we both know it was Ashley, in some strange full moon sad blessing cosmic moment, that brought us to each other. You saved me just like she did. 

In the past few years I found in you the elusive grown up friend. We all know how hard it is to find people as grown ups that know us well enough to still love us after finding all the cracks within. I feel like one of the incredibly lucky ones though, because I found in you a family. We've shared secrets, dressed up in full spandex as homemade power rangers, spent countless hours talking about food, gone through break ups and breakdowns, through difficult decisions and two Grace Potter dance parties.

We've discussed every difficult part of life and celebrated three Easters together. We've toured Springfield, shared shoes, farm partied and picniced. (We still haven't barrel rolled down the hill at Hoyt Sherman) We drank stoop beers, threatened to drink the queso at La Hacienda, finished two 5ks, and been confused for sisters. We've made new friends, championed one another's successes, accidentally dressed alike and showed up to a party, once, severely underdressed. We've sang in the car, we played with sparklers, we mixed old fashioneds, we like the same sunglasses and we share a deep love of cheese. We know each other's families. (Except you and Jenny haven't met. We must remedy that situation.) We are each other's families.

Although I've been semi-avoiding you, I haven't stopped thinking about how hard this is to have your pseudo-sister make a home in a new midwestern city. I'm pumped for your new adventure and real frickin proud of your husband (he's my family too). I've been blessed (a word I don't often type) to have you walk into my life unexpectedly and constantly amazed by how easily we understand one another. I haven't met anyone since grade school who gets me like you do. I just can't figure out how everyday life will be as rich and wonderful without you in it. I can hear you in my head saying "it'll be ok. it's not too far away." All that is true, my dear friend, but hot damn it'll be a lot less fun without you here.

So there it is, my bestie. A love letter to you. I'm proud to have been part of your Des Moines adventure. I'm proud of who you've helped me become and proud of who you've pushed me to be. I'm proud of who you've become and proud of who I know you will be. I can't wait to introduce our future lives to each other.  I will speak to you regularly (I don't know any other way). I will miss you often. But what I do know is that in you I've made a friend, a confidant and a sister. I thought grown up friends were impossible to find. I'm certain I found the very best one.
Good luck. Don't fall in love with Wisconsin. I think I might need you to return to Des Moines someday. 

xo-LP