In the summer of 2001, before I left home for college, I sent my friend Allyson a journal in the mail with a letter written inside it. A couple months later, after I was settled into my dorm room, I received an envelope in the mail with that same little book and a letter from her written on the next couple of pages. This went on for a few years between San Diego and Santa Barbara - not weekly, or even monthly, but a few times a year this little book would make its journey, filled with secrets, love and heartache, confessions, inspirational quotes, doodles and photos. The last entry was dated in 2008, after a five year hiatus. I was living in New York at the time, and found the book in a box of old stuff. I sent it off to her for old times sake... and then, consumed by life and work and love, forgot about it.
Yesterday, we received a gigantic box in the mail... sweet gifts for the baby, awesome gifts for Didz and I, and at the bottom of the box, the book. That same old journal, filled with stories and memories from so many years ago. More than ten years later, I still remember drawing those doodles, sharing those secrets and insecurities with my dear friend when I was searching for balance and happiness in my life while floating through my first years of university trying to figure out where I belonged. Now, a decade later, I know I am exactly where I belong and am so grateful for my friendship with Allyson that has stood the test of time - even when we're cities, states and even countries apart.
I think she summed it perfectly: "Our friendship is like a super soft awesome college tee that's been washed and beloved for years and years..."
Thank you, dear Allyson. Missing you, and all my friends across the world this holiday season. I am looking forward to some fantastic reunions in the new year...