She’s “the girl who packed up her bags and was on her way to my house” the night Kent dumped me.
She’s “the girl who sent me funny pictures via Google-chat” to keep my mind occupied.
She’s “the girl who had her bachelorette party in Vegas”.
Introducing my best friend, Brittny.
Different kind of friends serve different kind of purposes in our lives. It was really strange to me when all of Kent’s lacrosse friends started getting married because I knew them in their college stage of life, and now their wives were knowing them in a different capacity (like Jana Kramer tells us, this is completely normal). We have friends who serve to help us overcome a potentially disastrous time in our lives. During my existential crisis, I definitely found refuge in specific people. We hung out all the time, chatted all the time, and once I was over the worst part and able to stand on my own, I no longer needed to seek their guidance, and our friendships changed. We have friends who occupy us on Friday nights, friends who we go to coffee dates with, friends who can help us pick out our outfit for our dream interview. We have friends we take workout classes with, friends we talk about Victorian Literature with, friends who are friends with the guy we like. And, then we have those kinds of friends who will be there for a lifetime.
Brittny and I met just after I got hired at my school. The cheer coach invited me to hang out with her and some other coaches, and fatefully, Brittny was there (she student taught at the school and would get hired a few days later). We spent the entire night, conversing about cheerleading and poms, student teaching, and the likes. Brittny was bubbly, friendly, outgoing, and we instantly became friends.
I would NOT have gotten through my first years of teaching without Brittny. Although her classroom was on the far other side of the school, I always enjoyed stopping by in the mornings or during my plan period to say hello. She was always available via Google chat when a disruption occurred in my class and coached me through how to address it, or if I wondered whether that lesson would be lame or not. We supported each other in the spirit world, and spent a good amount of time at basketball, football, volleyball games and competitions together.
Last year, Brittny left for another school, and while I was sad to see her go, I knew the friendship we created would withstand the distance. We check in with each other almost every day, and I thoroughly look forward to Friday or Saturday nights when we hang out, whether it’s watching bad NetFlix movies in sweats, making new friends and giving out fake e-mail addresses, attempting to cook dinner (we all know how that goes), going to Imagine Dragon concerts, or dancing to Britney Spears and doing the chicken wing.
Like Simon, it was not until I met Brittny that I really understood my value, and it wasn’t until I began editing Happily Never After that I realized just how much she has endured with me. She was on her way to my house when I broke the news Kent dumped me. She kept me occupied when I needed it, and listened to me cry when I needed that as well. She picked me up from the airport after visiting Simon, and also sat through hearing about that break up as well. She was the one I broke down with at the local wine bar as I began formulating the book. She’s been my biggest advocate, cheerleader, and supporter. I bounce my marketing ideas off her, my teaching ideas, my ideals of “Prince Charming” (and, of course, she always offers me an honest answer when I am wrong or way off base).
I have always had a plethora of friends and people to hang out with, but it was not until I met Brittny that I realized how empty and meaningless most of these friendships actually were. She is genuine, so talented at her job, and survives under a golden moral code. She drives me to be a better person, encourages me to reflect on my teaching practices and life decisions, introduces me to new opinions, viewpoints, and perspectives. She is never afraid to tell me the truth (even if I don’t want to hear it). It was she that predicted Kent would have another girlfriend, that he would move away, re-invent himself, and would probably never contact me again, she that I discovered my views about infidelity, she that pointed out my emotional blockade. She tells me when my blog posts might be too offensive, if I treated someone unfairly, and always somehow senses, even from far away, when I am in a funk. Our conversations range from super nerdy (the Greek Euro Debt Crisis and Google’s new marketing campaign) to cultural (What IS Miley Cyrus wearing?) to school related issues (leadership philosophies, department responsibilities, content objectives). She is strong, confident, and optimistic. She single-handedly unlocked my outgoing spirit (you will often find us attracting ALL the attention on the dance floor) and always encourages me to try new things. Life is an adventure with Brittny and she’s the kind of friend who, if her job for some mysterious reason moved her to Flint, Michigan, I would definitely invest in a plane ticket every month to visit (even if that meant I had to skip a yoga class).
I don’t know what I ever did without her as my friend, but knowing what I know now, I never want to go back.
Thanks for being the best, B! I can’t wait to continue doing life with you!