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The Life you Leave Behind

shulsThis is an amazingly lovely picture of my best friend Shula. She has been my friend for 7 years (wowza!) and we have watched each other grow and change a lot over the years. About four months ago, I moved away from New York to DC to try and jump start my career and have wound up – as my blog posts may indicate – still having no idea what I am doing.

This past weekend, I returned to my best place, NYC, for a little visit. I caught some sort of cold/flu, but other than that it was glorious. I ate my favorite food, walked my favorite streets, and it really felt like I hadn’t left. But I had. and it is now Monday and I am sitting in my office in DC feeling as if I had imagined it all. Granted, that feeling may be attributed to the cold medicine.

So, why is it that I enjoyed so much seeing my friend, and my city again? Well, part of that is nostalgic. We ate in our favorite Japanese place, that probably isn’t the best that was ever eaten in New York, but it is ours. A place that used to give free edamame back in 2002, and now just gives the same old amazing Chicken and Vegetable dumplings as it always has.

But we are different. We aren’t trying to buy beer under age, we are thinking about different things, we are talking about different people. We are in a different place. The dumplings remained just as tasty, but I could tell that there is something to be said for being friends with someone a long time. You are there for a reason. It has become less about the constant hanging out, and more about the fact that you can be yourself 100% of the time.

You can be with a boyfriend, or a husband, or alone and you are always just as valuable, and pretty, and awesome to your friend. You are always just as funny, and just as loveable. You are always you. So as we sat and caught up, I realized that there have been many times where we have led separate lives, with separate dreams and passions, but there we were just the same.

She has seen me through some of the toughest points of my life, and I hope that I have helped her sometimes along the way too. She was there for the good moments and the bad, but mostly she just didn’t stop being there. She didn’t get bored, or forget to call, or neglect a birthday.

She has heard me complain about my unfulfilled dreams of my career, and has always listened and tried to think of thoughtful advice. Most of all she has reminded me that we are all plugging along, trying the best we can, with what we have in front of us. She used to be in psychology, and is now pursuing her passion of graphic design and animation – which I had no idea she was so good at until I saw how dedicated she was to it.

She always teaches me funny things and makes me smile, and forgives me when I mess up.

Most of all, she is just the same person that I met 7 years ago – only better since I know her history since then. And I have lived through it with her. She always makes fun of me for being sappy – and she is definitely right. But I know that we can live with or without each other in the same place, and still share dumplings any time we want.

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