Saturday, October 22, 2016

Five Things I Learned from My Best Friend

My bestie is getting married. The day which I sometimes wondered if it would ever come has. And there was much rejoicing in the village.

My best friend, Corrine Vitek, is going to say her 'I Do's' to a wonderful man who has proven on more than one occasion that he is a match for every mood. I am pleased beyond Chatham Artillery Punch. I myself have had the honor of being a friend of hers for, at this point, sixteen years. We met during my first year of college, 2000, when I was first learning my way around the internet and stumbled into ChatRP. For those who remember, I will say one thing: CheetaChat. I then had to learn, quickly, how to moderate my time between going to class and getting work done and plumbing the depths of the imagination as represented by thousands of colors scrolling across my screen. I am INCREDIBLY lucky I didn't flunk out in my first year as much time as I spent making up fictional worlds with people I had never met. However, I digress. Corrine, or Callista as I first knew her, showed me a lot of things I might have never found on my own. For those of you who do not know, I'm insular and more than a little prickly, so me meeting people is a little difficult even with the anonymity of the internet. We hit it off, became friends, and eventually would meet in person, five years later. That was my first time at DragonCon and a story for an entirely different post. Over the years, I have realized that all the while she was being my friend, Corrine was also, by example, teaching me life lessons. Here are the top five things I have learned from our friendship.

1. Love What You Love. When she and I first met, I was a closet comic book geek. 90's Marvel was my jam, but I didn't really know any other girls who did that. I always sort of assumed there was something wrong with me because I would rather read comics. I knew more about the line up of the original X-men than I knew about shoes or anything even remotely girly. When the first X-men movie came out, I was pissed at what they had done to my favorite characters. And she was right there with me. This is not to say that we have always loved the same things though we share a lot in common, but talking to her about everything showed me it was safe for me to enjoy whatever it was that I was enjoying without worrying about whether or not someone else would enjoy it too.

2. It is totally 100% OK to Fangirl Your Friends. Friendship is something I have never fully understood. Fangirling is also something of a mystery to me. However, I have watched, from afar, as Corrine goes absolutely gaga over things that her friends do, including me. I will never forget getting a text message from her about "The Sacrament", a movie I was an extra in, saying that she had seen and heard me on film. Palpable excitement. I did a little happy dance. In that moment, however small, I was a celebrity and it felt awesome. Now, when I can, I fangirl for friends of mine because they deserve to feel awesome about their accomplishments.

3. Do That Thing. This is her response whenever I question what I should be doing. Translation: Do What You Want To Do. All things being equal, in a world without regret, what would you chose to do? I need this tattooed on my forehead.

4. Sometimes Humans Suck. Love Them Anyway. I can count on one hand the number of times Corrine has been actually mad at me over the course of our friendship. In every instance, she has had a reason: I did something that sucked. Thankfully, we have the kind of relationship that weathers such things or I would have lost out on having an amazing best friend. There have been times when we haven't spoken for months, but I never doubt her love for me.

5. Everything is a choice. Everything has consequences. Even doing nothing. If I am honest, and I generally am, I envy Corrine her ability to light up a room. She walks in, turns heads, and everyone wants to be her friend. It's stunning. Once upon a time, I wanted to be able to do that. These days, I realize how much it costs. She has the largest heart where she makes room for everyone who comes along, but not everyone takes care of the space she gives them. I've watched her weather betrayals and stood by as friendships crumbled. Yet she chooses to remain open hearted. And I stand in awe of that. It is a choice she makes despite being completely aware of the consequences.

In parting, I say, Congratulations to a beautiful lady who deserves all the best the world can give and more.

No comments: