My "Me Too" Person.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This is a post I never really wanted to publish. I typed it grinning through my teeth, trying to inject the right amount of humor and sappy-ness.

It's been sitting under "drafts" for over a month now.

Waiting for a certain someone to write a certain post.

After weeks of being careful with my words and tweets, trying not to let the cat out of the bag about a secret that wasn't mine to tell.

Here we go.

This could be incredibly dull to anyone who doesn't know Sara, but I think anyone who has lived abroad or has simply moved away from home or friends will find something in here they relate to. Saying goodbye, or see you later, sucks. There isn't a more poetic or appropriate word I can find that sums up the feeling. Saying goodbye to your family sucks when you leave, saying goodbye to your friends not knowing the next time you'll see each other sucks, giving your dog a quick hug because you know if you hold on any longer and let her lick your face, you probably won't leave.

In these bitter moments, I try to think of that quote from Winnie the Pooh. The one about being lucky to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

So this post is dedicated to Sara, not only why she is awesome - because she is, but why she graduated from being my comfort blanket, to a truly wonderful friend, to someone who makes saying goodbye hard all within less than a year. Let's retrace our steps here...

Once upon a time...

Elle (that's me) was excited and anxious because she decided that she was going to move halfway across the world by herself and do grad school in England. Elle, being a person of the internet and an over planner, searched Twitter feeds and every page of Google possible in order to learn about this new place she would be moving to. One day, she saw a tweet about a Texan blogger named Sara who was attending Bristol. "Hey that's funny," Elle said, "I'm also a Texan who will be attending Bristol." Elle then proceeded to...technical term...cyber stalk this Sara person and see what she was all about. Upon finding her blog, her Twitter, her Instagram and her personal Facebook within 20 minutes, Elle decided to do the ultimate creepy move and email her. She discovered that not only were they both Texans: their hometowns were less than two hours away from each other, they attended the same undergrad university, both participated in Greek life at said university, Elle had sat next to Sara's younger sister in a class, they were born a month apart, and they had a few mutual friends on Facebook. Elle sent the email in hopes of a response and some answers to her pressing questions ("Do they wear backpacks there?!?!?!")

Over the next 5 months, Sara patiently answered a stream of questions from Elle, even more crucial than the backpack question if you can believe it. Since they were both Texans and whatnot, they agreed that when Elle arrived in Bristol, they would meet up in real life and so Elle could stop emailing Sara.

One sunny England afternoon, they met in person (Elle noting that Sara is even smaller in real life) for tea at what soon became their regular meet up, The Tea Birds and the rest is what we like to call "history." 

Meeting people in person you've only talked to online can go horribly wrong - like blind dates or Tinder. But this was anything but horrible. It was like I had known this person for my entire life. I wanted to shake whoever is in charge of fate and demand why this friend was just now coming around.

Now that you know a little bit about how our friendship came to be, it's my turn to write directly to Sara. Because I'm not that eloquent at speaking, especially when I have that icky feeling of sadness in my stomach - so I'm probably going to be blubbering and emit nothing more than remarks about how you better send me queso when you depart for the states after graduation.

So Sara, thank you for responding to all my crazy-lady emails.

For always being down for tea and a 3-hour chat.

Introducing me to some of my favorite spots in the city, like the Tea Birds, Boston Tea Party, the Old Duke, and St. Nick's Market. 

Teaching me how to do scary things, like learn the bus system.

For sharing many, if not all, of my guilty pleasures.

Having the same itch to explore as I do, even if it means waking up before dawn and catching a ferry to an island for a few hours, just because we want to see it. 

...and celebrating these daycations with a cocktail or two.

Laughing at mishaps like getting stranded in a city by ourselves (I'm talking to you, Sandown)

And finding humor in the all other times when transportation wasn't on our side.

Coming to the conclusion that we will never be good at selfies, so it's best just to trade off cameras. 

Frolicking through Hogwarts with me and embracing being a nerd.

Scavenging the aisles of Boots together, and having in-depth conversations about lipstick formulas.

Loving coffee. GOOD coffee.

Accidentally twinning.

Being my only friend who loves Skins. Even if we can't figure out which one is Cassie's bench for sure

"Doing it for the Insta"

Understanding the ups and downs of being an expat. 

Acting as my personal historian when I don't feel like reading a tourist pamphlet.

Making my first Thanksgiving away from home actually fun and accomplishing cooking a feast together with our bare hands.

For not asking why I had a folder called "Sara" on my desktop when you used my laptop...which I'm 99% sure you saw when you were checking your flight. (PS - It was pictures for this post)

Sharing the thrill out of taking pictures of just about anything.

Saying "yes" to the unknown. And to cheese, saying yes to cheese

Showing me places I didn't even know existed.

Dreaming about moving to tiny English villages to grow old in.

Laughing, albeit feeling a little cheated, at the fact that we lived in the same city for nearly 4 years and didn't meet until now. 

Never frowning, even when I know you were kicking and screaming on the inside. 

Because ASD;LKJSDFJ you tried everything. I know you did. 

And for being my sanity during this massive life change for me, as I hope I was for you. 

I know you're going to miss England, but best believe England is going to be missing you.

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