Dear Felony,

Looking back on the last decade, the decade we will call our 20s, I started thinking about defining moments in our lives. There are certainly the obvious moments: finally choosing a direction in college, the bad breakups, the changing friendships, the first date with the man when we think, “just maybe”, college graduation, career changes, marriage, the birth of children, the death of loved ones, milestones in our children’s lives. These are evident changes in the direction of our lives, which forever sculpts who we are to become.

Then, there are the not-so-evident moments. The moments that seem mundane, commonplace, uneventful at the time…but possibly affect us far beyond anything we can recognize. I have many of these, far more than the apparent life-changers. These are moments that I can thread my entire life together on…and have often wondered, “What if that tiny choice has been even a bit different?”

Taking a job a Herberger’s instead of Maurice’s in high school for some extra cash, where I would eventually meet the father of my beautiful daughter. While there have been many, many days that I wished I had chosen Maurice’s, my life would not be what it is now without those years, and I would not change it if I could.

Walking into a Verizon Wireless store because my phone was acting up, and seeing a site that would forever change what I thought my life would be. Had I been 5 minutes earlier or later, or chosen any other Verizon store in town that day…how much longer would one person’s lies have held me captive?

“Friending” a high school gal pal of mine on Facebook, completely randomly…and only because she requested it. That acceptance led me to a happy hour with an old acquaintance who had posted on her wall, and then another happy hour, and then a trip to Vegas, and the rest is history.

Starting Cue Your Life, just because I loved to write. CYL was never intended to be anything but a health, fitness and cooking blog. Three months into it, because of one post regarding my adoption…I found my birthmother.

Responding to a job posting for a company I knew nothing about, knowing I’d probably never hear back. Starting the job 3 weeks later as a result, and having the opportunity to work for one of the best companies in the world, doing work I love every day.

An argument left with, “Jamie, I’m sorry if this sounds rude…but your stress is not my burden. I am here for you, but I will not carry it as my own.” That argument left me in tears…but eventually with an entirely new outlook on life.

Simple moments.

Today however, I’ve been thinking about one specific moment in my life. A moment that seemed like many others I’ve had. The first day of class, 6 years ago. I’d very randomly chosen a couple of human resource courses to fulfill business electives at Black HillsStateUniversity. I walked into class on that first day, and sat down in an open spot near the front of the room. I had a pixie cut at the time, and a one year-old daughter. I said hello to the young woman sitting next to me.

That hello has forever changed me.

Long dark hair, and a warm smile. Studious. Reflective. Inquisitive. Bad ass. Quick chats during class led to Dunn Brother’s study sessions. Study sessions led to discussions of life, love, politics, religion, and the world. Those discussions led to a friendship that has, on many occasions, saved my life.

Choosing those electives that year, and therefore that seat in class that day, is one of the single most defining moments of my life. That day I met a woman who would become one of the most influential in my life, and my best friend.

Felony, you have taught me what it is to be a woman: Strong, loving, smart, and accepting…with a whisk in one hand, a beer in the other, a good book by the bedside, a satisfying job to go to work at, and a happy family always nearby. You are the most hilarious person I have ever known, and have had me sobbing with laughter more times than I can count.

I cannot remember a time in the last 6 years when something has happened and you haven’t been the first person I’ve wanted to call.

At times, we’ve gone months without speaking…only to pick up right where we left off.

You’ve seen me through the darkest of pits, in the most trying of times. Your simple counsel of, “Jamie, you’ll know,” taught me over the years to finally ask the hard questions, and to trust myself.

You introduced me to Carrie Bradshaw and NPR: two things that wouldn’t seem to have much in common, but both life-changing…yes?

You’ve watched me change over the years, but I am not the only one. I’ve watched you change too. I’ve seen a small town college girl graduate, with her 2nd degree, pack up her things and go to work at a coal mine. I’ve seen her struggle in a town far away from friends and family. I’ve seen her find success through the struggle, and learn from it. I’ve watched a romance turn into a life-long commitment, and that commitment grow into a family. I’ve laughed and cried with you during your pregnancy, and your first year of being a mother. I’ve often thought to myself how lucky your little man is.

You continue to be an amazing woman, and friend. The most amazing. You have added to that by growing into a loving wife and spectacular mommy.

The world we live in has taught us to find our prince charming, our soul mate…and the rest will just fall into place. Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Rapunzel…they found theirs. All they had to do was be completely helpless and reliant on a man, and true happiness they found. Sounds nice, but that’s not for us, is it?

I’ve come to see the more modern side of things with my own Prince Charming, and I know you have as well, but as far as soul mates go…I found mine in Jonas Hall in the Fall of 2006. Thank you, for every moment since.

On this day, your 30th birthday, and the eve of a new year, I wish you joy in the journey to come. Welcome to your 30’s my friend, I promise to catch up soon!

All my love,

Jamie

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: