As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration. I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Alex Christensen has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution. You probably have one of these: the always-there-for-you-voice-of-reason-eat-everything-and-stay-thin-perfect-coutnerpart-super-organized-travelling-adventure-seeking-crazy-big-hearted best friend. Let’s compare notes…
You are a once in a lifetime best friend.
We met our first day in college, you had bangs and braces and I had an ego and mismatched outfits. It took us a year or so to come around to best friends, and once we did we were inseparable. Same classes, studies abroad in Australia, moved to California together, shared living space, and thus shared life space. I am forever grateful for that college encounter on our dorm floor and the countless memories we have shared.
What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am everyday.
Your life is an ultimate adventure. Spending a year in Australia to currently hopping around Europe - your ability to dive headfirst into life is inspiring. I love reading your writing, sharing with my friends that you are my best friend wandering around the World and I am so proud of you for living the life you want. I triple dare all of you to read Al's radical adventures here, and I wish you luck to try not to pack your suitcase to meet her in the upcoming romps across Africa, Italy or Greece. Al, you remind me daily to live the life I really want and remember that life's too short not to make it happen.
You are the voice of reason, the organized part of my brain that is missing, and you tell the truth. Thank you for standing for me in all these years, for staying on this friendship rollercoaster even when the drops and turns got gnarly, and for telling me how it is like it is. True friendship is honesty and that is something I have learned from you.
As my own travel agent and organized to the hour planner, you are the master. I literally bow down to your ability to organize a group trip, plan the daily activities and crunch those dreaded numbers. I am truly in awe and so lucky to have you on my life team. My ideas are mere thought bubbles of fun until you sit down and book a flight, find an adventure and say "hey, let's go". You inspire me to get into action. Have an idea and plan it out, Jacki!
You are just fun. If we are together, I have no doubt in my mind that it is going to be a damn good time. Always. Dance moves, funny voices, laugh till tears, memories relived, movie quotes and more; you're energy and radical spirit is something I always want to be around.
To be honest, you are always right ... and in the right way. You think things through while thinking of others. The compassionate side of you is what always makes you right. I honestly feel for the husband you wrangle - he will undoubtedly 87% of the time be wrong, lose that knowledge battle and apologize later. Its your intuition, your core values and knowing yourself. I am inspired to be right...like you, in the right way.
You are a teacher. A life teacher. You are never one to just give the answers away. Whether you know it or not, who you are provides lessons to all those around you. I am inspired by your ability to drop the ego and allow someone else to step forward, find the answer and succeed in a spotlight. True grace.
As I look back in my memory files, flip through my photo albums, and click through facebook of our 244 pics, I smile. Filled with gratitude for a best friend like you. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and sharing life space with me. Alex, thank you for inspiring me everyday to live an adventure-filled life, to know my values and keep me in check, and for leaving me to hop the World. I have never learned more.
As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.