When I moved home last year for the job at 7News, I knew a few things.
I’d be broke. My desired career path is in journalism. Journalism. There’s a reason my mother wasn’t too thrilled when I decided to major in Journalism. I also knew I’d be living at home. My mother is happy to have me…most days. My brother calls me a walking tornado. He’s right. I’m always running between jobs and I run in, leave a bunch of stuff on tables and chairs, grab some stuff and run out to wherever else I have to go. I’d need a second job. I’d drink too much and sleep too little. I’d probably reconnect with that guy, and this friend and make new friends and fight with my father.
What I didn’t know was what would happen with the friend that got me the job in the first place. We’ve been through our share of ups and downs. We made up and made our way back to acquaintances. Would we get along? Be friends again? Just be work friends? Acquaintances? Did she hate me? Would she hate me?
We have spent at least 1 hour together, Monday through Friday for the past year at one long desk with three computers on the balcony of a news station. Together we live-Tweeted, Facebooked, and wrote stories that will stay with me forever. From one man opening fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, another on an elementary school classroom. We made snow angels between shifts during a weekend stranded in Boston as the winter snow storm dubbed ‘Nemo’ dumped two feet of snow on our favorite city. At 2:50 pm on April 15th, as I was in my car driving home, she, who had taken the day off to watch the Boston Marathon, was running to the newsroom as reports of explosions at the finish line flew.
Most of these were days that needed no words, at the end, our eyes tired, our hearts weary, our voices strained, trying to keep down tears from writing stories, and cutting and editing video of devastating images, heartbreaking stories. “See you in the morning,” I’d say as I left and that was enough.
But it wasn’t always this way.
We also laughed as much as we cried from stories of our lives to stories of a man in awkward pajamas trying to rob a store. She considers herself awkward, and I don’t argue even though I don’t see it. I’ll admit she is not much of a wingman, but she does make a great partner in crime (not that we engage in criminal activity, but you know what I mean). Sometimes she talks in a creepy Exorcist-like voice (comme ca: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWYsekCJdac) and for some reason I think it’s hilarious. All she’s ever wanted is a puppy and a pig. She loves Shawn Thornton and is probably better than you at golf. We share a strange love for Joe Biden. Can’t help it, just love Joe Biden. Don’t care what you think. She’s one of the few people who know the glory of the Purple Shamrock. I’ve made her Halloween costume – more than once. She celebrates St. Patrick’s Day the way most people celebrate the Fourth of July or Christmas – with a whole lot of spirit.
A year later, there are days I think she knows me better than I know myself. She listens to me when I think I’m being crazy – and lets me know when I am (which is usually).
I almost didn’t realize – actually, I didn’t realize, until the day she told me she wanted to move home to Minnesota – that she had become one of the few people I would call a best friend.
Today is the last day that I will sit next to her at this desk at 7News and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t already crying.
What is there left to say? ‘I’m going to miss her terribly’ feels like such an understatement. Who will understand my love of sloths? My affinity for late night Lee Chens? Who will say things to me in that weird voice that creeps out strangers but makes me laugh like a child who’s had too much sugar? Who out there will be weird enough to understand my weirdness and still choose to be my friend?
I don’t know.
I do know that I will miss her terribly. Sure, I’ll eventually grow accustomed to phone calls and Skype dates and I have plenty of miles on my AMEX card to use to visit Minnesota or Chicago, or New York City or wherever we decide to travel to – because Lord knows we’ll use the distance as an excuse to travel and then write about traveling.
Goodbyes are the worst, so I’ll just see you later. Thanks for an awesome year at 7News, for more memories than I can properly recall, for a true and sometimes blatantly honest friendship. Never change, ’cause I love ya, you awkward weirdo.
*Side note: If anyone removes all the weird post-it note messages from the work desk that she’s left or we’ve left, I will shank you.
*Also, sorry for typos eyes are all watery.