Jackie A. - We met in 2006 in the most ridiculous math class EVER - our professor would literally take off points if he didn't like how you wrote your name. I was initially intimidated by her rocker style and thought she was super badass (which she is!) - but we eventually partnered up for a project, and I got to know the sweetheart she is. Throughout our years at UMass, we always made sure we were in at least ONE English class together, and thank GOD for that! We read lots of novels (haha...no, really, we did.....), wrote lots of papers (usually the night before they were due...), but most importantly, we got to know each other. We fell in love with a few professors together (Dyson! Hasratian!) and hardly paid attention - I wish I had saved more of the notes we wrote - we filled NOTEBOOKS with silly doodles, boredom countdowns and venting sessions. Our love for Bret Michaels is something no one else understands ;-) Jackie is someone you cannot judge by appearance - I thought she would want nothing to do with me, that I would be too "preppy" for her - but Jackie is loving, outgoing, and kind to everyone. This is a girl who goes with her gut no matter what other people think, and I respect that as one of her best traits. We've supported each other through rough times, and I think we both know we are in each others lives for a reason. I highly doubt I would have graduated without her... she is kind, selfless, always learning, growing & challenging herself. And she's totally badass.
Jackie B. - One of the only 2 good things to come out of a rough employment at a south end restaurant that shall remain nameless is Jackie. Jackie came in as our intern in 2010 and brought life and fun to an otherwise sucky situation. As Jackie's time in Boston came closer to an end, our relationship got stronger. Summer patio dinners over sangria turned into late nights - I could talk to this girl forever. We have an absolute blast together, and we both seem to genuinely care about the other, even though we haven't been in the same state for very long! We have similar personalities, and we both know that sometime in the future, we will get to live closer so we can really hang out like the pals we are ;-) Her life goals & what she's accomplished seriously blow my mind - and inspire me to reach a bit further than I think I can. We totally have a "weird" bond - we we're somehow linked, and I'm so happy to call her my friend.
Jenn - Jenn was hired as my supervisor in 2006, but it didn't take long for us to be singing "I can show you the world" (with Jenn doing the male parts, of course!) at our place of employment. After we weren't working together anymore, we continued our relationship (that mostly revolves around eating unhealthy but oh-so-delicious food) with mario kart races, board games, lobster trips & playing with Ebony. Jenn, you are my most level-headed friend. When I need an honest, grown up, no BS answer to something - Jenn is where I turn. What's been really awesome about my friendship with Jenn is that through our many dates (and their mutual employment at Trader Joes), Jenn & Tyler have established their own friendship, which makes plans with the three of us that more fun. I had no idea a simple Aladdin song would turn into something so meaningful to me. I am a very energetic, high-energy person, and sometimes that high-energy can be nervous-energy - but Jenn's energy is calming. It's always so much fun seeing Jenn, something Tyler & I both look forward to. And I love finding the random things we have in common, especially music tastes. (Ace of Base much?!)
Jess - The ying to my yang. Born on the same day (2/22), Jess is my pisces twin. We have so many funny things in common, both big & small. Jess & I met in 2010 (I think we just celebrated our one year anniversary! hehe) Jess & I were in a pretty sucky work situation together; this is the OTHER only good thing to come out of a bad job. I have learned so much from Jess - thank goodness we met when we did. She is thoughtful about everything she does, and can also be just as silly as me. Having her at my office made an unbearable situation something I looked forward to - I actually wanted to go to work, knowing Jess & I shared an office. We would get yummy lunches, play music, laugh, and get through the day together. I'm so happy that we've evolved outside of the office - it's so great to see the both of us in better situations! Jess, you are my sister from a different mister. I could laugh with you forever. So glad you're in my life.
Meg - Oh, Meg - I have so much to say. I have attempted to write your little blurb too many times to count. Meghan would do anything for me - and she has. From driving me to the ER at 2am (and not saying one word when I begged her to take me to the one in Cambridge thats closer to my mom rather than the one down the street) to getting me little gifts every Monday to get through my winter blues - this girl is the best best friend a girl could ask for. I mean it - because even if she didn't do all the things she does (and she does SO MUCH), she would still be the most selfless, caring & dependable person in my life. I could go on forever, but there is more to Meg than just being an amazing friend - she will not settle for less than she knows a person can be. She pushes herself - and others - to reach their full potential (which she sees, even if you don't). She is not afraid to be wrong, she just wants to make sure she has thought out all options. She has gone through more than most, but still continues to find beauty in small things, and knows to trust her heart. Her faith in God, life - and me - keeps me going. Meg, you are my hero in so many ways. And I am so glad you kept a napkin from the first time we hung out. Yup. She did.
Dana - I remember when Dana & her twin brother Michael were born - I asked my dad, "What did they name the girl?" ..... I was already pumped to have a girl cousin (who would be living DOWNSTAIRS!!) to play with. Growing up, we were always close - having her downstairs made her more of a sister than a cousin. We put on plays, played at the beach, were able to deal with our "hilarious" family holidays together, played in the snow, baked cookies with our moms, went shopping.... you name it, we did it. But lately, Dana, you are not only my cousin & my sister, but my best friend. Dana understands me to my core. As she's gotten older, she's grown into someone I look up to (even though it should be the other way around!) - she is smart, beautiful, confident, thoughtful and caring. She is not afraid to be who she is - and who she is is fricken awesome. Thank God for Dana - she gets my sense of humor (which is that of a 6-year old) and laughs along with me. Our Meema is so proud of the relationship we've built, huh, Danadoo?