I came across an old email to a friend that said her 16th birthday was “the highlight of my year.” I thought back to why that could be and realized that it marked the night that my friends from middle school (who knew me as the basketball playing tom-boy) saw me in a dress, with my hair down and looking beautiful. This wasn’t the first time I had worn a dress and felt beautiful. This wasn’t the first time I had worn my hair down and felt girly. This was simply the first time that all the good things I felt about myself were manifested in a single emotion and a single night. I hate to say that what people thought about me had such a big impact on me, but who doesn’t want to be appreciated and told that they looked stunning?
I was 16 years old.
Now I’m 19 and that feeling lives on in me, whether I’m conscious of it or not.
There are days when I wear make-up for fun and rock a t-shirt and jeans and I feel like a model.
There are also days when I roll out of bed and my hair looks professionally groomed.
But there are also the days when I look in the mirror and wonder why my face looks crappy or my hair is limp or my eyes look tired.
On those days I remember that sometimes a smile is the most beautiful feature… and it’s cliche, but if you let your inner beauty shine through it really does make a difference.

I remember telling my dad, “I’m never going to be caught dead in a skirt.” Well the sun came out for the first time in a while up here in Tacoma, and brought with it a bit of warmth; guess what I wore? A skirt. I can almost imagine the look on my 10 year-old face if she could see me now. Is it disgust? No… definitely not. It’s mild amusement; awe, even.

Chloe turned 20 this past week. Twenty years-old. Two decades. We’ve known each other since the first day of 6th grade when we both chose to play the viola. Neither of us really play any more, but that’s pretty much the only thing that has changed about us and between us. We’re still a little dorky, a little goofy. We still crush over boys, have girl-talk, and snuggle during sleepovers. We go to school a thousand miles apart but the distance had so far stood the test of time.

Cailynn is in Kentucky for school. Thousands of miles away. Playing two sports and having not much of a Christmas break. But somehow we are still inseparable. We don’t talk enough, we barely text, and even our Facebook contact is at a minimum. Our friendship, however, is still unbreakable. I’ve known her since I was 5 and I hope that she will continue to be right there by my side.

I’m always willing to accept change and I look forward to it. But there a few things in my life that I will never change. They know who they are, and they will be there forever, whether they like it or not =]. They’re stuck with me.