I take a lot of pride in knowing the exact moment when I fell in love with my friends. This might sound strange, but it’s one of the many tactics I use to fight depression. Contextualizing the good things makes it easier to tolerate the terrible things: how can one feel down when there are so many beautiful blobs of cells out there, being so perfect and so flawed?
I met Sarah Jean Alexander at a reading in Baltimore. I knew she was working with Adam for PGP and I had seen her writing, but we hadn’t really interacted OL or IRL. The moment we were introduced, she gave me this big, tight hug. We barely had a chance to say much to each other, but within two seconds, here were these little arms squeezing me. And this was pretty much the moment when I knew I loved Sarah Jean Alexander.
Chances are you’ve had a myriad of moments likes this with Sarah Jean. Chances are that you, too, know all about her insecurities and the things that make her cry and even her favorite things to eat. Chances are that you are a better friend to Sarah Jean than I am. Chances are you probably think I’m a crazy person for being so explicit about my platonic love for a person that I barely know.
But this weekend reminded me of something–it reminded me that our lives are as fragile as we are fickle about them. It reminded me that there are so few moments where we get to tell the people that matter how much they matter. It reminded me that I have absolutely no right in being here, and that however many opportunities to love are not necessarily in my own total control.
The last time I saw Sarah Jean, I told her why I am so quick to fall in love with people. She nodded and smiled and didn’t seem too troubled by it. She also lent me a hair-tie and drank beer straight from a pitcher and then indirectly told me I wasn’t all that good at cropping photos for Instagram. It was raining and she was tired but she stayed out with us all night. It was ordinary and it was beautiful because of how ordinary it felt.
My point here is that I’m happy Sarah Jean is okay. I’m happy we can all call her our friend. I’m happy we can still have more beautiful and ordinary moments with her. I’m happy we can click “like” or “favorite,” just so we can remind Sarah Jean that we’re out there in the world, learning and laughing because of her.
Most of all, though, I’m happy that I’ve already had an opportunity to tell Sarah Jean that I love her. I’m happier that I’ll be able to tell her that I love her again. But what makes me happiest is that she’s still here, and because of that, we all get to go on loving her together.
Please tell Sarah Jean you love her. Please don’t be timid with your love. Please let it be everywhere and with everyone while you still have the opportunity to share it.