A year, especially a year like 2017, can seem like it can go on forever. These 365 days taught me more about the relationships in my life than I ever expected. Many links I thought would last permanently ended. Family members who were perfect in my eyes disappeared from my life with a blink. Despite these rapid and drastic changes, few consistently stayed in my life from the beginning to the end. Jalyn Greene began 2017 with me and will end 2017 with me. For this friendship, I am forever grateful.
This has been difficult to write. When I think of Jalyn, I think of so many things — growth, love, kindness, and support. Even when my growth, love, compassion, and support was unstable, you consistently gave them to me, no questions asked. Consistency doesn’t seem to be enough to describe what you have given me this year, but it has been the most unique gift you’ve ever given me.
For our friendship, you’ve consistently supported me in some of the most pivotal moments of my life. When I graduated college, you were there right by my side and watched me walk down the aisle. When I struggled to make friends during my first semester of graduate school, you stayed on the phone with me for hours on Saturday nights until I was tired and reminded me everytime that its hard, but the process would be worth it. You counted down the days I would return to Chicago and gifted me with support as soon as I arrived. You talked me through depressive episodes, even if you were going through your own problems. Not once did I feel your support waver.
I watched you consistently grow as an individual as well. I watched you advocate for yourself when someone inflicted pain on you (including me), and articulate your needs and wants. I saw you make risky career choices that aligned with your purpose and see positive results be gifted to you. I witnessed you turn 25 and grow more in-depth into the individual you are meant to be.
I saw you PERFORM, for the first time, in a role that was meaningful and impactful. Watching you become Angel, seeing you for the first time in your craft, was a reminder of the intentionality you bring to all aspects of your life. The first show back, and you choose to tell the story of girls that are silenced every day. You brought life to a real issue. You became Jeff recommended! Watching you be a support for someone on stage reminded me of the miracle that you are in my own life.
Our relationship has not been as consistent in this year, but the love for each other has. I’ve seen the way that our love for each other has made us better individuals and will ultimately change the way we navigate relationships in the future. No matter where life takes us, I know that consistency will always be our most potent trait.
But the most unique thing I learned from you is your beauty in consistently remembering moments that are lost in my subconscious. You remember the firsts for everything in this year and the days that mean the most to you. For my 23rd birthday, you gifted me a music playlist. Each song is attributed to a vivid memory. 36 songs. 36 memories. 36 memories out of the many that we have. Many I would not remember, but when I listen to the song, it is clear, like it occurred yesterday. Your ability to attribute some of the most significant moments of our relationship to a song is one of the greatest gifts you could’ve given me.
Thank you for giving me so many memories, and for consistently providing me with the love, kindness, and support that I needed all year.