Jessica and I went to Davidson College together, and were roommates from sophomore year until we graduated.
She is a sister to me. A friend. A confidant. Someone who challenges me.
I have learned so many things from Jessica, but two come to mind in particular.
It was Jessica who taught me how to "work what you've got". I'm not sure she's ever used this exact phrase, but this is in essence what she taught me. To be confident in who I am, and the beautiful parts of me, and to flaunt it. I first remember this getting dressed for a Warner Hall Madonnarama party. (Madonnarama is a party honoring, who else, but Madonna, to which everyone shows up dressed as their favorite era of Madonna). I remember being in our sophomore apartment (I don't recall our third roommate Elizabeth being there, perhaps she was out of town) and feeling insecure about my Vogue-era Madonna outfit. Jessica told me to look at myself in the mirror and say "I look hot!" over and over again until I decided I believed it.
Secondly, Jessica is the one who probably started me on the path towards running marathons, because she has already done it! Jessica will probably readily admit that she was not the most athletic person in college. And neither was I. I did a lot of yoga. But I think my idea of working out was mostly reading InStyle on the elliptical machine. I did run from time to time, but never particularly far, and generally only after some boy had broken my heart.
So some time after college, Jessica started running 5Ks. Then 10Ks, and then the next thing you know, she's running marathons! And I was so impressed. At her guts and courage for reinventing herself to someone that was doing something she used to think she couldn't do.
Jessica is fearless. She is selfless. She is strong and independent, and the greatest friend anyone could ask for. My only wish is that we could find a city where we could be roommates again, forever and always, and we could share clothes, and bake cookies, and decorate an apartment in matching colors and get family portraits taken. She and I are both not big "phone people" and we don't talk or email as much as I wish we did, but I don't worry about it, because I know we will pick up right where we left off, whenever it is we get a chance to.
She is the greatest friend a girl could have. For anything from sob-stories to laugh-yourself-silly, she's seen me at my worst and still loves me. And I am forever thankful to have her in my life to encourage me.
There's always room in my apartment for another roommate, Roomie. :)
(p.s. this picture is so old, which is totally unacceptable! We need a photo-shoot soon!)