Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Bestie

Today is Corley's 28th birthday, and with our birthdays just a week apart and in the summer, it is rare that we do not get to celebrate together. Safe to say that I am missing the heck out of her today. I wanted to do a post on our beautiful, crazy, fun, and now 13 year-old friendship.

I first met Corley when we were 15 years old. It was my sophomore year of high school, and we were both cast as choir students in The Legend of the Poinsettia, a sort of musical. The funny thing is, I wasn't too crazy about her at first! You see, my high school was a Fine Arts Academy, and I was a theater major. In Corley, the only thing I immediately saw was competition: she had an amazing singing voice, and she was also a talented musician. She also could play the ingenue, and unlike most of the choir kids, the girl could act really well. I was intimidated.

We were only really acquaintances sophomore year, and it wasn't until our junior year, when Corley and I shared a lot of the same classes, including theater, that we become really close. Ultimately, there were some parts I lost to her, but by that time, it didn't really matter; Corley had already won a big space in my heart. I quickly learned that we have a ton in common: we are both cancers (astrology sign), and we both feel that means something significant. We both lean towards paranoia when it comes to medical conditions (hypochondria) and have the same existential angst and fear about unanswerable questions and the chaos of the world. We share common hobbies, like acting (when I got a chance to act with her junior year, I learned a LOT from her about just being in the moment), crafting (okay, that's more something Corley passed to me, and Mary Kate Olsen, my former classmate, once complimented my bejeweled iPod that Corley made for me using tweezers and superglue), traveling, and being outdoors. We love the same superficial things like Sephora and Starbucks. We like similar music. We both could spend a year at Barnes and Noble, and we like to read the same books. We have sort of similar family backgrounds. We are both cautious, and were (in high school) naive in similar ways. We are both sensitive. We even have similar body types, both being short and curvy.
A High School photo--2003 or 2004.
The things we share in common brought us together as friends, but it would be our differences that kept us so close over the years.  Corley is a musician and singer whereas I am lucky if I can carry a tune. She is a songwriter where I am a short story/fiction writer. In high school, I was obsessed with my GPA and my resume for college admissions, while Corley was way less type A about those things. Corley can put together the most inspired, unique outfits, while I'm more of a "oh, these white shorts and navy shirt work" kind of dresser. But all of these differences allowed us to help one another. We became friends not because we had the same strengths, but because we had complimenting ones. And also because we weren't afraid to share our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Our friendship has an authenticity that I'm so grateful for.

In high school, Corley taught me how to be more comfortable singing, how to walk in high heels, how to re-decorate a room, and how to dress to flatter my figure, among many other lessons. What she has taught me since are far bigger things that I really cannot begin to articulate, but I'm so glad that I didn't miss out on a moment of it.

21st birthday 
I have SO many memories with Corley: Comforting her in the dressing room when the musical revue she was directing at our high school became more stressful than fun, making Gryffindor t-shirts and attending Harry Potter book release parties at Barnes and Noble, long rehearsals for the many shows we were in together, leaving HS campus for overly long lunch hours, spending many a Saturday afternoon at her mom's apartment, which had a pool and close access to Sephora, Barnes and Noble, and Starbucks (and Corleys mom, Melissa, is one of my favorite people ever too), acting together in our friend Cole's short films every summer, sleepovers, seeing her in many Austin productions, helping her put together her college resume, the time she helped me redecorate my room and the argyle pattern we planned to cover a wall in quickly because the most obnoxious thing to stencil (accent wall, we quickly decided), afternoons spent at Toy Joy, celebrating many a New Year's Eve together, and all those birthday parties...

Last year, Brendan and I's wedding was right in between our 27th birthdays. We had a sleepover the night before in my childhood bedroom, which we had painted pink together eight years ago. I'm glad she was there because I think it's the only way I could have slept.

I'm beyond lucky to have found a best friend in Corley. Our friendship is one of the things I treasure most in this world. For the big moments and the little ones, a best friend just makes life so much better.

Helping me into my wedding dress, which of course, she helped me pick! 
Staying warm--December 2013

Our day in NYC last month

Happy 28th birthday Cor-Cor-Corley Fish or Corley Elizabeth Pillsbur, whichever you prefer ;) I love you beyond words!
<3 Staceles

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