Friday, January 27, 2012

It's All About Me (Blogiversary / Birthday Post)

Yesterday was my blogiversary.  It's been one year since I started my foray into this wonderful world of blogging.  I forgot all about it...until about 4 pm yesterday and by then my boys had already turned into wild, screeching banshees and then I had a Skype date with my best friend that lasted over 3 hours.  You might remember her from this post where she likens herself to the ugly naked guy from Friends of this blog.  Anyway.  She wasn't aware that I had asked my Mother to write about my birth story on my birthday so she had actually written a birthday letter to me!  My favourite blog posts that I've written have been tributes to other people on their birthday's and lookie here!  Now I have TWO people that want to blog about me.  Does it make me totally narcissistic that I was more than ecstatic about this?  Whatever.  Anyone that says they don't love reading wonderful things about themselves is lying.  What Erin wrote below was a bit astounding for me to read.  I mean I know she loves me but now I know she really, like wow, loves me. Plus she basically makes me sound like I'm the best Mother that ever lived which is obviously NOT true ... but still pretty awesome to read...and has made me vow to myself to be the kind of Mom that she says I am. Needless to say this was an amazing thing to read first thing this morning...a great start to the week-end.  Now I know why everyone that I write tributes about comes back and reads them over and over again.  It just makes you feel good.  Really freakin' good.

(btw - we have unofficially decided that we will be writing a book together someday - and FYI - it will be the most fabulous, funniest, outrageous book ever written so stay tuned - for what could possibly be years)

Happy belated Blogiversary (and birthday) to me!  


I can’t believe my best friend is turning 34.

I can’t believe it for a number of reasons. First, it means we have officially been best friends for more than half of our lifetimes.  Half of our lifetimes!  That means that half of all of the time I’ve spent on Earth has been shared with her.  How many people, outside my immediate family, have had a relationship of that closeness with anyone?

Now that I think about it, even though my immediate family has known me longer, they really haven’t known me nearly as well as my best friend has.

As a teenager in later high school years I said to my parents:  “I’m staying at Laura’s”….they thought “Erin’s staying at Laura’s”.
My best friend January knew the real translation was “Erin’s going to get drunk, go to the high school dance, sleep at her boyfriend Shawn’s house….and if her parents call me, I have to tell them she’s staying at Laura’s”
This is the unwritten and unspoken bond between you and your best friend.

In your teenage years, this bond reinforces the fact that she will never speak about the kick-ass party you threw while your parents were away golfing in Myrtle Beach…

…it holds true to the fact that she will never, ever tell ANYONE about your psycho-somatic-paranoia that you once pulled a cat’s tail for fun when you were six and are now convinced you will never, EVER be capable of rearing children because of your former feline-inflicted-atrocities…

…it means she will never EVER speak about the time in your 20’s that you called her so drunk and so (ahem….under-the-influences-of-many-other-things-not-appropriate-for-a-mommy-blog) living in a beautiful condo on the ocean on the other side of the country and you had a huge party including many people you had never met and wouldn’t recognize on the street if your life depended on it while your rich, self-absorbed, pompous, douchebag boyfriend was away on “business”…

…and she will NEVER EVER speak of the constant fear had on a daily basis that I’m not good enough, not smart enough, and am deathly terrified of making not only the wrong decision….but no decision at all.

January is the most amazing friend, most amazing (soul)sister, most amazing mother and most amazing person I have ever met in my entire life.  There is no one on Earth more different than me.  And there is no one on Earth that I am more alike than her.

January wasn’t much for school. She hated classes and the only reason she went was because she had to. But she LOVED reading. She was always a reader. I consider myself the most voracious of readers, and January still reads more than I do.

She went to college and studied hotel/restaurant management.  Not because she wanted to manage a hotel or restaurant (though she did have successful stints in both)….but because (I believe) she just felt at home creating edible stories. January was a gifted cook well before the age of 20. I called her at least 17 times trying to learn how to make her killer spicy black bean soup. (And I was a girl who never called ANYONE for help with ANYTHING). 

It appeared from the outside at times that I was the one who had it all together…I was the one focused on my education…on my career…..but I don’t think January ever knew how envious I was of her.  I looked up to her in so many ways.

January and her boyfriend John lived in a small apartment on the main floor of a character house in Wortley Village. I envied them.  It was small, cramped, and magical. We had so many nights of wine-induced laughter and debauchery in that apartment. The floors were old and creaky and the porch was wide. I couldn’t believe I knew someone that lived in a place like that. It was like a secret fortress. Not to mention the fact that she lived with someone so amazing, he would drink with me long after she passed out (a not-so-rare occurrence!). Any time something went wrong in my life, whether I lived with my parents, in a university apartment, or with one of my many ever-revolving boyfriends, I knew I had a spot on their couch in that apartment.  It was one of the most stable homes I ever knew.

January was the type of girl who could break up with someone and never look back.  I was the type of girl who broke up with someone and used it as fodder for poetry, letters, and drama. Every sad song on the radio felt like it was written just for me. I’d analyze things and revisit things and leave messages on my ex’s phone and re-listen to the message before I sent it and re-do it until it had just the right amount of melo-drama mixed with the perfect amount of disdain (keep in mind these times were long before the era of texting and Facebook-ing).  All the while, January would be happily moved on to another boy, another book, or another adventure.  Who had that kind of inner strength???  Once Jan had moved on, she had moved on. I could only dream of embodying a spirit so bold.  January could shrug off hurt like a wet sweater that had become heavy and annoying.  That was it. Move on.  It was unfathomable for a drama queen like me.

The aforementioned coolness notwithstanding, January had a bit of an issue with her patience. If the line at the grocery store proved to be too long, she would get palpably agitated. (Don’t even ask me what would happen if someone hit her with their cart accidentally!) I have witnessed many, many times in our friendship her short temper and quick hyperventilation.  That’s why it initially surprised me to see her in her role as a mother. 

The first few months of Adrian weren’t exactly the easiest.  But from what I hear from all new mothers, it never is.  But since that time, January has become the most incredible mother I have ever known. She lives and breathes for her children. She is firm but fair….fearless and terrified in just the right perfect balance. She knows just when to be messy and when the mess is too much. She encourages individuality and creativity while emphasizing the importance of respect and good behavior. I am continually, utterly, and constantly in awe and envy of her mothering skills.

January and I have chosen very different paths in life. While I was choosing majors in university, January was working at the front desk at the Hilton. (a job in which she exemplified amazing responsibility and also managed to get us tickets to the very first Avril Lavigne concert in 2004 and also to hang out with Swollen Members on their TOUR BUS!!!) While I was moving to Vancouver with my on-again-off-again boyfriend, she was planning a wedding to her soulmate on the beaches of Port Stanley (where her and I spent far too many teenaged summers in far-too-skimpy-bikinis and drinking far too many fruity frozen drinks).  While I worked my way up the corporate ladder, she gave birth to the two most perfect, beautiful boys on the planet.  While my days involve spreadsheets, presentations, suits, heels, expense reports and fine-dining meals with clients, hers include sippy-cups, Dora, pj’s, IronMan, birthday parties and Goldfish crackers.  And yet I have never, ever viewed her as anything less than my equal….my superior…and pure perfection.

January is a Capricorn. I am a Cancer.  For those of you that don’t read astrology (and if you don’t, I have NO idea why you’d be reading her blog….you’d never really “GET” her!)…it means January is stable, perseverant, and wise. It means I am emotional, crabby, and sensitive (though I’d hide that under my crab armour!)

January is the only person I can ever call to talk to about anything, anytime, anywhere.
Let me restate those words. ANYTHING. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. 

She is hilarious. She is loyal. She is passionate. She is curious. She is far more brilliant than she has ever given herself credit for. She is insightful. She is honest. She is quirky. She is perfect.
She is the only person I know that could walk into Value Village with $20 and come out looking like the hottest model off the 2012 Balenciaga show-runway with no effort on her part at all. When her hair is at its absolute worst, it is absolutely breathtaking. When she is wearing no makeup and ratty sweatpants, she is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. 

She takes after her mother. She embodies all of my favorite things about Ellen. Her passion. Her individuality. Her spunk. Her resilience. Her ferocity. And her insistence that you always, always remain true to yourself.

January is one of the most perfect things in the world, in all her imperfections. She started blogging one year ago….and in that one year she has given the rest of the world a glimpse into a life that I have been blessed to know already…one full of laughter, love, beauty, and an unbridled respect for the tiny blessings in life.

After losing my sister almost four years ago, my relationship with January, though it spans over 5000 kms, has only grown stronger. She truly is a sister to me in her own right….a friend of undying loyalty….my own personal angel here on Earth.

Congratulations on your 34th year of living, Soul Sister of mine.  I am so thrilled that you have found your voice in your blog…..and that others will have the privilege to share in your infinite wisdom (that you do not give yourself NEARLY enough credit for)….find a kindred spirit in your constant curiosity and questioning…and feel comforted that they are not alone.

Because you have given me all that and so, so much more.

All my love on your 34th.



You see what I mean?  Wow.  I feel like I should give some sort of speech here now.  But I won't.  I will simply say, thank you soul sister.  My life wouldn't be complete without you either.  I love you too.  Immensely and immeasurably.


Kristin said...

What a beautiful letter Erin! Take a bow January! That was awesome to read! YAY to an incredible relationship between you both! (and I'm now having memories of Wortley Village and Pt. Stanley - love those spots!) Happy Blogiversary January!

Andrea @ The Penny-Roach's said...

Happy Blogiversary! And what an amazing letter and best friend you have. It was beautiful to read :)

Ado said...

OMG. Happy happiest blogoversary, I can't believe you've only been doing it 1 year, happy birthday, and to Erin: you are the Gayle King to January's Oprah, her Tanto, Batman's Robin...and she is lucky-lucky-lucky to have you. Every woman on the planet deserves a best friendship like that. (-: What a fantastic post, made me teary-eyed. (-: