The Brooke-line

I’ve talked about Natalie, Haley & Tommy in my Valentine’s Day post, and the intent was always to revisit that format and say some things about other great friends in my life, but honestly I could never think of a way to actually come out and say how much my friendship with Brooke has meant to me. Throughout the seven years (SEVEN YEARS!) I’ve known Brooke, we have somehow always gone through similar experiences right around the same time. Out of all of my friends, these similarities have made her the easiest to process with…because I never think “Hmmm…yeah…I’d never do that…” when she suggests something. To provide background to those of you who [are living in a cave] haven’t heard me talk about Brooke and all of this before, here is the Brooke-line:

April-ish 2002: I’m 20. I learn that I’ll be a home office coordinator for a youth camp team (East Team) for the Birmingham-based Student Life. I’ll be working with another girl from Texas, and my housing will be provided.

May 2002: I learn that I’ll be living with the girl from Texas. About four hours after my last final of my sophomore year, I meet Brooke and five minutes later she’s helping me move out of my dorm at Samford and into the Kinsley’s apartment at The Arboretum. We’re the only team that is working and living together, and somehow it totally works. Brooke might remember differently, but I don’t remember any arguments and definitely no meltdowns…

August 2002: It’s the day of the end-of-summer dinner for Student Life. Brooke and I go see XXX, go to the dinner, say bye in the parking lot of Oak Mountain High School and Brooke heads home to Texas…

February/March (I can’t remember) 2003: I’m 21. I meet up with Brooke in Dallas at the Student Life Tour. I also meet Mitch there…

July 2004: I’m 22. I meet Taylor at Student Life camp at La Tech. I think I kinda freak him out by giving him a huge hug after he introduces himself!

November 2006: I’m 24. Brooke invites me to come to DisneyLand with her (and Mitch). It’s basically awesome, and the first time I’ve been west of New Mexico. It’s the first time I’ve seen Brooke in four years…

December 2006/January 2007: Brooke comes to Nashville for my birthday and New Year’s. We spend a lot of time driving between Nashville and my grandparents’ house in Kentucky. She helps me ring in 25 with Natalie, FitzP and Jackie…man, that seems like it was longer ago, doesn’t it?

September 2008: I’m 26. I go to Austin for the first time, to visit Brooke and go to the ACL Festival. I get to tour “Brooke’s Austin” and meet a bunch of her friends.

December 2008: The propaganda war begins with the “There’s Gnome Place Like Texas” t-shirt (which came in the mail for Christmas).

January 2009: I’m 27. I am lucky to have a roommate move in whose mom and sister live in Austin. When she plans trips to visit them, I get to carpool with her and split the costs (and driving). On a long weekend in Austin, I get to meet more of Brooke’s friends and see tons of Austin, thanks in part to Super Photo Adventure Day.

March 2009: Just a couple months after the last trip, I get to head back to Austin with Audra (the roommate) and go camping with Brooke and her community group. By this time, I’ve been able to see people during all three trips to Austin and I can begin to say they’re becoming my friends, too…

On the way to Austin in January, I had major butterflies, and again in March. I was afraid that my friendship with Brooke relied on years apart, and that we wouldn’t have as much to talk about. I was very, very wrong. We still seem to be leading similar lives, asking the same questions, and relating to people in the same way. We internalize our experiences in similar ways, and it’s been such a blessing to have a friend who I feel truly empathizes with me, and that I feel like I can actually help without having to remind myself to look at it from a different perspective. I hope that I’ve been as good of a friend to Brooke as she’s been to me…

The Brooke-line continues with her June visit to Nashville (parties are already in the works) and our trip to Orlando to DisneyWorld (I’m going on the Keeler family vaca!), the Where-Austin-Meets-Alabama Labor Day trip (birthday bash included), and ACL ’09 in October, where I get to show Natalie (and maybe more Nashvillians; anyone? anyone? Bueller?) Austin as I’ve started to know it.

When I was 27…it was a very good year…BEEK!


One thought on “The Brooke-line

  1. CLAPP!
    You have been an AMAZING friend to me!! 🙂

    I feel incredibly blessed that our potluck-summer-roomie situ got the ball rolling on such a great friendship. And for the record, I echo the claim that we didn’t have any arguments or meltdowns…we were drama-free!

    Looking forward to the next 7 years…b/c seriously we just get better with age!!

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