So far in my quest to write 365 letters, I've been writing to my loved ones who live far away. But as I was making my list of friends and family, I was struck that some of the people I love the most live right here in Philly. And I wanted to start with you, my dear friend.
We met almost 5 years ago, on a balmy evening in July at a Yelp event. I was overwhelmed with meeting people that night - I think I made 15 new friends in the span of 4 hours and was drunk on love for our city and the people in it. (Maybe drunk on rum cocktails too...)
Over the course of the next couple of years, we were Facebook friends - cheerfully commenting on each other's life moments and events without ever really hanging out. Then, in the fall of 2012, we showed up to the same happy hour. I believe you came late, but we sat chatting at the bar for a good hour until Dylan and I had to drive home in the pouring rain, back to West Chester. I learned that you worked near me in the city, and you lived nearly right around the corner from me in Ardmore. In fact, we took the same train to and from work everyday, the R5 Regional Rail.
That train would end up being the thing that truly brought us closer, as fate aligned and we kept bumping into each other. We exchanged numbers and had our first lady date at Tired Hands - the hip new brewery and restaurant I hadn't heard about yet. You were way cooler than me, and seemed to know everything about Philly and our Main Line 'hood.
We just had to be friends.
And we were. We clicked. Soon, we were texting each other to take the train home, sometimes carpooling or going for an after work meal or shopping trip. We started doing double dates with our dudes, watching the Walking Dead together with a crowd of your friends, calling each other to catch up when it was too icky to venture out the mile to each other's houses.
I was so honored to be brought into your sister in law's Sunday Supper club. Learning new recipes and fostering a tradition with a group of ladies I'd come to adore was such a joy. I loved filling Sarah's kitchen with fragrant healthy dishes and gathering around the big dining room table with the sunflower cloth and collection of beautifully unique wine glasses.
I loved meeting up with you at Yelp events, or rolling in together. We never really need to stick by each others' sides - we have our own friendships in the crowd - but it's nice to have our private after parties where we can dish (and get some proper dinner).
Since I moved into Philadelphia and left Ardmore behind, I've missed you bunches. I've missed our train rides and impromptu evening hangouts. But we've expanded our horizons in other ways, taking day trips together and then flying to the windy city for a long weekend of good food, art, architecture, shopping and new friends. You are the perfect travel companion. I think we operate on similar wavelengths and I never feel rushed or slowed down by your pace.
Next, we embark southwest to Phoenix, a trip we've been planning since last summer with great anticipation, to climb a mountain, eat a thousand tacos and explore the desert. I really can't wait for our trip together, not just because it means adventure in a new place, but because it means I get several days worth of uninterrupted Callan time, a rarity in our busy lives.
I wish for us to have many more trips together. To see each other through the big things life is bringing our way. You have always been someone I can come to, lean on, share my true feelings. I appreciate your friendship more than this letter can express.
This is getting way too sappy for you, I can already tell. But you are honestly one of the most wonderful, kind, funny, honest, sassy, beautiful, creative and brilliant women I know. I am so lucky to have you in my life, Callan.
Stay true to yourself and be happy in the present, but never stop reaching for the things you want. You have so much drive to be ever more awesome. Just don't ever forget how awesome you already are.