Do you have one of those friends that you might not see that often but when you do, it’s like nothing has changed? It’s not awkward. There’s no guilt. You’re just happy to see that person.
Jenny P is one of those people in my life. The “P” because there are a million Jennys (Jennies? Jenny’s?) that were born in the 80s in Schaumburg, Illinois. If you say Jenny P, people in the burg know who you’re talking about. Jenny P and I became friends our sophomore year of high school. I don’t remember exactly how, but I think it was one of us crying over a boy that led us to talking. We survived high school by complimenting and complementing each other. I do remember we used to say, “A lot can change in a month.” This was, of course, directed towards high school relationships, as in, “He probably won’t be dating her in a month, so then YOU can be his girlfriend.” Because that’s actually how high school works.
But that is also how life works. “A lot can change in a month.”
A month ago, I had just moved to Atlanta. A month ago, I was running 10 min miles. A month ago, I didn’t have this blog!
So yesterday, when Jenny P let me know that she was going to be in Atlanta for a 2 hour layover and asked if I wanted to come see her at the airport, I jumped at the chance to see her. Yep, 100%. Of course I would drive the 26 minutes to the airport to catch up, even if it meant us hanging out for only 30 minutes. Had this been a few months ago, 2015 when I still lived in Chicago, and Jenny P was at O’hare airport, I think my response would have been “Uh, nah. Ima not. What a pain to drive to O’hare. We’ll hang out another time.” (It was probably just a 26 minute drive to O’hare from Wicker Park!) But 2016 Jaclyn? Jaclyn that lives in Atlanta? Jaclyn that wants closer relationships with friends and family? YES. I was going to be there.
A lot can change in a month.
When you leave home, when you don’t have a million friends around, you become so much more appreciative of the people you DO have around. If Jenny P was going to be in Atlanta at the same as me, then I was going to go see her.
I’ve been reminded over and over how short life is. We’ve had several family members, friends, and family of friends pass away in the past few years. I will forever be haunted of the times I could have gone to see someone but didn’t because of work, traffic, or just plain being lazy, and then it turning out to be the last time I could see them. Life is short. Do shit now. Something could change in a month that makes it not possible.
So a 26 minute drive, a 10 minute search for parking, and a 20 minute scavenger hunt looking for each other in the ATL airport, Jenny P and I finally met up and grabbed a green tea at Starbucks… and then it was time for her to get in line to go back through security. Seriously. We spent the next 20 minutes in line chatting about work, vacations, our real life boyfriends, and life. Then TSA told me to GET OUT OF LINE. Oops. (Actually, she was pretty nice about it. This is the south!) Jenny got to her flight, and I made the 26 minute drive home.
That was a lot of time just to see a friend for 20 *quality* minutes. Do I regret it? Hells to the no. I haven’t seen Jenny P in months, if not a year. That’s a shame on me- Chicago and Milwaukee aren’t that far, and there is no way I was as *busy* as I always told myself I was. It took a short layover in Atlanta for us to meet up, but it was the best part of my day, maybe my week.
Jenny P is one of those people that always has something amazing going on in her life. She’s an awesome high school Spanish teacher that is finally getting the recognition and compensation she deserves. Actually, she probably deserves more for all the work she does! I wish I had a Spanish teacher like her when I was in high school- I might have actually stayed in la clase de espanol! This girl knows how to live life. She works hard but always makes vacation a priority. Why work if you don’t get to enjoy the benefits of your hard-earned money? Life is short! Go do shit. Go see shit. There’s a lot out there. We’re young and able now, what if in a month we’re not?
Seeing Jenny today kind of gave me a kick in the butt to get going on some other stuff in my life. I never made goals for this month, and I lost track of what I wanted to get accomplished last month. Instead of being jealous and comparing myself to Jenny's success, I decided I just need to step up. If it's meant to be, it's up to me.
My goals for the near future aka by the end of March:
You only get one life to live. You don’t get a second go at life. A month from now, you could be really happy with what you did with the past month or you could be mad that you’re still stuck doing the same shit. You have to decide what is important to you and how important it is to you. What can you change TODAY to get closer to your goals? Go for a walk/run? Swap sparkling water for that can of pop? Read 10 pages of a personal development book? Make sure you hug and kiss your spouse when they get home? Get off your social media and actually go visit someone in person? Imagine if you did those things every day for a month. What could your life be like at the end of March?
Best news is that Jenny P is coming back to visit me freal in a month. You guys, I had my first visitor, and in a month, she will be my first repeat visitor.
P.S. You should come visit me in Atlanta too! Life is short. We have a pool and a mountain. Come visit.