If we were the kind of people who made grand speeches and gave lavish toasts, then the following is what I would have prepared and read on Saturday night at your going away party:
Sometimes I have to pinch myself. To make sure I’m not dreaming. To make sure that these past eight years really happened. When I look back on all the years of our friendship, sometimes its just too unbelievable. I’m in awe of my luck, honestly. That I get to have you as a friend.
Magical, wonderful, incredible you.
We first met at Laurier, in our freshman year. Living in the same residence, on the same floor, sort of across the hall from each other. Completely random. It was all by chance that we ended up where we were. Although, maybe not… I’m not sure.
Maybe it was chance. But maybe it was fate. That’s another very real possibility. Maybe it was divine intervention. Yeah, I like that. That makes the most sense to me. If anyone ever needed a divine intervention in their life at that time, it was me. I needed it real bad. And so it was that The Gods of Friendship intervened. They knew just what to do with that bold and vivacious city girl and the seemingly square small-town girl.
I had fun in high school, sure. But my first year at Laurier was when I really started living. And I learned how to from you.
You got me my first fake I.D. so we could get into bars. Because partying in the dorm with a quiet hour starting at 11:00pm got old fast. We needed some freedom. We needed to go to the bars! To get wasted. To cause trouble. To meet boys. Older, cooler boys than the ones back at the dorm.
And we had such fun!
We drank, we danced, we laughed. We lived. I never wanted that year to end.
Until I lived with you and Sara at 42… that shit was crazy fun! It was way more crazy fun than even my wild imagination unhinged would be able to dream up.
We had real chemistry as roommates, the three of us. We just laughed all the friggen’ time!
We had the best parties. We had the wildest adventures. And we were always happy. Our house perpetually radiated an aura of hilarity. 42 was our dream house. From the sweet Rasta picnic table on the front lawn where we downed many a recreational beverage to the decadent gold curtains I’d hung on the living room window, our home was one of a kind. People knew that coming to our place meant having a good time.
Cinco de Mayo in December:
Pre-drinking on an otherwise boring Tuesday night:
Even just goofing around on a beautiful spring day. Hopscotch and blowing bubbles. Drawing chalk versions of ourselves.
Whatever it was we were doing, we were having fun. We were living the dream.
But that wonderful time in our lives eventually came to an end too…
Graduation scared me. Graduation meant the end.
But it wasn’t. If anything, it brought us even closer together. We still got together regularly. Moving out of 42 wasn’t the apocalyptic nightmare I thought it would be. But you know me, I have a wild imagination and I tend to get carried away.
When the stars all align and the three of us do get together, I cherish it. My friendship with both you and Sara means everything to me. I’m so grateful that I have you for my friends.
I’m so happy for you right now, in this moment. I’m so happy that you met Harry.
He is just as hilarious and amazing as you are. How that’s even possible, I don’t know. Because you are incomparable to anyone I’ve ever met.
And I’m happy that Harry shares your love of adventure and passion for living life to the fullest. You deserve that. You were meant for a lifetime of greatness, and I’m thankful that our friendship allows me a part in this great life of yours.
Eight amazing years of friendship, so far, and you continue to inspire me. I think that what you’re doing, moving halfway around the world indefinitely, is courageous. And it’s so you! You would. You’re brave. You’re funny. You’re sweet. You’re unique. You’re all the things I’ve always aspired to be. You are a magnificent star, and you will excel at anything you choose to do in this life. Because you’re fearless, and you tackle every challenge you encounter head-on with your Joce-force!
I’m really going to miss you. (At this point in the speech, I would pause and look meaningfully into your big sparkly blue eyes. The kind of look that only happens in movies, because its way too awkward in real life!)
And then I would say,
May the adventure you’re about to embark on bring you all the joy you seek to find and more. Wherever your travels take you, I wish you all the love and support my little heart can muster.
So, let’s all raise our mini regulation reds in honour of Harry and Joce, and their excellent adventure.
To Joce, to Harry, to Australia!