I remember the first day I met Buffy. Her hair was slicked back in a pony, big hoop earrings in her ears, and she was wearing a t-shirt dress with some sort of trendy saying on it. A friend was introducing me to her so that I could join her connect group at church. I'd just moved to the city and was in need of community. I walked away from that interaction without thinking much of it. She'd be my connect group leader. Cool. Also, I needed cooler clothes.
After our first connect group meeting, we became fast friends. She's from TX, I'm from TX. She likes to eat, I like to eat. She finds BS intolerable, I find BS intolerable. She's not super girly, I'm not super girly. She's not a needy friend, I'm not a needy friend. She loves country music. I love country music. Beyond that, I'm not really sure how such a strong bond formed so quickly. It just did. I think that's the way it is with some friends - it's just meant to be (or whatever.) Now, when we're in a room together, we read each other's minds.
Buff was one of the two girls I texted after the assault. I couldn't tell you exactly what her first response was (I mean, it's been a minute) but within about 45 seconds, she pointed me to Jesus. Because that's who Buffy is. And in the months that followed, she kept pointing me to Jesus. She didn't run when I did. She stood firm in her faith, all while listening to me whinge on. She always pointed me back to the cross, even when I had no interest in looking that way. And after one night of particularly unfortunate choice making on my part, she stood in front of church on Irving Place and 17th St., yelled at me, and told me that at some point, I was going to have to choose differently - because what I was doing, wasn't working. And then she hugged me, said she loved me, and told me to get my sh** together.
It took me a few more months to do so, but do you know who I considered while simultaneously weighing up making a poor choice in those months? Buff. Because I didn't want to hear it from her anymore. And because deep down, I knew she was right. And do you know who, despite her deep frustration with me, was there through it all? Buff.
Today, Buff and I spent a lot of time reading one another's minds. Then we cleaned her apartment. And then we hung out. We didn't do anything exciting or fancy - we just did what friends do...life. As I rode the subway home from her house, I couldn't help but thank God for giving me a friend like her.
Our journeys in life are equally as much about the people who say yes to taking them with us as they are about ourselves.
Buffy has taught me the type of friend I want to be. She continues to teach me about the type of woman I want to be. She doesn't know it (well I guess she does now,) - in fact, sometimes I think she questions it, but she changes the lives of those she walks with. I could go on, but that's not our collective style - short and sweet, eh Buff?