When I realized that my already busy summer was going to come to an end by moving for the 4th time in 2 years, I knew that a strategically scheduled vacation was going to be the light at the end of my tunnel. I was barely unpacked and nowhere near fully settled into my new place before I was packing again, for a quick getaway to Arizona. My childhood/grade school/lifelong best friend lives in Phoenix and it had been inexplicably long since we had last seen each other. I realized that the list of reasons not to go visit her (busy at work, busy with life, trying to save money, trying to hoard PTO, etc. etc.) would always be there & that it was time to bite the bullet and do something just because it would make me happy. Happy doesn’t begin to describe how I felt for the 5 straight days I was with her.
You see, Liz is the epitome of my other half. We’ve been best friends since 5th grade & have elementary school yearbook notes to prove it. The thought of riding the school bus without her in middle school was so dreadful that my gem of a father drove me to a bus stop on her route, instead of the one closest to my house, every morning. We compared high school schedules the day they came out & giggled in the back of every class we had together. We spoke on the phone every night to help pick out each other’s outfits for the following day. Our prom dates always knew that we were a package deal – anyone who asked Liz, knew they’d actually be taking me & my date as well. Even through college, when some grade school friendships fall apart, we made a point to have weekly phone calls & monthly visits. We’ve been through everything, and I really mean everything, together. Regular visits haven’t proven to be as easy with me in Boston and her in Phoenix, but last week’s trip reminded me of all the reasons why we need to end up living near each other again, and asap.
I’d never been to Arizona before this trip, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. As an east coaster through and through I just assumed that everyone in Arizona would be wearing cowboy boots & spurs and have a yard filled with cacti. Not so much the case in Phoenix itself, but it was actually somewhat true when we drove north for a trip to Antelope Canyon. Although it is hands down one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life, it is also located in the absolute middle of nowhere. Let me tell you, Page, Arizona is a treat, folks. The entire town has 3 stop lights, a gas station, pizza shop, Walmart & a few motels. I stuck out like a sore thumb in my mint green j. crew chino shorts & pearl earrings (you can take a girl out of Beacon Hill … can’t take Beacon Hill out of the girl), but being in this little podunk town made for a good bonding experience with Liz & her friends.
I could go on forever about our giggle fits & girl talk but most of all, our time together was the reminder I needed of what’s most important, and equally not so important. Standing on the edge of a canyon, thousands of miles away from my unpacked boxes & scheduled-by-the-minute life in Boston, I realized just how insignificant my matters really are. I’m just a tiny freckle of life in an overwhelmingly vast universe. As big as that canyon was, that’s just one small piece of land in Arizona, in the U.S., in the Western Hemisphere, in the world. Regardless of whether or not I’m sleeping on air mattress in a Best Western of Page, AZ or all moved in to my Beacon Hill apartment with a pinterest-perfect décor, my heart is full of gratitude and love not because of where I am, but because of who I carry with me.
Some (untouched) photos of our trip: