October 24th 2012
Story originally written and experienced: August 8th 2008
I could feel myself saying it.
The same thing I said every time we talked.
And it wasn’t that I didn’t mean it.
Or that it wasn’t true.
I just hated to say it.
“Oh. What’s new with me? Um you know…not too much over here. Just...same thing different day, nothing too exciting.”
And then the worst part.
Ready for it?
“…How about you?”
Cue in the stories.
The epic decisions.
The ridiculous conversation she had with the homeless man 3 blocks down the other day who happened to be a former NBA star. Can you believe it??
6 epiphanies she had about life just.last.week.
An 8 minute saga about how she found out the waiter at that restaurant she randomly stumbled into just so happened to be related to a close family friend and now they’re going to come hang out with us at that concert this Saturday! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?!
And the thing is
It was interesting.
Our conversations were always
No thanks to me.
So one day. We did what we always did. As one of my very first college best friends we remained in regular contact with very few details ever left untold. I was waiting for her in the Harris dining hall when suddenly she flew>> into the room, slammed her tray down and said “YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME.”
“Dude I talked to you like 20 minutes ago. What the hell could have happened in between now and then?”
She told me her story beaming with her standard level of epic excitement. But with each passing detail I found myself
because I knew the question was coming.
“Isn’t that insane, Olive? God. My life is just so ridiculous sometimes. Anyway, what’s new with you?”
Here it goes.
It’s like this every.time.
For some reason no matter how many days, hours, minutes had gone by, Coco always had something to say. Something to tell. Something to be excited about. And that every
we ever had, was chock-full of me listening, admiring and saying the line “That’s crazy! I feel like I’m living vicariously through you. Haha. What’s that? Oh. What’s new with me? Um you know…not too much over here. Just...same thing different day, nothing too exciting.”
And she was never bored with my answer. But then again, she was never really bored at all.
And at first I was fine with it. I loved hearing her stories. And her life? It’s just the way she is. She’s one of the most adventurous, outlandish OMG I LOVE LIFE SO MUCH IM GOING TO FUCKING EXPLODE – people I’d ever met. Of course she’s having the time of her life. She’s in college. Yesterday was Friday, there’s always a good story on Friday. Blah blah blah.
But with each passing
I noticed that…wait a second.
I think life’s pretty cool. I’m in college. And yesterday was Friday for me too.
I was at that concert.
We were both in that class.
And that person also happens to be my friend.
Where are my stories? Epiphanies? Adventures?
But the more I thought about it, I knew my answer was recycled for a reason. That I got to a place where: I couldn’t differentiate a Monday from a Thursday. And suddenly March felt a whole lot like August. That January wasn’t so different than July. And February? Well, that was a kind of a blur. Lots of work and such, you know how that goes. How is life? Good. Have I made new friends? Sure! Has anything changed? No.
And that I had arrived to a point in my life where I had forgotten each day before it was even over. And not because it was a bad day. Not at all. But because, it was just a day. That turned into just a month. That ended in just a year. And that I was definitely buying and mixing all the ingredients I needed for an exciting life, but I was forgetting to taste it along the way.
But I have so many things to do! And places to be! And people to please! Once everything dies down, I’ll have plenty of time for things like this, right? And it really wasn’t until I met Coco, and placed our nearly identical schedules and priorities
side by side
that I realized that her captivating stories didn’t necessarily involve saving the world, breaking an earth shattering record or participating in a neighborhood scandal. But mostly consisted of random encounters, accidental conversations and bizarre mishaps that happened before, during and after her prioritized promises.
And so I made a list.
Knowing full well that to ask someone, especially yourself, to live an epic life on a daily basis is understandably ridiculous. But to live a serendipitous one? Well, that can definitely be arranged. So I began to do things like:
– Change my route to work 3 times a week
– Talk to one new person a day
– Try a new restaurant
– Listen to new music
– Catch up with an old friend
– Buy something weird, and figure out a way to use it
– Say yes to one thing I’d normally say no to
And at first it kept me entertained. And sure, it gave me better stories to tell Coco. And the further I stayed committed to this list, I found the following things happened to me:
Taking a round about way to work on that Wednesday? Ran into an old friend. Exchanged numbers. Invited to their birthday party. Went to their birthday party. Had one of the most epic nights of my life.
The person I struck up a conversation with that Monday morning? Turns out to be pretty awesome. Happens to be dating this guy that works at this place that’s looking for writers and hey, you seem pretty cool, send me your resume and I’ll see what I can do. Cue in my first full time job.
That new restaurant I tried? Guess what? Pad thai is the bomb. So bomb you recommend it to your friends and now it’s your Tuesday night group dinner place.
That new music you gave a try for no reason at all? Just shuffled onto someone’s indie hipster playlist and you’re singing along. Instant respect.
Catch up with an old friend? They’re a different person now. It’s so good to hear from you. Really awesome of you to check in. You’ve officially moved into the good friend – quality friend category. Congrats!
That weird thing you bought? Someone just picked it up off your counter as you all drunkenly stumbled into your house last night and this weird prop is now the main star of a grandiose facebook album.
That thing you said yes to? Fine FINE Charlie. I’ll go to Brooklyn with you on a random weekday for no reason at all even though I’m tired as shit. Cue in the story that entertained me enough to launch this blog entirely.
And then I started to realize, that with every
Coco and I had since then, I couldn’t wait to tell her what was new. That things had changed. That she’d never believe what had just happened! And she would tell me “That’s crazy!” That sometimes she felt like she was living vicariously through me. And one day we got to talking and I told her that I appreciated all of her stories, epiphanies and adventures and wondered why she felt the need to have an endless supply of them. And she told me plain and simple “You know Olive,
Nobody wants to remember a forgotten life.
Especially not us. And definitely not you.”