“Love you, B.”
This statement comes out of my mouth more often than affection to my family, not because I don’t love my family but because I see B more often. B doesn’t stand for bitch or the name of this person, it stands for Blair on Gossip Girl. Serena Vanderwoodsen and Blair Waldorf go together like “lamb and tuna fish… maybe you like spaghetti and meatball? Are you comfortable with that analogy?”–(Big Daddy, 1999 Gotta love it).
Now I’m not best friends with Blair or her real identity of Leighton Meester, but I am best friends with Andrea Fier and we do watch Gossip Girl every Monday night together. This isn’t going to be a post about how we finish each other’s sentences or how we are “just like twins” or how we kick ass in a game of volleyball because even though we are and do some of those things, I’m not about to sap through an entire post that has no message.
Let’s get one thing straight, her name’s Drea, and that’s not for you to call her ever (she said, shouting with her pointer finger straight and shaking like a mother disciplining her deviant son). I call her Drea because it’s only right. A bestie should have rights to calling her bestie whatever she damn well pleases. She hated it at first and would give me a rumbling sigh and say, “Jenn, stop calling me that!” and I’d lull my head and say, “OK.” Then I called her that again a year into our friendship and while she attempted to tell me to stop, I told her to “shut up”. I christened her Drea because I could.
Drea has recently written a post on her newly birthed blog that told me how much I have inspired her and so I decided to let the world and her know how much she’s truly inspired me. Now if I could only find a starting point I could continue this extra long, very important task. Oh… here’s one.
I met Drea my first weekend as an Iowa State Cyclone at Destination Iowa State, a orientation event for incoming students. My group leader, Alexis, was Drea’s roommate who was also a team leader for DIS. We all met up at Lied Recreation Center on campus for the Sunday night final event, which was sort of like a fair with booths, pizza, and cotton candy. Our groups sort of combined then everyone split up to do what they wanted. The three roommates stayed (adding the third roommate Jamie) and so did I. I admired them for their friendship and blah blah blah. They talked about going to a fraternity that night for some drinks and so I spoke up and they ended up inviting me along… only if I drove because leaders couldn’t transport their members anywhere. We hung out and talked and it was great. I do remember some Dr. Pepper and Captain Morgan being poured and the next morning being the worst day of my life up to that point. The next weekend, we did it again. Eventually I grew closer to Andrea than the other two and we confided to each other our pasts, goals, and secrets.
I was an elementary education major at the time and she was a journalism major. I was a creative writer who hadn’t really recognized how much talent I really had until I sat down and started hammering at the keyboard one night. I went to Andrea for her advice and experience in journalism. She told me to apply at the Iowa State Daily. This is the first career-inspiring thing Drea did for me. Soon after the spring semester in 2008 started, I changed majors to journalism. (I figured I could have my own kids someday, no need to swarm myself with others’.)
Through journalism I found myself, my true friends, and my voice. No… I didn’t find myself, I created myself. I got hired as a beat reporter at the Daily and was news editor by summer 2008. I wouldn’t have applied if Drea had not pushed me. I advanced to assistant news editor, business feature writer, and copy editor because of my drive and passion but also because Andrea got me where I belonged. Drea and I copy edited the same nights. I’d go on to write for Ethos Magazine, a student magazine at ISU, and submit Concentrated Breathing to Sketch, ISU’s literary magazine.
I was in a long, two year, turbulent, and exhausting relationship when I transferred to Iowa State and Andrea saw my pain, wiped my tears, and told me I was too good for him. I was in limbo, feeling the growth of love in my heart for this man and feeling the pain and weight on my shoulders that told me I needed out. She gave him an honest chance and he blew it as predicted but not hoped, and Andrea looked at me and said, “Dump him, Jenn. You’re better than him.” She was right, and now that I look back on it, this was the first indication that she would always have my back. If I didn’t transfer to Iowa State and meet the people like Drea who opened my eyes to reality, I can confidently say I’d be married to him and probably teaching three-year-olds their ABCs or eight-year-olds cursive. I dodged a bullet and a life of repetition and vulnerability. (God bless the teachers out there though, including my mom. They are strong people with more patience than I think I possess in my entire body.)
Drea helped me create myself in all the major areas of life: career, personal life, and branching out. Branching out ranges from me being restricted to drink because of an over-bearing boyfriend to finally taking that first UV Blue shot with her, Alexis, and Jamie to applying at the Daily to declaring my journalism major to finding my true passion in creative writing to declaring a lifetime career in book publishing to finally applying and getting accepted into one of the most prestigious institutes in the world: New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute. Yes, I carried out these amazing opportunities, wrote the pages upon pages on my pain and happiness, and made all of the final decisions; but it was Drea who absorbed all my tears, held my hand as I stepped into a rocky situation, spoke her mind truthfully in the best interest of her bestie, and has led me to better understand myself.
Having a best friend like Drea means you’ll always have someone to lean on, you’ll always know the truth because she won’t sugarcoat reality, and you’ll always know that when everything crumbles around you, you’ll have someone who loves you. So… I love you, B! You are anything but ordinary, boring, and unsuccessful. You are the best thing that has happened to me in college and probably one of the top 3 things that will ever happen to me.
Everything I’ve described above only covers the surface of Andrea Elizabeth Fier and our friendship. This is getting too long and I’m crying so I better stop and let Drea and I have all of the other hilarious memories to ourselves. See, Drea, I told you I could write a book about you. You know why? Because you’re the best bestie a bestie could have. 😛