Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ode to Caitlan

Preface: I'm in a creative writing class and we discussed the "ode" today, which is poetry, but I wasn't about to write a poem and post it on the internet.

I've been pondering my freshman year these past few days. I came to BYU the Summer term before the Fall semester when most of the '07 high school graduates typically begin college. I didn't know a single person that would be there during the summer, but I didn't think much about it until I actually got to my dorm, unpacked, and watched my mom and sister drive out of sight. Then suddenly, I was a little frightened.

My roommate moved in later that night, accompanied by her mom. Truthfully, I remember thinking we probably wouldn't be very good friends. I don't know why, but my initial impression was that she approached everything with more levity than I did, and I wouldn't be able to stand her. The first night as we got ready to go to sleep, I remember her pulling out her scriptures, so I pulled out my scriptures. She pulled out a journal, so I got out a notebook to jot down some thoughts, trying to mirror the duration of her writing as well. Finally, she said a prayer before turning out her light, so I said a prayer before turning out my light. From that night forward, it wasn't so much about doing those things for the sake of doing those things, but it was a function of making sure I wasn't judged. The right reason for doing the right thing came a little later, but that was the catalyst. (We talked later about how we both had the same though, 'don't get judged by the other person' so we kept doing it all summer for that reason)

I don't think I've ever been happier to be wrong. Caitlan and I became fast friends. It was a strong but casual friendship, where we were both confident that we would have a great time if we were ever together, but that didn't mean we had to be together all the time. There were late night runs down the hallway, elastic band jumping, pranks, cafeteria eating, MoTab blasting, and hospital glove drawing times to be had, providing much hilarity. We knew we wouldn't be roommates in the Fall, and thinking about that over the summer was a little depressing. But, it was the first friendship I had that was deeper than geographical location of residence. We still made time to get lunch together, go to sporting events, meet mutual friends, and go to parties. Last year we were roommates again and in hindsight, I can say I was pretty obnoxious. But, that wouldn't negate the good times of the quote wall, a free aquarium, putting barbecue sauce on everything, dance parties, and Little Cesar runs. (Thankfully, Caitlan is one of the most gracious people I've ever met so all of my fallacies as an annoying roommate were forgiven)

This past year we didn't hang out as much as I would've liked, we were both so busy. Texts related funny stories throughout the day or any really big news, but face-to-face visits were farther between. Through the course of the last few months however, Caitlan put in her mission papers, Caitlan got called to serve in the Hawaii Temple Visitors Center, Caitlan left to go into the MTC today, Caitlan will be gone for eighteen months.

I was invited to go to lunch today with her and her family, since I couldn't make it to her farewell, or dinner with other friends last night. It came time to say good-bye and I can say I didn't get choked up, but it was an odd, sad sort of feeling. I'm ecstatic for her opportunity, and what she'll be doing, I know she'll be an amazing missionary, and she'll have the time of her life. It was a sinking feeling I suppose, one where I knew that I had taken her being around and constant texting, for granted. Caitlan makes you feel better, even if you weren't feeling down. Caitlan makes you want to meet people and serve people and be better, without (intentionally/unintentionally) guilt tripping you. Caitlan is a fantastically loyal & genuine friend. Caitlan is already missed.