On an island of the Coast of France, collecting Sea Glass -
one of the best days of my life so far! 2007.
We're almost to the wedding, and Karenanna is the next of my bridesmaids to hit the spotlight!
I transferred to the University of Michigan in Fall of 2003, and was placed in the Sophomore Class. At this time I technically should have been a Senior, and was a couple of years older than the rest of the students in my "BFA in Theatre Performance" Class. The class sizes are small at Michigan, one of the reasons I chose to go there, so you take every class with the people in your year all the way through your degree program. While everyone was very polite to me when I transferred, it's very difficult to stroll into an innately competitive environment where everyone else has had a full year to bond and find their "place". Being the one to upset the apple cart is difficult, no matter how nice everyone is!
Karenanna was the first real friend I had in my acting program - she sincerely approached me that first day, and I instantly fell in love with her sparkling personality and her red, red hair that is just like mine. Like me, she was also older than the students in our class - only 2 months younger than me - and when she turned 21 that December, we started going out for drinks occasionally just to download on everything that was going on.
Karenanna and I after our Graduation from the University of Michigan, 2006.
Karenanna was one of my biggest support posts during my three years at Michigan, one of those people who would sit and listen, cry with me, laugh with me, and celebrate with me too. I like to think that I supported and encouraged her just as much, but I also think that she was in a more stable place during that time. I think about Karenanna during that time of my life, and I think of a rock - never budging, staying solid in the storm. I don't think I ever told her just how much she rescued me during that time, knowing that she would stop and listen when I felt that life was spinning out of control or that I was drowning in my depression.
Since graduation, I have seen Karenanna once a year. First, my visit to Karenanna in Cognac, France in 2007. In 2008 we met in Barcelona for a magical week of art, adventures and Sangria. In 2009, in Vermont as I attended my leader training for World Learning. And for 2010 - well, that visit is days away! Every time I see her, it's like the years fall away - and we laugh, eat, cry, get real, and laugh some more...
K-nans and I on the harbor in Barcelona, 2008.
I have three favorite memories of Karenanna - the first one is from an Island off the coast of France - of eating chocolate crepes in an outdoor cafe then strolling and hunting for sea glass on the beach while we talked forever. The next is from our visit to a mountain top monastery just outside of Barcelona - of the cold, the mist, and the majesty. Of attending their mid-day prayer service and being surrounded by every language under the sun as we found ourselves in a Catholic Pilgrimage Site. Of the amazing conversation that came out of that visit. Then the most recent - a delicious outdoor dinner on the river in Vermont - amazing burgers, and some serious downloading time after a crazy, crazy week for both of us.
I love you, K-nans! I am so excited and honored that you are flying across the country and taking a few days from Grad School to be a part of this special day! I cannot WAIT to see you at the rehearsal on Friday and squeeze you to death!!!!!!!!!
Karenanna and I in Vermont during training for the
Experiment in International Living, 2009.