i finally went snowboarding this weekend, after majorly disappointing myself and not going one single time last year (for the first season since i learned to ride). despite all my grumbling and shivering over my hatred of New York winters, i really do love to hit the slopes — even though East Coast riding leaves me craving the blue sky, powder days of Colorado (ah, the things we take for granted while we have them!). and i finally got to spend a day with my best friend in the whole wide world, which meant hours of laughter, reminiscing, inside jokes and that kind of uninhibited, genuine sense of belonging with no pretense or airs of self-consciousness.

truly, that’s one of the best feelings in the world. i think our friendship is so rare, and i’m beyond grateful to have her in my life. we’ve had a nothing-comes-between-us friendship for 11 years now (i can’t believe we’re so OLD!), and it’s literally unfeasible for me to imagine having spent my 20s without her. we’ve shared secrets, shared tears, shared shoes; held each other up, backed each other up, driven each other across country. we’ve taken phones out of each other’s hands when we feared one of us might make a call she’d later regret; we’ve made difficult phone calls for each other when one of us had to quit a job or let someone down. we’ve laughed until we couldn’t stand, see or breathe, and we’ve solidly supported each other in whatever endeavor one of us decided might be her next step — whether or not the other one entirely agreed.

she moved me out to Colorado and taught me to snowboard (my first attempt involved tears, tumbles and one very frustrated, unpleasant-to-be-around Shawna), so my ski lift days are always more enjoyable when spent with her. although our lives contain many differences now (she bakes while i salsa; her hard-boiled eggs come out exactly the way they should), and our friendship is stretched across two cities yet again (albeit much closer, this time!), not a day goes by when i don’t thank God for blessing me with the exact friend he knew i needed.

and as we laughed on the lift yesterday, i was struck by how some things truly never change. it was as if we were 22 again, riding a lift together for the first time at Copper Mountain.

but yesterday, we managed to slide uneventfully off the chairlift each and every time. none of the customary clutching each other, entangling our boards, or pulling each other down into a tumbled mess…

and it hit me, just how many more firsts we must have ahead of us in the years of our friendship to come. and that alone is worth celebrating.