Calling anyone your best friend is extremely ordinary, expected, and not the choice of words I will describe Kelly Susin as ever again. When thinking of a title for my ode to Kelly, I was desperate to find an appropriate definition of our friendship. Kelly and I met eleven years ago, and since then we have been each others travel companions, positive inspiration, and go-to for happiness, even when times are hard. Kelly has been my co-worker, my neighbor, my roommate, and now days (since across the country) my most reliable, comforting phone chat. Many friends come and go because of misunderstandings, or just lost of the want to understand each other and support each other. This is not true for Kelly and I because we have always been each others biggest fan, and I am happy to devote the time to write about Kelly, my most excellent ally.
I first met Kelly in Tallahassee my first year of college where we were both hostesses at a family owned greek restaurant where I continued to work for the next four years. Work is work but work with Kelly was fun. Work became our social scene where we would go to have fun, laugh, and pre game before our nights out. We were able to talk the bartender who worked there to put alcohol in styrofoam cups and we would sip on them behind the hostess stand. Was this right? No, but we were in college!
When I think of Kelly I think of bright colors and daisy’s (not because of the coffee mug “I borrowed” and refuse to give back that is just this) but because of the similar warm, happy, and fun feelings I get when I think about her. Kelly and I can go into any city, to any bar ,and make friends with everyone and anyone. We bring out the best in each other and when we introduce ourselves as Kadie and Kelly we are commonly not taken seriously because of our similar bebop attitude and blonde hair (when I have blonde hair). If it’s a drive down A1A listening to music with the windows down just to escape, or a Winn Dixie run to fill Kelly’s key lime pie ice cream fix, Kelly is a good time.
I did not grow up traveling when I was younger so my love for adventure began when I was older. Kelly was apart of the trips that defined my love for travel and need to get away. Our trips started with two-hour road trips from Tallahassee to Jacksonville to escape work and class and have evolved to cross-country car rides, and plans to globe trot around the world. Like most Americans, I have a special place in my heart for New York City and I had been lucky enough to visit the big apple twice with just Kelly before the city became home. A photo of our Fall trip to the city in 2009 is hung in my home today and signify’s a lazy afternoon sitting on a 29th floor balcony in Times Square talking about “the good life”. Growing up, my middle sister and I would visit my family during the summer and I have tried my best to keep up that tradition. One summer, Kelly took on the sister role and joined me to “the longest pencil in the world” and I was able to share with her my love for the beauty of the state and surround her with the fun of my family. My dearest memory of this trip was a cooler summer night in my sister and brother in laws garden where we ate great food, sipped on great wine, and were entertained by live guitar music with friends and family. A drive up the Pacific Coast highway from San Diego to San Fran, and attending a football game in Boston where waves of tropical storm bands hit during an upset between Boston College and Florida State were daring, ordinary, and memorable trips I shared with my favorite companion.
Like most relationships our bond wasnt strictly built on girl talk and giggles but tested because of hardships we had to overcome together. The first time I had my heart-broken and could not imagine life going on, or getting out of bed, Kelly was there by my side. We were there for each other through failed relationships, and failed friendships, and came out stronger together. I am not fond of the day that Momma Susin passed but I was proud to be a friend who stood by her side as she exemplified her strong, positive character during this hardship. Kelly is the greatest memory of Momma Susin and like her mother she always encourages me to be me.
I want to celebrate Kelly. She is not my best friend but my most excellent ally and I am fortunate to that.