Chelsea is leaving California tonight on a one-way, red eye flight back to the East Coast, Audrey-cat in tow. I have all the feelings right now, but thought it was appropriate to write a post in honor of her on the day of her parting.
Some people who read this blog might see my posts including Chels and wonder, Wait… isn’t she married? Does this girl live with them? Why yes, she does! Well, until tonight. Living with a roommate while married is something that most people would never even consider, and I never dreamed we would either, but it has gone really well. When we announced we were moving to California to our group of friends back home, we added at the end, “…and anyone who wants to come with us should speak now or forever hold their peace.” This was their chance; head off for the unknown with us, help us with the astronomical rent in Orange County, and give us a little peace of mind in having someone familiar around while we do this “living 2,600 miles away from everyone we know” thing. Chelsea was in.
Chelsea and I go pretty far back, and I’m sad to think that parting now could mean the end of us seeing each other so frequently. We met briefly at Radford through a mutual friend, then found ourselves in every single class together my final semester there. No joke…from Art of the African Diaspora to some of my final graphic design classes, Chels was right there with me. We became quick partners, working together on projects and drawing up our favorite figure drawing mascot, Saint Francis the Fantastical. She put up with daily complaints from me at Starbucks as I stressed over planning my wedding and I tried to help nudge her awake enough in class that the teachers didn’t notice (too often.)
We shared mutual friends after I graduated and continued to hang out nonstop. Camping, Tuesday’s at Tom’s, my bachelorette and wedding weekends, a Lady Gaga concert, the Annual Cabin Parties (for Halloween,) Tacky Sweater Christmas parties, one Lost Finale Party, New Year’s Eve parties, and on and on.
Eventually we even decided we needed a project, and soon our design business was born. Over the next eighteen months we designed and published four issues of a visual arts magazine in our home city of Roanoke, Virginia.
Classmates, friends, business partners, and now roommates for the past two years; few people in my life have been around for such important moments over the past decade as Chelsea has. It’s going to be really strange not having her here for the rest of the time we’re in California, and I’m really going to miss her… and her cuddly kitty Audrey, too! Luckily, she won’t be too far away in New Jersey when we’re back on the east coast and we’re already planning a few things we have to do in the future.
If you’d like to follow Chels and see what she’s up to in New Jersey, you can follow her on Instagram @seamarie3. I’m sure there will be lots of creativity and new adventures in her future!