The official story of how I met Brandy goes back to when we became friends on MySpace in 2009.  We had a mutual friend at the time, so she knew who I was.  She told me a story after we became friends that I had helped her shop for a bag when I was working at PacSun, and even gave her the few extra dollars she needed to buy it.  We started spending time together when I was living with my sister in her first home.  One of the first times we hung out was to take photos by some abandoned trucks near where I was living.

Once our friendship started, it consistently grew and got deeper with time.  When we met, I had just begun on this path of change.  One of the things I began to learn from her early on was how to be a good friend.  Over the course of our 10+ years of friendship she has always remained loyal, available, and would prioritize her friendships.  No matter which relationship she was in, she knew how to find balance.  This was something I did not know how to do, and admired her for it.  I also benefited from it.  No matter what, Brandy has always been there.  She’s one of the few people that actually still utilizes the talk function on her phone just to call and check up on people she cares about.

Our friendship took off when I introduced her to my new favorite hobby of the time, Crossfit.  I had started 3 months prior, had just broken off an engagement, and was looking to spread the love about Crossfit.  She was hooked.  She may not have been “all in” when she started, but she dragged herself to the gym even if she had been out drinking the night before.  We started planning when we would WOD based on each other’s schedule.  I loved this because we started seeing each other multiple times every week.  We would sweat, suffer, and laugh together through it all.  She ended up deciding to take Crossfit more seriously and became an absolute savage.  She was built for the sport in every way.  She eventually surpassed me in ability, but that’s the beauty of Crossfit; no matter your skill level you can still participate side by side with the best.  I had a really hard time when our gym closed in 2018.  It wasn’t just the threat and uproot of my business, but that’s where I got to see Brandy all week.  Nothing lasts forever, and we have both found our place at new Crossfit gyms.  Change is inevitable, necessary, and beautiful.  I will always be grateful for the time the Kettlebuds had at BayState Crossfit.

Brandy was the first person I had ever been 100% honest and forthcoming with until that point.  When we met I had just started climbing out of the darkest hole I’d ever been in.  I was making a genuine effort to be the type of person I could be proud of, and a big part of that was being honest.  Honesty scared the crap out of me.  I was taught to lie at a very young age.  You lie to avoid any negative feedback whatsoever, especially if it’s threatening.  After going through massage school, I learned just how harmful dishonesty can be.  I realized the impact it had on my life until that point, which was devastating, and decided to face it.  Brandy inspired me because she was always 100% honest.  She would share things that I would have never had the courage to share.  I remember a conversation where I wanted to share something with her that I was ashamed of.  I felt the urge to lie because I was afraid of what she would think of me if I told her.  But I paused, took a breath, and told her the truth.  She just took it in, loved me for it, and didn’t judge me at all.  I hadn’t given any of my past friends this opportunity because I was crippled by the fear and shame of rejection.  Brandy set the example for the type of friend I wanted to be.  She created a safe space for me, and because of her I was able to break free of old habits.

After 10 years of friendship, she gave me the privilege of being her Maid of Honor at her wedding in 2019.  I knew she was going to ask me, but I cried like a baby anyway when she did.  We had her bachelorette party in Las Vegas.  We’ve travelled to several countries together, and more to come.  The Kettlebuds are a force of nature.  Our friendship has gone deeper than any relationship I’ve ever had with another human being.  We’ve experienced so much together.  Whenever I’m beginning to feel lonely, I just think of Brandy and know that I will never be alone as long as we live.

Chapter Seven