Kathryn is someone I admire, respect, and yes, adore. We met in college through our mutual friend Sara (who I’ve already written about), but it wasn’t until after I moved to Portland that we became friends, and now we’re practically inseparable.
I remember one of the first times we hung out without our friend Sara around: we met at Binks on Alberta for a drink or two. I don’t remember much of the conversation, but I was really worried that we wouldn’t have much in common, and that the conversation would be forced. And maybe it was for a little bit, I don’t know. I didn’t see her much after that because she entered into a relationship that changed her irrevocably, and my work and relationship became too difficult to deal with, and so I retreated into my shell.
Kat’s relationship ended just before mine, and I remember the sunny day we met at Lompoc and had a real connection: we both talked about where things went wrong, consoled each other, and raised a pint (or more). Things haven’t changed that much in a year. We still get together every few days over a drink, live life, laugh a lot, and occasionally run into the ocean naked.
Kat has a vibrancy about her that is unassuming. I know many people who have met Kat once or twice, and then commented about her, saying she is fascinating, interesting, and wonderful. She speaks slowly and precisely, means every word she says, and helps those around her release their stress and frenzied ways, even just for a minute. Her smile and laugh can draw people out, and her way of making light of bad situations is striking.
I respect her ability to draw me out of my shell, sometimes using peer pressure, but mostly by convincing me that I will have a good time. I admire her ability to be positive, her opinions, and her talent at making the worst of things seem so ridiculous that I have to smile and shrug off my worries. In a lot of ways, Kat is responsible for inspiring me to make meaning of my daily life, to seek the sweetness in everything, and to build gratitude, joy, and balance into every action. I could say so many other wonderful things about her, but it’s time to raise another beer and be grateful for this wonderful friend who has shaped the last year of my life.