Everybody has that friend who tells it like it is. This is the friend that tells you when you look kind of bad, that asks you who you are kidding, he doesn't really love you; this is the friend that says hey it's about time you returned my eleven jackets that you have. This is the friend that says things that you don't always want to hear, but she ultimately pushes you to be the best you that you can be.
This friend is Carly. Well, best friend actually, but it wasn't always like that. I remember the first night the group of us all arrived in Madrid, and, having plans to go out together, we were supposed to meet at the metro station at 11pm on the dot. No one had working cell phones yet, so up to that point we were all communicating via Facebook only. Whether or not we would all actually meet up with each other in the middle of Madrid on this first night depended solely on whether or not people would actually be on time.
I, of course, was late, and made the group I was with late as well. It wasn't my fault exactly, but I guess that doesn't matter now. I remember glancing at my watch and realizing it was at least forty minutes past eleven. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Nicole and Alyssa and Breezy, all smiling their politely annoyed smiles, but Carly is the one who specifically made an impression on me: "Dude, you're like, at least a half hour late! We have been waiting here forever, we almost left without you guys. Soooo annoying Nads, come on!"
Things took a turn for the better though. Carly and I had a morning class together, and got in the habit of getting coffee after class at the nearby Starbucks. I just love thinking about all those times we sat by the windows, freezing as we warmed our hands on the hot coffee in front of us. She always made fun of me for my pre-packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and we just sat there in Madrid by the window laughing and chatting and reading.
And slowly but surely, I became credible. When I would go over to the girls' house, I would be at least ten minutes early, sometimes even more. I would meet her exactly where I said I would meet her, at exactly the place we had discussed. And slowly but surely, Carly and I became great friends. We discovered that we actually had some similarities, but also laughed our differences. We talked about future plans, travel plans, life plans, and it eventually dawned on me that Carly is someone who I have a lot of respect for.
Today, Carly complements me. She is one-hundred percent, by definition, intrinsically, inevitably, invariably, Type A. She is organized, clean, and always a few minutes early; she leads a regimented life and likes it like that. She is competitive and intelligent, which is the perfect combination for that stellar GPA. Sometimes I come home and my bed has been made, clothes on the floor have been folded neatly in a pile, and my books have been stacked...she says messes stress her out and I'm not complaining.
The best part about Carly is that she knows I am basically her opposite and she still loves me for it. I am pretty careless and sometimes carefree; I stress about things that are unimportant and have no sense of urgency. I will spend hours doing nothing and just watch Carly slowly grow more agitated, and then when I panic and scramble to get things done at the last minute, I can just hear Carly in my head, clicking her tongue in annoyance. I like Type A people though, because they have what I do not have, and Carly's and my differences are essentially the reason why we are such a functional pair.
At the end of the day there is no denying that Carly is a person who I look up to and admire. There are things so deeply instilled in Carly that I wish I could say I had; she has such a clear idea of what is right and wrong and absolutely cannot stand to see anybody she cares about be treated unfairly. She knows herself and her values better than anyone I've ever met, and if any situation arises where a friend is taken advantage of, you can be sure Carly is there, reprimanding the person who did the hurting.
This is because Carly is a do good-er. She wants the best for people she loves, and for people she doesn't love, well, that's karma. I admire her boldness and candor, and am so thankful to have that little bundle of fire in my life, because being around her reminds me why she is my best friend: Carly pushes me to be a better me.