30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 17

On this 17th day of my challenge, I have to acknowledge my second batch of college friends. I don’t really talk to many of my classmates anymore, as I was sort of more reserved, but for the ones with whom I really connected with, I gained siblings rather than friends. I went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN, for my last two years of college, and while I didn’t stick around very long after graduating, the local mates I made and have kept have definitely cemented themselves into my heart.

Emily (in T-shirt) and Elle (in long sleeves) at the Eternal Torch on UTK campus

First and foremost, I must say that Emily was the unexpected find for me at UT. When I met her in History class (along with Prentice), I knew I had met a version of me the moment she opened her mouth. She was rough around the edges, Chinese, raised in the countryside of the South (Tennessee to my Virginia), and had a crazy work ethic. When I moved, she opened her house to my boxes until I could retrieve them (still working on it). Though we didn’t get to talk to each other or visit with each other, I know I saw her at my wedding, and I’m so glad she witnessed it. (I was secretly hoping she’d catch the bouquet at the reception, but…) I honestly don’t know how long I would’ve lasted in Carniello’s class if it wasn’t for my “Chinese Bumpkin” of a sister-friend.

Where do I start with Taryn? Quirky, all sorts of literature, and such an amazing dreamer. I used to think I was a reader, but I haven’t been able to actually sit down and read a book from front cover to back in a while. While I’ve resorted to writing on my free time, she’s been absorbing more and more books than I can keep up with. She inspires me to try to put time aside to read. Very few people can get me to do that, and she nudges me to do it (even if she doesn’t know that she does). For that, I’m grateful for her.

Mozingo Family. Photo taken by Lyndsey Curtis Photography

Jenny and I met in my “last minute add-in” English class with Dr. Elias, and I walked out of the class with a bitter hatred for Feminism literature and a sister friendship that has only grown with time and distance. A couple of years ahead of me in “life plans”, she’s become a dear friend who is chock-full of information in the aspects of marriage, traveling, cooking, and motherhood. She may be on the other side of the world at the moment, but she’s somehow always available when I need advice or a girlfriend to talk to. For the nearly 24/7 availability, with the whole time difference and a two-year-old, I truly am grateful for your friendship.

These ladies definitely deserve recognition for their part in my “near college graduation” life, and I miss them greatly. It’s a challenge to catch up with Emily and Taryn with their schedules, and while Jenny and I try to chat for at least a few minutes every week, the time difference between Las Vegas and Italy gets the better of us both. I love you, ladies, and I truly am thankful to be able to call you my “sister-friend”.

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