Kelsey should have been a pixie. Or a fairy. Or a Disney princess.
My first memory of Kelsey is our first day of school in choir and she was wearing the coolest combat boots. The second memory I have is of her kicking off her heels in choir because she couldn’t stand in them for the whole class. (We stand in choir. No sitting allowed!) When I told her these things she told me about her grandmother and how she loved shoes and was given forty pairs when she passed away. Now Kelsey is a shoe lover. Fitting that I should meet her that way, we thought.
Like the way I met Candice, Kelsey and I never officially shook hands and said hello. Our friendship just kind of grew, especially over this last year. That’s what I love about this series. It gives us a chance to stop and recount our friendships and see how it all began and see the growth over the years. It’s pretty great.
A little over a year ago the school choir took a weekend trip to Houston to sing for a few other colleges. Since Kait and I lived so far away Kelsey offered her house for us to crash the night before we left. Somehow during that night we discovered that Kelsey and her older sister are adopted. Like everyone else I was totally shocked. Adoption utterly fascinates me. I haven’t had any experience with it but so many questions come to mind. What about the biological parents? When were they adopted? How was the whole process? Was it easy to adjust?
Those questions were answered when I met Kelsey’s parents. They’re amazing. They welcome us all in with open arms and give us snacks and food and remember me from only the two times I’ve been to their house. They’re sweet and loving and care about Kelsey and her sister as their girls. Because they are their girls. The whole thing is just totally cool to me. But that’s not who Kelsey is to me.
Kelsey is… fun.
When she texted me asking when we could do her GTKY, she came up with the picnic idea and said she’d get us sandwiches and we’d go to a park. By far the cutest GTKY so far. (Everyone else now has a standard to beat.) We met at the park with Jimmy John’s (delicious) and maybe or maybe not some Red’s Strawberry Ales. We parked and she pulled out her picnic bag complete with her grandmother’s yellow picnic blanket.
I gushed about how utterly cute and photogenic the whole thing was while she told me about how the blanket used to be on her grandmother’s big backyard table. We sat down and slowly the ants started to attack. There were only a few at first but then hundreds. Literally hundreds of ants swarmed the picnic blanket and tried stealing our sandwiches. They didn’t bite so we endured it while we talked and she answered my questions.
If our names were a hashtag, what would it be?
What do you remember about when we first met?
I’m really horrible with names. And don’t hate me, but I feel like you just appeared in my life.
When is your birthday?
April 26, 1992
How do you relax when you’re stressed?
I have several ways.
During the school year I ignore it and work harder and I get to a point where I’m like AHHHH. (I’m witness to this.)
Usually I talk it out with somebody.
I practice classical violin or play bluegrass (The Scrips!). It’s so relaxing and wonderful to play in a bluegrass band but I need that time to play by myself in a classical way.
I do get lonely and I need to hang out with people, but sometimes I just need to be alone. It’s hard to really define how I decompress.
What makes a place home for you?
The people. But kind of the environment. Going along with the need to be around people but home is the place where I can go be by myself but also a place where people can come and be together. There’s different types of home. Like, the building, but also the home you carry in your heart.
What’s your biggest passion? Something that makes you really happy like what you were put on earth to do.
I think music for sure. I don’t know if I have one specific passion. I’ve discovered that whatever I’m currently doing that’s my passion: opera, teaching, piano…
It’s a blessing and a curse. Like I can be happy doing whatever but what am I supposed to do?
What’s your favorite time of day?
I have a favorite type of day. Not a favorite time of day. I love dry heat. When it looks like it’s going to storm hard and I want it to, but it won’t.
When people end a sentence with the word “at.” You don’t need that word! It’s superfluous!
Also I don’t like bacon. (WEIRD.)
I don’t like when somebody is hurting and people are not sympathetic and they’re fueling it.
Kelsey is goofy and silly and always up for an adventure. At the park where we had our picnic, there’s a little pond. She told me about a secret trail that takes you from the water part of the park down to the pond. I let her lead me down the trail at dusk because woods at night creep me out, but we made it out alive. We then walked back to the splash park, I rolled up my jeans, and we ran through the water. No telling how many feet have been in that water, but hey. All in the name of adventure, right?
This is who Kelsey is. Adventurous and fun. She’s a child at heart. Disney and play make her happy. Her eyes light up at the thought of something new that her group of friends can do together. But there’s a serious side of Kelsey. One night at dinner when some people walked out to smoke for a while and just the two of us were left, Kelsey opened up to me just about life. I love that she feels free to talk to people no matter what level of friendship. She is genuine and pixie-like; which is the quality most of us know and love about her. She’s brave and perfect in front of a crowd, which is great because her classical voice is one I could listen to for days. Her light and airy soprano sound is beautiful and “like a thousand angels singing,” as someone put it once.
Kelsey, like most of us at this age, doesn’t know where or what she’ll be doing, but she knows it’s music. I don’t doubt she’ll be great at whatever it is. And I can’t wait to watch her do it.