Tag Archives: best friend

Excitement and Expectations

It all started with a promise. A pinkie promise to be specific. I think we need context here, so let’s back up… not to the age of dinosaurs just to an age of change.


I’ve worked at the same restaurant for four years, watched the predictable parade of characters waltz in and out knowing they were never meant to stay. Somewhere along the way, this “authentic” Mexican restaurant became my home away from home, in some ways it still is. It became my comfort zone, and its bright, slightly tacky decorations were enough for me. But life has other plans, it comes at us fast and shifts the world beneath us until we end up right back at square one. These plot twists tend to leave us recovering, rebuilding, and re-discovering ourselves. At least that’s what I was doing when I met this charismatic, slightly insane bartender who would throw tickets at my face while speaking rapid Spanish. I had no idea then that I just met my best friend. Flash forward five months later, one too many beers, more than enough existential conversations (for Shannon anyway), approximately 500 hand hugs and here we are, at the bar making plans to go to Puerto Rico.

Traveling has never been my passion. Looking at restaurant décor was as close as I’ve allowed myself to see the world. So when I was asked to travel with my friend back to her home, I was shocked that I said “yes.” In hindsight, I think the initial answer was not so much for my benefit. I read about Hurricane Maria, saw news footage of destroyed homes and flattened forests, but its the stories that I heard were too much. Too much sadness but they were strangely laced with hope for the future and filled with love for a home that could never really be destroyed. So I made a pinkie promise.

As the countdown to the trip hit single digits, my excitement began to increase exponentially. Maybe it was the names in the stories that I didn’t recognize (Karen & Kelly), or the pictures of mountains looming over turquoise water, or maybe it was just the idea of going somewhere unexplored. My bags were packed, my ticket was ready, and so were my friends. Only one mildly horrifying challenge remained: the plane ride. I fully expected to kick the bucket at 30,000 feet, but I made it through (unless my spirit is writing this) with the help of liquid courage, plenty of hugs, and ocean sounds weaving their way through my mind. Before I knew it, we were in PR a place I’ve heard so much about and I was ecstatic. Then I peeked over to see my friend excited for an entirely different reason that had everything to do with coming home. That’s when I knew I was somewhere special.

The first sight I registered was a palm tree. I have never EVER seen a real palm tree before, I didn’t realize they were so tall. It seems quite silly that a tree so tall should have so little branches. Despite this confusing conundrum, I was so thrilled by its island like presence that I went right over to touch it. I guess we can check that off the bucket list.

My excitement was unparalleled in that moment, and honestly, it got so much better from there if you can believe it. I still can’t. Expectations are something else entirely, too great and we risk being disappointed. If they are too little, we need to question why we even bothered in the first place.  So what were my expectations traveling to PR? I had none, not because I didn’t want to be over or underwhelmed, but because I had never really traveled anywhere before. All I hoped was that my friend would be happier and maybe I would swim in the ocean because I heard it was warm. I’ll be the first to admit, I never expected this.

Megan Meets World

Following our most recent trip to Puerto Rico I discovered my second favorite thing in this world, and it is the world. But through the eyes of Megan Gittings. She runs another blog called Essence of Sparkle and it is full of eloquent writing that puts my basic use of the english language to shame, but tomato/potato. So after this trip we have decided in the future to collaborate here on Bohemia Chronicles. It will now be a two person show. Call her the Yin to my Yang and the Simon to my Garfunkel, whatever comedic or complimentary pair you want but we are now here to provide two wonderful views while we travel and live our daily lives.

Neysha Monique Pagan Sabino

Neysha Monique Pagan Sabino. This is the name of my muse, my Venus De Milo, my Marilyn and Diana. This woman is one you could look at a million times and always notice something new and meaningful, whether it be brought unto her body intentionally or by accident. The scars, the tattoos, the dreads. They all tell the most wonderful story of a most wonderful person. The day I met her, I felt inadequate. Because at that time I had yet to make any story for myself, and yet in front of me stood a woman of similar age whose story radiated from her. I treated her with my typical treatment of newcomers, indifference. She never saw it as such. She saw some nice-ness in me. She’s always been good at seeing the hidden gems within each person.

I don’t remember how long it took or who initiated the first real contact. But something happened and now I can’t remember a moment in which we weren’t friends. I couldn’t remember it even if I tried. Probably because I don’t want to remember a time where I didn’t have my better half. Four years have passed and I still get the twinge of jealousy whenever she calls someone else her best friend, but I believe all of her friends have a piece of her complex personality within themselves and this is what draws her to them and vice versa. The broken pieces from old spirits that are drawn to one another to become whole again.

And to say we bonded on normal things would be an understatement. We are the weirdos, the outcasts. Death would bring us together while ironically life pulls us apart. We don’t do normal. She’s never been normal. Even the most unique and unusual words couldn’t describe her. For this I love her. 

There are many songs that have lyrics that remind me of this enigmatic person. But only one full song that I believe best describe our relationship, oddly it’s from the musical Wicked, about two witches similar to the kind we often believe we are. The song is called For Good. As she leaves for an undetermined amount of time in Southeast Asia I find one part of the song to nail my feelings on the head.

-It well may be, that we will never meet again in this lifetime, so let me say before we part. So much of me is made of what I learned from you. You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend-

It continues saying Who can say I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good. 

I don’t like going into individual times, or experiences simply because it puts people in awkward positions to explain themselves and often my memory falters in recalling some events. But try as I might I would never describe any moment with Neysha as bad. All were learning experiences. I don’t think she ever learned much from me, I don’t have much to offer. But from her I learned independence, strength, acceptance, patience, and trying to see past the exterior of a person. 

In the past months before she leaves I’ve made jokes of how I won’t be able to function when she leaves but I know I’ll be okay. I forget sometimes that she’s leaving and then when I remember suddenly I’m in a puddle of my own tears but I work it out. In a nerdy way she reminds me of the little fairy or animal that pops up in the beginning of every video game and aids you until you can function on your own, through the vast world on a journey through your own adventure. Neysha is/was my fairy. She pushed me through experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t go for. She made it so I would be okay by myself, I know she didn’t know that she was doing this but I want her to know. 

She’s going on the adventure of a lifetime. But she is the adventure of a lifetime. A one in a million kind of person who brings light into others lives. I’ve told people in Portugal, Spain, France, and Germany about my best friend. I’ve told people who will most likely never meet her. I’ll tell anyone who will listen of this mystifying individual as if she’s some kind of ominous conspiracy theory. But truly I hope the world gets to meet her and appreciate her the way she deserves. The thing about meeting Neysha is you have to be prepared for change. You yourself will change. You may not notice it at first but it will be there and one day you will smile at someone you wouldn’t typically or step or jump or leap out of your comfort zone. And when you tell her she will smile from ear to ear and every beautiful feature on her face will light up as she tells you the words that you have unconsciously been searching for from the moment you met, “I am so proud of you”.

I hope for nothing but the world for my best friend. I hope we cross paths again, but not soon, and not on the island we call home. I want her to see everything, to fill her mind with stories and her heart with otherworldly love. With the love of everyone she meets. With the love for the strange and distant lands she will explore. On her little island called home she will leave behind people who love her so dearly that even when she’s away she will be brought up in every conversation. She will be leaving people who wouldn’t have been friends without her. People who have nothing in common but the denominator that is her. 

And with this best friend, I will never say bye. Just until next time.