Friday, July 29, 2011

a birthday post

Because I didn't have my computer around yesterday I didn't get a chance to post this on my blog but it's been floating around in my head for awhile. And yes, it's a day after the birthday but that is due to 1. no computer 2. well, birthdays usually seep into the afterglow of the next day, right? I hope this person forgives me that the post is today but hopefully it still means relatively the same thing.

There are some friendships that are like seasons. Come and go in our lives only for a small amount of time, or for a very specific reason. I think God brings people into our lives but can also take them out again. I think back over the years and all of my friends--I can honestly count on my hands how many people I've talked to for more than ten years. And by "talk to" I mean I still consider a very close friend, someone I share life with daily and not just random emails or posts or cards every so many years. I mean daily friendships. That is to not take away from those other friendships though--some of the people I consider close friends I never see and only talk to sporadically but we are still close--now I'm rambling. You get what I mean though, right?

Anyway, I want to take this post to talk about one very special friendship to me, a friend who I definitely, 100% believe God brought into my life as a gift and one I am so grateful for.

I first met Chanelle at an NYU Campus Crusade for Christ meeting in 2008. Which is wild...that was 3 years ago! Holy moly. She was in my small group and my first memory of Chanelle was being intimidated by her. Not because she was unfriendly or anything but the very first time I can remember her it was during a CRU meeting and she went up to the front, grabbed the microphone and started doing some silly hooplah and talking about "Club Chanelle" and everyone was just laughing or good-naturedly shaking their heads and I thought, "Dang, this girl's got guts." Little did I know how many times I'd be up there next to her, grabbing the mic and doing something absolutely ridiculous...probably rapping. Comedically. You know, it's what we're known for: us rapping about nick jonas

haha, here's a picture of us when we didn't really even know each other. I'm on the far right, Chanelle on the far left. We've been close for what feels like so long it's weird to think we weren't really even friends. Bwhaha..

It wasn't until my very first time going to a "Club Chanelle" that I really felt like I could call Chanelle and the group of Cru hooligans friends. For those of you who, unfortunately, don't know what Club Chanelle is, it's basically a gigantic dance party. Mostly impromptu, ALWAYS awesome.

My first Club Chanelle. I should have known--it should have been deemed  a "sign" that the minute I found other people--Chanelle in particular--who loved 'Shake Ya Tailfeather' as much as I did AND dancing (that slightly resembles convulsing) as much as I did, I'd found something really, really special.

The rest of that spring semester of Freshman year of college went pretty well. I still wasn't really close to Chanelle, but I had definitely decided I would come back to Cru. The next fall I went to the Cru retreat and I think that is when I decided these people were my friends. We weren't just laughing or cracking jokes or talking about the classes we were taking. We were beginning to share life--or rather, I was beginning to share life with them since I was relatively a late starter. We all had a central similarity--we loved the Creator of the Universe. I felt with Cru what I felt with my Young Life friends--something deeper than just friendship. We were tied together by something greater than this world and that really did make a difference. But this post isn't about Cru, even though I LOVE Cru! It's about Ol Crippy.

Which brings me to Spring Semester 2009 or the "Golden" semester as Chanelle and I like to call it. For some reason, all I can remember from this semester (second year) is frolicking through meadows, making fun videos and dancing/laughing all the time. Okay, there wasn't meadow frolicking because, and let's be honest, NYC has minimal meadows. But that is a trivial matter....anyway. It was also the semester I realized Chanelle was one of my best friends. Countless times we'd head over to the Grammercy Lounge, the swanky new dorm where neither of us lived, and hang out, making videos and cracking up. We also played intramural basketball together with some of our guy friends AND WON THE FREAKING CHAMPIONSHIP! OH YEAH. I could go on and on about that semester, but the one thing I need to point out is this semester was the birth of Girl Conception (absolutely a pun intended). Somehow Chanelle and I discovered over the course of NYU busrides, lunches in Weinstein and walks around campus that we both had a passion for rapping and making people laugh. So we combined them and made the juvenile but delightful "Crucio Dat Swine Flu" ... we made one that is probably more than midly offensive and fortunately not on our youtube page ( rapping became something fun, a hobby that we both enjoyed immensely. And can I just say thank you to all of our friends at NYU and elsewhere that supported Girl Conception and made appearances in our videos? Seriously. We know we annoyed you at times with our "Come on, just do it, dress up like a zombie and run around the NYU dining hall where everyone can see you, it'll be FUNNY!" ....yeah, thanks guys, so much. I'll love you forever for those times.

A picture from the Golden Semester with our dear friend Steph who often shared in our late night Grammercy excursions, probably because she actually lived in Grammercy.....

Fast forward that summer....I was living in NYC doing an internship at a theatre, Chanelle was at home and studying abroad in Greece but we kept in touch almost everyday AND we got to see each other for a week. Chanelle came to NYC to visit with our mutual friend from NYU and that week was the week that I can say forever changed our lives. Okay, that's a BIT dramatic, but it was so, so signficant. For one, we got to see the Jonas Brothers for FREE. (awesome. cute. boys. singing. badly. still. cute. SIGH!)  and we got to make our music video for our most popular and my favorite rap, "Nick Jonas" (see link all the way above). When we came back that fall we started to just toss around the idea of what it could look like if Girl Conception was more than just a hobby but a career choice.

Our EP or DVD or whatever it is. Pretty legit, can't you tell?

 I would say from our junior year of NYU to our final senior semester we performed every chance we could get.

This isn't us performing but it's us with Angelina Jolie's dad, Jon Voight. I just had to include it. He asked us what we were up to that night. We didn't answer.

And now to us performing:

From silly dances where we just HAD to lay down the Hoedown Throwdown (Miley would be so proud!)

To finagling our way into NYU events with hundreds of people (it had nothing to do with the fact I was on the Relay for Life committee AND it was 3am)

To spitting fire in the Empire State Building in front of a bunch of Christians:

To performing our hit "Campus Crusade Gurls" (a special version of Katy Perry's California Gurls) at a Cru Metro retreat.

Each time was so much fun. We didn't just rap, we made sketch after sketch, trying out each ridiculous idea that popped into our heads. There was also that one time we re-enacted the entire movie of Titanic in about 3 minutes. Girl Conception made my college years some of the most joy-filled, laughter-filled years ever. Combine that with amazing friends in general and an amazing city....yeah, college was pretty dang awesome.

I write all this about Girl Conception to bring it back to Chanelle being an amazing friend. She is extremely selfless, extremely talented and never holds grudges. Anyone who is friends with Chanelle can see Christ shining through her. She is also just FUN to be around. I think 75% of the time we spend together is peeing our pants...LAUGHING people, jeeze. And the fact that she loves Jesus so much AND we can talk about serious stuff? It's's one of those friendships that I really thank God for. They are rare in this world. I have only a few of these kinds of friendships and each one is so dear to my heart. And I know Chanelle understands this--anyone who's spent time with Chanelle and her best friend since childhood (and equally as hilarious) Beth can see that God really does give us the gift of friendship. I was lucky enough to meet Beth more than once and each time I was amazed at how hilarious and real their friendship was but also how awesome it was to be welcomed by her. God, you done good with this whole friends thing. It's all You. 

I can't believe August 27th Chanelle and I will take only our suitcases of clothes and move to Los Angeles to pursue our dreams. I am so excited and so glad I get to do this with one of my best friends. Who knows what God has planned for us--I am just so excited to be on the journey with Ol' Crippy aka Ol' Snippy aka Hot Chocolate. (We also love giving ourselves rap names).

So...happy birthday Chanelle. You da bomb.

1 comment:

  1. Nina!!! Oh my gosh, this is the best birthday gift ever! Thank you so much for everything you said, and your amazing friendship and just everything! Dang you, pullin' on my heartstrings like that!

    It's so true - God really done good on this whole friends thing.

    And awww, the progression of our pictures through the ages!! I feel like these will be making a comeback during our E! True Hollywood Story special.

    But seriously. Thank you so much.

    (Also, this may have posted twice. But it didn't show up when I first posted it, so I tried again haha)