Lauren Paisley's Portraits : The Full Post

What can I say about Lauren? We go back about four years. We both started college as music ed. majors, and I've always thought she was gorgeous, in an angelic and youthful kind of way. The first time I ever talked to her, I think I said, "I love your hair!"

Because our voices have a really similar sound, we were placed next to each other in choir and chamber singers for literally the rest of our college choir careers which, incidentally, came to an end yesterday evening. It's kind of funny to consider that Lauren has been a constant in my life. In a way, we began and our college days next to each other, initially intimidated and eager, eventually growing more confident and maybe even a little worn out. It's not that we became the best of friends or spent countless hours together outside of choir, but I'll probably remember our unique friendship for the rest of my life because I can't think of starting college way back in August 2008, or singing in the choir, or traveling on choir tour without thinking of Lauren.

Yesterday evening, as Dr. Caldwell bid an informal farewell (and therefore all the more poignant farewell-- it's the informal kind of goodbyes that really get to me), I knew Lauren was sitting a few feet away from me, and I knew that we both had unexpected tears in our eyes and lumps in our throats, even if no one else did. And though we're excited to move on, and pretty much overflowing with everything that we've gained and lost and given and taken while at SU, I felt a sense of tenderness and vulnerability that I've almost forgotten entirely as the once so far away graduation year of 2012 has grown closer and I've grown older. In a way, we're coming back to the beginning again, like when we were freshmen- a new start, new people, new lifestyle, new chances, new hope...

Lauren, I have been so blessed to know you, to be your choir buddy, and to take these pictures of you that commemorate this year, as one era comes to a close and another begins. I hope you encounter life in the fullest and discover what's truly worth living for as you go out to teach and influence the younguns of the world (urban dictionary says that's a word, so it must be legitimate).

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