It's kind of strange that at this point in time, a good chunk of my friends list may not even know who she is or what she means to me. Because I wouldn't even have this journal if it weren't for her, and if you go back and look at those old entries, she's pretty much the only one who commented. Her journal is spinooti.
What I'd like to do is make this grand, sweeping, epic post about how important Anne's friendship has been for me, but I'm afraid I'm going to suck at it and it will come off sounding campy. I can easily see this post getting a little too long, so fair warning right here.
I've recently discovered DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary by Erika Moen, and probably the fact that I'm only just now discovering it is a testament to how hard I fail at webcomics despite my fascination with them and their creators. So anyway, turns out Anne was featured in the strip one day, and also that she and her girlfriend Foley would be appearing on Erika's web show.
So I spent last night hanging with my buddy Anne, except it was kind of weird because she was actually talking to a whole buttload of other people including me, and while I could see her emphatically flailing as she spoke passionately about Robin Hood and Ultimate Spiderman, I could only comment like a raving fangirl and hope she caught it in the rapid fire chat window. Eventually, I felt kind of stupid going, "HEY EVERYONE I AM SPECIAL I KNEW ANNE IN HIGH SCHOOL"*, so I just sat back and watched. I wanted to see her again, but I also wanted to spy on her new lady (who I guess isn't so "new" anymore, they've been together for over a year now, right?), and check out if she was good enough for my Anne or not. I already knew the answer to this question, because I've seen the way she lights Anne up, but Foley more than proved herself. She probably would have proved herself if she'd done nothing more than sit there and eat pizza (which she did for a little while).
ANYWAY. Whooo, rambling trip to nowhere, hi, how are you? Oh, the point is, watching Anne via webcam last night is my happy for today. I don't think I could even begin to emphasize the impact Anne Moloney has had on my life, but I'm going to give it a try:
Without Anne Moloney, I would have never...
-gotten a livejournal.
-found out about NaNoWriMo.
-discovered some of the amazing places sitting right in my hometown and surrounding areas, such as the Modern Art Museum.
-realized how much I like going on crazy random adventures.
-seen Mystery Science Theater 3000.
If I'd never met this woman, I don't think I'd be selling books on the Internet right now, especially not to people who aren't members of my immediate family. I don't know that I'd have found as many amazing people on the Internet.
But much more than that, Anne has always been a person who knows who she is. I'm sure she doubts it at times, we all do. But I don't know that I'll ever meet another person quite as unique and sure of herself within that uniqueness as Anne. She finds joy in things that most people would just walk right past. Just having a conversation with her challenges you to look a little closer at yourself, and see if you're saying something because you truly believe it, or because you want to impress whoever you're conversing with. I have never heard her answer a question with anything other than pure honesty, whether it's the answer you wanted to hear or not. Anne is a powerful woman.
In high school, we were so close that I believed she would always be a part of my life, that I'd always be able to hop in the car to go visit her. She showed me something else about myself when she moved to Portland, Oregon. I learned that I can deal with anything given enough advance warning. If you had told me while I was in high school that a few years after graduation she would move all the way across the country, I would have flipped out. I can't remember how much warning she gave us, but it was considerable. And I realized that moving was something Anne had to do, for herself.
I am so glad that she did it. She is so much stronger, so much braver than I am. I talked a big talk back in the day, "As soon as I graduate I'm getting the hell out of this state and moving up north!" And yet, here I am. I've made my peace with Texas, it's home now, I could never leave, curious as I may be about what it would be like to live in a city like Portland, a town that pretty much breathes artistic expression. But Anne did it. She found a place where she could let her guard down and be herself. I have seen her since the move, and every time, you can see how it took an already bold, unique and strong person and emphasized those qualities ten-fold. As much as I miss her, I would never ask for her back. She's happier now than I've ever seen her, and just getting to see that smile on her face is enough for me.
Anne Moloney is my hero. I strive every day to not be afraid of risking my comfort for the sake of something awesome, and I fall short. She's out there living it. If she can do it, I can too, and maybe someday I will. But for right now, I'm just going to be grateful that I was lucky enough to know her when, to see her change and grow, and to have my life shaped by such a hardcore individual. And that I can be reminded of her just by throwing on some winter weather boots.
*(See, Nikki, I totally cannot fault you because I DO IT TOO. I think this just means that we are both pathetically sad individuals.)