Do you know someone indomitable, creative and fierce? If so hug that person right now. Chances are they will teach you something special if they haven’t started already. I lived with someone like that for one year and that experience will continue to enrich my entire life. My friend April is a powerhouse of a woman with a strong sense of self, flawless fashion and make up, and endless optimism. She can accomplish anything she puts her mind to from turning a hockey helmet into a bitchin Thor helm to marshaling a cast of twenty through a three hour production and those are on the easy end of her accomplishments. Just being in the same vicinity as someone that driven and capable can pay incredible dividends as I shall now demonstrate.
First April is a bad bitch and bitches like her don’t quit. Although she was going through a very hard time when she moved in with me, she didn’t let it stop her from living life to the fullest. She simultaneously dealt with what life had thrown at her and kept herself moving in a positive direction. Another facet of this trait is her ability to build people up around her. When after a few months of living together, I lost my job she built my self confidence back up, listened to me whine and celebrated my eventual success. Life will not get her down and if you listen to her she can teach you to be the same way. She isn’t going to tell you how, just what she would do.
Second her creativity goes on forever. She took up the yukele and crafted multiple Halloween costumes for herself and me. She snow shoed around the neighborhood and edited funny movies. She was constantly making something or improving something. She shared her love of cooking, making amazing dishes and cocktails. She introduced me to Jamie Oliver’s cooking videos which in turn inspired me to dream up my own dishes. We discovered pinterest together and once spent four hours pinning on the couch next to each other, laughing at each other’s contribution when our pins populated the communal board. The site had trouble keeping up with us and eventually we had to go to bed and wait for everything to sort itself out. (fun side not: Pinterest has become a staple of my creative process. I use it for world building. Thank you darling.)
Thirdly and most importantly she is fierce. She has very positive body image and she prioritizes making herself look fabulous. She seeks out positive role models. She introduced me to the music of The Gossip and subsequently their lead singer Beth Ditto. That woman is the fiercest fat bitch of them all! In times of fashion crisis I ask myself what would Beth Ditto do. I had very little fashion sense or make up skills before I lived with April. I didn’t have a great sense of self either. I was working on it but I needed someone to lead me by example and she did. She taught me about body positivity and role models like Tess Munster as well as the fatshion movement. All without preaching just sharing with enthusiasm. These fruit of these things continue to grow in me and trace their roots straight back to her.
Her constant creativity inspired me to start writing again. I went back to the writing project I had left steeping a couple of years before and a full world started to take shape. So much of my life is richer than it was before we spent that time together. My sense of self is stronger. I have decided to be beautiful in the now rather than slave away trying to be thin before I live my life. I have continued to create more or less without stopping since then. I often wish I had expressed more thoroughly how valuable her presence was to me. The benefit of retrospect is greater clarity after all. I am penning this, then, to make everyone aware that April can and really should take a lot credit for the improved human being I am today. If not a yet masterpiece, I am happier, a little wiser and very very grateful.