‘Enjoy it while it lasts,’ Mama warned me a few weeks before Christmas. ‘You and Calum won’t live in the same place for much longer, so drink up every minute while you can.’
Oh, Darby, I’ve been trying -- so very, very much. I haven’t written to you since last October, and that’s probably because I’ve been doing as I was told – exploiting your time and making you travel for an hour and a half at a time to my new house in Zone 3, so that I can roll around in your jokes, and we can do silly voices together, and talk about when I live in California and you edit Vogue. I moved in with my friend Amy recently, and even though I live here too now you still refer to it as “Amy’s House”. ‘DON’T MAKE ME COME ALL THE WAY TO AMY’S HOUSE,’ you say to me, as I tell you to bring glitter glue and some card because this is Christmas Crafternoon, bitch.
Your insisting on calling it “Amy’s House” is kind of like how, every time you Tweet lyrics to your favourite songs, which are normally about love or lust or sex, I Tweet back a reply that simply says, SLAG. You could write, “Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only 17!” and I’d still reply the same. It’s a game that will never, ever get old for me, even though half of your 15,000 fans now do the same. SORRY I’M NOT SORRY, SLAG.
Anyway, what I really wanted to write to you to say was that this past Friday was our two year anniversary from graduating university together, and that made me feel all funny inside. When we hang out now it’s exactly like those 9.30 a.m. walks we took into the library side by side, two kids with big dreams just trying to tell their stories. Well buggar me, you incredible being, look at the story you’re telling now. How is it even possible you’re this talented?
Every day you inspire me to keep pursuing my dream, and if it’s not by what you say it’s by what you do. You believe in yourself, in your abilities, and in the universe so terrifically much that I can’t help but do the same. I complained to you via email last week that all the paperwork I need for continued applications to study in America was almost enough to make me quit and find a new plan. HEY! You wrote back, caps lock ever our friend. YOU DO NOT TALK THAT WAY, OKAY? YOU DO YOUR JOB AND LET THE UNIVERSE DO HERS. FILL IN THAT GODDAMN PAPERWORK AND I DON’T WANT YOU BRINGING THIS UP AGAIN.
You always know when I need a slap.
You’ve had a lot on your plate lately, on account of the fact that you’re a finalist in lastminute.com’s quest to find their next travel blogger. The work you have done to not only enter the competition in the first place, but then to get into the final 3 competitors, too, is extraordinary. To be interviewed by the judges to determine your winning place on the very day two years ago that we graduated is so awesome to me. GO UNIVERSITY OF DERBY ALUMNI!
Thank you for inviting me on that journey with you. We sat in a Wetherspoon’s to talk about what you should make for the semi-final of the competition, cashing in a voucher we had on over-cooked burgers and stodgy puddings. It was so much fun storyboarding and figuring out the logistics. When we met up again the next day to film your second submission we were on FIRE.
And throughout the race to the top of the voting charts against the nine other finalists, you were kind and smart and generous. Even when some of the other competitors lost their cool a little, saying things a bit below the belt, you still wished them well – publicly, and behind closed doors – and you simply used it to fight harder. And then there you were: top of the leader board.
You won’t find out until tomorrow if you’re the recipient of £50,000 worth of travel or not, but it was really important for me to write this now, before we know, to say I don’t really reckon it’s important whether the judges pick you or not. I mean – I really hope you win, because you want it so very much, and so I want it for you to. What I mean is that you already won. You already put yourself out there and gave it your all and made yourself better and wowed us all with your innovative, go-getting nature in the process.
So basically I like, totally love you and that.