The Real Great Divorce
The last two blog posts have alluded to this last year and what a battle it's been and how it's tested my bravery beyond anything I've ever gone through, and I've been careful to not name names or get into specifics. However, I feel it is time to come clean with at least a small portion of the struggle I've been battling.
This year, I went through a divorce.
"Kelsey, when did you get married?"
Okay, so if you follow me on social media you know I didn't actually because I cannot shut up or stop talking about things that I'm stoked about AND I take more selfies than a 12 year old who just got her first iPhone, so you would have known if I were married. I also probably would have posted some gorgeous destination pics from my honeymoon with borderline inappropriate captions and hashtags. Some say that Facebook and Food are my two strongest love languages. Some would be correct.
However, while there may have been no ceremony, I was basically my best friend Fran's platonic housewife. Now, dad, if you're reading this calm down, I'm totally straight. I mean, if you put Fran and I in a bar, at a wedding or pretty much anywhere we can mingle with males it's blatantly obvious how straight we are. Opportunities to flirt or "make new friends", as we call eligible men, are our playground.
But I mean, I would make us dinner every night. I would plan dinner parties at our house. When the frigid winters in SA would come and we didn't have heat, I would make her sleep in my bed so that we wouldn't freeze. We would meal plan and grocery shop together to save money. We had all the same friends. We could finish each other's sentences. When I would be working for Hillsong and she'd be at her job we could hardly wait to get home and hang out. We had "Sangria Saturdays" which were not limited to Saturdays and sometimes (always) came multiple times a week. We went on weekly best friend dates (because hanging out at home and spending all of our time together wasn't enough). We started our first business turned non-profit (because it failed, miserably...story to come in another post) together. We would think of hilarious BFF/couple costumes for parties. We even had a celebrity couple name: "biffles" or bffl sounded out (also, this apparently means buffalo in Afrikaans, which I only found out after receiving questioning looks from Afrikaans speaking strangers upon lovingly referring to her as such).
I was separated from my soul mate, my best friend, my biggest cheerleader. Some might say it was of my own choice, but I had to do it in order to start Uphold, and my other half couldn't get an American visa to come on the adventure with me. We began to refer to this season as "the divorce" and the highlight of all highlights was when my former boyfriend's mom thought that Fran had actually been through a divorce.
I'm not the only one that loves Fran. Geeks love Fran. She has a "nerd annointing" in which guys that are successful, smart, but in IT or engineering (sorry dad) and therefore slightly (very) socially inept fall in love with her. She hates this, I love it. There's one boy in particular that has been incredibly persistent in pursuing my chicken nugget best friend, to which I lovingly refer to as her "IT Dreamboat." She's made it very clear that she's not interested in dating him, but he knows thather strongest love language is good sushi, and he is more than willing to supply it.
He also knows that her Achilles heel is yours truly. I'm her kryptonite. I can count on one hand the amount of times she has told me no to an idea on either of my hands, which is saying a lot seeing as one is missing two fingers. Pretty much the only times she gives a serious push back is when she thinks it could lead to us compromising things we don't want to in the long run, and even then I know she's tempted not to.
IT Dreamboat was starting a business venture in Canada, and in a last stitch effort to impress her he brought the fact that Canada is a lot closer to MN than South Africa. You gotta give him points, very strategic, but it just wasn't going to happen. I can truly say that IT Dreamboat really did love her based on the "if you love someone set them free" principal as illustrated below:
A couple of months ago she randomly got a call from him that went from something along the lines of this (his acronym is going to be ITDB for abbreviation purposes)...
ITDB: Fran, did Kelsey break up with her boyfriend?
Fran: Yes, why?
ITDB: Well, I have an idea so that you can finally move over there.
Fran: Let's hear it.
ITDB: You and Kelsey should get married now that it's legal, you'd totally pass any tests they might make you take proving the legitimacy of your relationship. You can get divorced later.
Now, if he thought that pulling a "I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry" hadn't already crossed our minds, he was sorely mistaken. I would have married Fran in a heartbeat just to get her a visa, but the Holy Spirit advised me against faking a gay marriage when you're trying to spearhead a movement focused on saving children and directing people to Jesus. Stupid morals, all I want to do is watch New Girl with my biffle and eat popcorn for dinner. Looking at the long haul it was a good choice to not take his advice as both God and the US Government are people that I want to be on good terms with. However, I do always say that if your friendship with your best friend doesn't sometimes make your friends and family question your sexuality you're doing something wrong.
The amount of occasions we could have tossed in the towel on our friendship are ample, but when you are able to see all the value in someone and recognize that God placed into your life, it is the world's greatest inspiration to be brave and forgive and not give up on them, even when you want to throw them into the canal.
Now we have to work around exponentially more crazy schedules, an 8 hour time difference, and continually pursue a deep friendship. We compare/contrast EVERY purchase in relation to the cost of flight tickets, sushi and rotisserie chickens so that we can get back to the place where we can hang out together and change the world together. That requires sacrifice: saying no to things daily that we would want to do, intense budgeting on both parts, working hard and extra jobs, and late night Skype calls.
All of our adoring Facebook/instagram fans know about all the good times (which far surpass anything else) but what they don't see are the times when we drive each other NUTS. They don't see how we are both incredibly competitive and broke our other roommate's couch once playing a game that we were both determined to win (during which we also broke my glasses and nearly gave fran a concussion because it basically turned into a WW Smackdown). I would nearly cut her throat out when I couldn't reach her and we had plans, and she'd get mad at me for getting so frustrated. We would threaten one another that we were going to throw the other in the dodgy man made canal outside our apartment building we'd get so ticked at each other.... and that was when we had immediate access to one another. It takes a lot of bravery to get a friendship to the point we're at now. What most people don't realize is that there is an immense amount of sacrifice and forgiveness involved in building a relationship this deep.