Radical Friendship(n): A friendship characterized by shared investment in transformational change.
It's been said that it takes 10 years to look like an "overnight success," and it's no different for us. We met in September of 2006 in our junior year of high school. The school year had recently started and it was time for me to add more extra curricular to my resume. I remember walking into the Melrose branch YMCA in Walnut Hills for my first meeting for Black Achievers and there he was. This tall lanky guy who was pretty annoying. We bonded over Gym Class Heroes and Panic! At the Disco. Until Alex, I never had any real friends. My social life pretty much consisted of my mom, the friends I hang out with at school, and the friends I made in some of the programs I was in. I never really talked to anybody outside of school and didn't have much of a reason. If it wasn't Girl Scouts or school, I wasn't really interested.
It wasn't until I started college when I realized that Alex was my friend. There was one phone conversation while I was away at school and Alex asked me to open up about something. No one had ever asked that of me and it was a vulnerability I had never felt before. Suddenly, I knew that I had a for real fried. Like, a real friend that I could call and talk to about anything.
Fast forward a few years and I moved back home to Cincinnati in summer of 2011. Alex invited me to a yoga class led by the amazing Jen Painter, yoga teacher and energy healer. Jen was Alex's yoga teacher in high school. I went and I kept going back every Wednesday. Yoga was fun and it came easily to me as I've always been naturally flexible and ... went through yoga teacher training... our friendship goes in cycles. Sometimes, we're always in communication other times we stay away for a bit. We've even fake broken up a couple times!
Yoga keeps us together. Alex has his interests and I have mine. He'd be off with sustianablity club, doing social justice work, or political organizing and I'd be off running some youth program and doing other things. Sometimes they overlap and lately they have grown to overlap beautifully.