A Tribute to a Dame Unlike any other

Today is the day one of the most badass ladies I know was brought into existence. For all of you who know Heather Jackson you know she epitomizes what it means to be a powerful and confident woman. It is because of her that my life was changed. If she hadn't been brought into this world there is a very good chance I would have gone down a very different path. She helped me shed this shell of a woman who thought she was valued by how sexy her clothes, makeup, hair, and nails were. I had lost myself to appease a man and had found myself again because of a woman...this woman. 

It was in drawing class in 2008 at Metro State that I knew I had to meet her. While I was dressed in a skirt and heels she was in lose jeans, a flannel, and a beanie. She reminded me of the part of me I had lost to a highschool romance. She would speak up in class and she reminded me of the woman I wanted to be; outspoken, confident, and uncaring of how she was received by others. 

It took me a few weeks but I eventually got the courage to talk to her. I knew she was a snowboarder so I went with this opening line,
"So you like to snowboard? Where do you go?"

That was probably the only way she would have given me the time of day. I did not look like her type, a girly girl, there's no way we would have anything in common. It caught her off guard and from then on we were friends. I shedded the heels, threw away the expensive makeup, and didn't go to a hairdresser again for at least a year. I shedded my superficial shell and finally let my true self breath and feel the sun on her skin...all thanks to her.

 I left the city to move to Frisco with her and return to the life I loved so much -- mountain life. We both took a break from college to live the ski bum life. She was a snowboard instructor and I worked in a snowboard shop. One of the many chapters in our friendship but the one that really brought us closer. 

We've seen each other grow, we've cried together, we've fought, and we've laughed to the point we couldn't breath. She's stuck with me through some dark times and has been more honest with me than anyone I know. She'll always call me out when I'm being a dumbass. We laugh at each other's jokes and often we're the only ones laughing. I never knew I was funny until I met her. 

She's one of the most generous people I know despite her financial struggles. I call her mama bear because she'll always stand up for her friends. She'll always send something back at a restaurant if it's not good. If she feels like I'm getting ripped off she won't hesitate to tear the representative on the other line a new one. She's taught me this is your life, it's valuable, there's no time to beat around the bush and honesty will always get you further in life. 

Although there's distance between us that friendship flame never flickers. She's my soul mate and I love her to no end. Heather thank you so much for always being the light in my life. For always being there when I needed you the most. But most of all thank you for giving me a chance in drawing class nine years ago and seeing a friend buried beneath the rubble of a broken relationship. To many many more adventures together. Happy Birthday!