long-distance relationship

best friends makin' it work

about yang

written by rohini

At the ripe young age of twelve, I sat in Ms. Ward’s intimidating Pre-Algebra class nervous already about the academic rigor of middle school.  As I attempted to concentrate on the movement of the overhead pen, a voice continued to disrupt my frame of thought.  It came from the back of the classroom where a round-faced Chinese girl sat smiling and chatting it up with the people sitting by her.   As I turned back to my work, I thought to myself “Who is this girl and why is she so loud?”

Looking back over our ten years of friendship, I laugh at this initial impression I had.  Because yes, loud is what Yang is.  I’m not just talking about an audible loud, which you may initially jump to because of all the times she yelled for you to “Get a room” when you were innocently flirting (or platonically discussing homework) with the person next to you.  I’m talking about a personality that screams out to you, that yells “Hey come over here and let’s laugh until our bellies hurt.”  And throughout this past decade, despite the numerous people I have come across, the many friends I have made, it is her loud that I enjoy hearing the most.

Yang Yang (yes, her parents named her twice) is my best friend of over ten years and the best damn dance partner I will ever find.  Born in Australia and living most of her elementary school years in Canada, Yang came to the United States in 1999 before the start of our sixth grade year.  But if you ask her what she is, she won’t respond with Australian, Canadian or American.  Yang is Chinese, in and out, and in case you didn’t know where fireworks came from, she’ll happily fill you in on their East Asian origins.

Yang is one of the kindest people I know.  Yes, that sounds cliché, but I mean it with all my heart.  She is generous with her apartment, her music, her parents’ car, her kitchen, her advice, her wisdom, and most importantly her love.  I am lucky to be on the receiving end of so much of Yang’s kindness.  What Yang is most generous with, however, is her humor.  She more than any other person in this world can crack me up, have me rolling on the floor laughing with tears coming out of my eyes.  Whether she’s cooking up a lie to dish to one of our friends, or dancing to the Nutcracker across her bedroom, I can’t help but heave out a good laugh or two every time I see her. A girl we knew in high school, Shyla, once told Yang and I that we would live long and happy lives because we laughed so much every day.  I’d like to believe Shyla was really onto something.

I sometimes allow my mind to venture to that dark place where I wonder what would have happened to my life had I not met Yang.  A recurring image flashes through my mind: me, age 40, bawling outside a Pizza Hut because they have no more cheese pizza.  It’s a scary thought, and one of the many reasons I am thankful Yang is my best friend.

In December 2009 Yang graduated from New York University with a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Economics and a minor in French.  Since graduating, Yang has resided in our nation’s capital Washington D.C. where she is a producer at Bloomberg Television.  She is also entering her second year in an MBA program at Georgetown University’s prestigious McDonough School of Business.  After hearing of her acceptance into this highly selective program, Yang purchased a kitchenaid mixer to further her aspirations as an amateur baker.  Where she will go after this, we still don’t know.  What I do know is that wherever she goes, this long-distance relationship will stay strong and keep shining on.

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