When I first went to Dallas Theological Seminary, I was scared I wouldn’t fit in. I’ve always been too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the conservatives. Voluntarily walking into a place that churns out pastors intimidated me to no end. My first class was Introduction to Bible Study in a tiered-seating room for 200. Doing my best to go unnoticed, I slipped into an empty seat in the second to last row. A blond girl was next to me, and we smiled hellos before directing our attention to our laptop screens.
The next week we sat beside each other again, and this time I glanced at what she was doing online before class started. She was reading Rachel Held Evans’s blog, and I blurted, “I love her!” before I could stop myself. The girl next to me smiled widely.
“I might, uh,” I stammered. “I might consider myself a feminist, I mean, a little.”
“Oh, I’m definitely a feminist!” the girl beside me said.
“Ah, me too! I just didn’t know if that was allowed, so I was being cagey.”
“I’m Michal Ann,” she said, holding out her hand. We shook hands, and our friendship began.
We only spent one semester together in Dallas before Michal moved to Austin. During that semester we hung out a couple times, but we weren’t so close that I assumed we would stay friends after she left. However, she was moving to Austin, and as a self-proclaimed weird person, I was very interested in visiting the city that keeps things weird. I asked if I could stay with her for a weekend, and during that time we realized just how many passions we have in common.
We were both Christians and feminists, of course. But we also loved food and dumb TV shows and combining the ridiculous with the thoughtful. We live-texted throughout episodes of Outlander and fantasized about moving to Scotland to find manly men in kilts. She introduced me to BuzzFeed videos, and we binge-watched the Try Guys doing increasingly ridiculous things. We bonded over a shared love of men, and being disappointed by men who didn’t love us the way we wanted to be loved, and falling for them all the time anyway. When real life boys failed to live up to our dreams, we read. We read so much that every time I visit her, we exchange at least five books and give updates on what we thought of the last pile.
We discovered a mutual love for travel. We had both been to Turkey and Greece, though at different times and for different reasons. When Michal emailed me saying she wanted to go to Puerto Rico for her 25th birthday, I immediately said yes. As an introvert, I like to have alone time, but Michal makes me feel so at ease that five days passed with 24/7 togetherness, and I could have easily stayed vacationing with her for another week.
We both run blogs. Mine is a hodge podge of things that interest me, while hers is a well-honed blog specific to Christian feminism called From Eve to Me. She is unfailingly encouraging and always knows exactly what to say to make me laugh or find confidence. She will tear apart anyone who hurts me, and I know she’s always got my back. She inspires me to think bigger, to try harder, and to care more. She is gorgeous and intelligent and absolutely weird, and I’m so glad to call her my friend.