One of my favorite books and movies of all time is Frank L.Baum's The Wizard of Oz. I absolutely love how Dorothy goes on a journey in hope of finding her home and stumbles upon a support system in the process. Each had their own history, their own fears, and their own desires. They were willing to embark on a path of friendship requiring they both give and accept support and encouragement.
Unlike Dorothy, I met my friend Tiz without the realization that I was about to embark on my most trying ordeal. I saw her sitting alone at our church's first Easter production meeting of the year, and since I had never met or seen her before I sat down next to her and introduced myself. It's hard to remember much after that except we walked out of that meeting as friends. Close friends. Her birthday party was two weeks later and attendees thought we had been pals for decades. She was just one of those people like the Scarecrow or the Tin Man or the Cowardly Lion that I instantly knew would have my back. She, just like Dorothy's friends, was fully present and more than willing to go on the friendship journey. Three months after I met Tiz, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was supportive and steadfast in a way that some friends I had diligently hung out with for years were unable to be. She got some of her buddies together to help me pack up my apartment, flew to the Bay Area to visit me during treatment, and constantly mailed, texted, or called with words of encouragement. From beginning to end of my cancer struggle, Tiz was a friend to me but also expected to have the support reciprocated. She didn't treat me like I wasn't capable of being a friend back to her just because I was entrenched in the life of being a cancer patient. Tiz had the ability to share about the ups and downs occurring in her own life without being dismissive of mine. Our entire relationship has been based upon this mutual trust that we will confirm the wise choices we see the other making, and hold each other accountable for the possibly foolish.
Last month Tiz moved clear across the country to North Carolina to pursue acting in a city with a smaller talent pool. I was of course so sad to have her leave, but felt so privileged to have lived in the same city as her for 2 out of our 6 year friendship and knew without a doubt that our relationship wouldn't diminish because of distance. Sometimes life feels like one long yellow brick road leading to some unknown destination that will hopefully bring us the success and happiness we've been craving. If we don't find intelligent and courageous friends with huge hearts that not only support us but are able to see the traits within us that we can't see ourselves, the hurdles and disappointments along the yellow brick road would be unbearable.
I'm so thankful Tiz's road met up with mine during her visit last night once again! She was able to run errands with me, eat a tasty home-cooked meal and drink wine with me, dive right into encouraging me but at the same time asking poignant questions that make me carefully consider current dilemmas, and then go right into laughing at my friend Ben's first stand-up turn at The Comedy Store with me. I couldn't ask for a better well-rounded friend, but I guess that's what makes her the wonderful Tiz-ard of Oz.
Tiz and I one year after we met in 2006
April 2009, Tiz's birthday.
December 2008, The Great Gatsby Christmas party.Tiz is wearing a vintage 1920's white gown and I'm wearing a blush Plenty dress with a vintage gold belt to give it that 1920's flapper look.
October 2009, playing pool at a "Haunted Hollywood" party. I am dressed as Ava Gardner and Tiz is conjuring up Ingrid Bergman.
April 2011, My birthday where I'm wearing a vintage top from American Vintage on Melrose--cream with silver,teal,and hot pink sequins.
Close-up on my vintage sequin top...probably one of my favorite pieces of clothing I own.I altered the long sleeves by cutting them short, and belted the waist with a silver Urban Outfitters skinny belt to give the drapey style a better fit.
How great is Tiz?
Apparel for the night: My Kimichi Blue Rosemary's Baby dress--gray and white striped with gold buttons from Urban Outfitters, brown ankle socks from American Apparel, white 1960's vintage heels, small gold 1950's vintage purse, white and gold 1960's cuff.
August 31 2011, The Comedy Store.