#46 is one of the best examples on the list as to why I'm doing Project87. When it came to my grandma's life, there were plenty of places, friends, food, etc. outside of her birthplace that I'm sure she wanted to experience. Unfortunately, she created a situation for herself out of scarcity, that she eventually was so stuck in it, it ended up controlling her life and decisions until she eventually ran out of time. If there was anything about learning this lesson, the thing she wasn't great at, it was respecting my time while I still have the chance to appreciate it, and choice where to spend it. And also being self-aware enough to know that spending it doing this thing will bring me the most joy, respecting that ticking clock, we all have, the most.
I would like everybody to meet Jordan Chase. One of my best friends since the beginning of high school, and one of my favorite people roaming this Earth.
In high school, the two of us, and a couple other guys, were pretty inseparable. All of us shared a love for sports, our community, staying out of trouble and formed this tribe that are still my best friends today, and some of the best people I know. I feel very lucky for that. Most of the guys stayed in New England, but 5 years ago before I had left Maine, Jordan followed his sister and her husband to Charleston, SC. I was so excited for him, but I was also sad that my best friend, my ride or die, was leaving me. About a year later it was my turn to chase my own adventure, and I was off to Rhode Island and then NYC. Jordo and I stayed in touch and quickly rekindled our best friendship at holidays or in the summer when we were both home. I had been dying to visit him in Charleston though and see his new home and his new life, but for some reason, I could just never plan it. It actually makes me nauseous to think about - this was my best friend, and I couldn't find a single weekend to visit him?
When this item popped into my head, it was such a no-brainer. This is what this project, this year, was all about. I remember my grandma always talking about friends of hers who had moved away from her town in Massachusetts and always wanting to visit them. I truly had been wanting to see him badly, life just always seemed to get in the way. Well, not this year, I was in charge of my time.
Trevor, mentioned many times in these P87 blog posts, was also apart of our best friend group in high school, and since he's clearly a better friend than me, had visited Jordan once before. A few weeks earlier he texted me saying he had some time off from work from 4/25 - 5/1 and was thinking about a trip to see Jordan and Mike (another one of our best friends who had just moved to Charleston with Jordan in January). I was right in the middle of planning#38 go to Coachella, but said that I was all in and would book my flights and figure out the rest of the details later. LA and Coachella were exciting, but I couldn't stop thinking about going to Charleston. There's this thing about old friends, and I'm not sure if it's emphasized being in the culture of NYC and LA, but you crave people who know the real you. The people who grew up calling your mom their second mom, who had known you before you got braces, stayed friends with you through voice-cracking puberty, through wins and losses on sports teams, through the heartbreak of high school sweethearts, and have this deep-rooted forever love for you. These were my guys, and I needed to be around that.
Finally, it was April 25th, and I was at JFK early anxious to get on the plane. My life was a little all over the place. I had recently gotten back from a week on the west coast in LA and at Coachella. I was trying to play catch up now that I had access to this website and write about everything this year has been so far. I was trying to plan what the next few months looked like and trying to accomplish more items, and fundraise more money. And I had some city friendships that were just in weird places, which is something I'm not used to. Then my plane was delayed... four times. I was finally boarding, 5 hours after I was supposed to, and Charleston was my next stop. I was on the plane reading my latest book, The Secret, apart of #36 Read a Book a Month. If you don't know anything about The Secret, it's all about how the way you think attracts relative thoughts into your life. If you think positively, more positive things will happen (and vice versa negatively). I finished the book, I was thinking as positively as possible, and I opened up my window to look outside and saw the most incredible airplane sunset I had ever seen. The universe was talking, I was listening, and this was going to be an amazing week with my best friends.
When I finally made it to Charleston, I was a form of excited I hadn't felt in a long time. This year had been jam-packed already with flights, new places, the thrill for the unknown, but they were always trips where I need to be very turned-on and alert. Those types of adventures are my preferred ones, but I would never describe them as relaxing; this trip was different. From the moment I touched down, I was excited. Excited to see my boys, to see a new place, but I was never overwhelmed. That alertness was turned off, it was such calming delight to be on this adventure.
As Trev and I were beginning our visit in the middle of the week, Mike and Jordan needed to work. So Thursday and Friday were spent working out, working on these posts, and hanging out at the apartment until they arrived home and then we would hit the town. Charleston has an enjoyable, low key nightlife culture. It reminds me of the southern version of Portland, Maine. Less clubby, with curated bars all with similar vibes so you can hop back and forth between them, with consistent people regarding style, character, etc. Everyone just looking to have fun together. You don't get this exclusivity feeling like you do in NYC and LA, and that's precisely the type of experience I was after.
On Saturday we went to Sullivan's Island Beach which was quite stunning. From the houses to the beach itself, I couldn't believe how beautiful it all was. It looked like something out of a movie. I didn't know where I felt like I was, but it totally blew any expectations and images of South Carolina I had in my head out of the water. Another thing happened this day. I was explaining above how the week prior I was in California, and my manager, who lives on Venice Beach, took me in the water on my final day crossing off 50% of #22 Swim in the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean (in one year). Well, now I found myself by the Atlantic with the opportunity to do the other 50% and Trevor (who else?!) helped me cross off #22 - but you can read all about that on #22 Swim in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.
Saturday night we hit downtown Charleston for one more weekend night. We drank too much, danced too much, socialized too much, laughed too much and by too much I mean never enough.
Sunday we finally got an opportunity to see more of daytime Charleston. We started with brunch at 5Church, which is located in the Historic part of Charleston, and toured the surrounding areas. We walked from brunch to the Waterfront Park, and the day couldn't have been more beautiful. We saw the Charleston Pineapple and then walked on the pier looking at the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and the sailboats sailing by.
We then ended up at the rooftop pool at the Market Pavilion Hote. And then hopped in the car and spent the rest of the afternoon at Shem Creeks' Saltwater Cowboys for nachos and daytime dancing.
We finished the night at Coast Bar & Grill in downtown Charleston, where one of Jordan's buddies, Nick, who plays on his flag football team, was performing live music. Nick's girlfriend always coordinates a long table by where he's playing for the team to come out and support him. The best part, outside of a friend playing live music, is he plays during happy hour which is 50% off all bottles of wine. So we finished our Sunday fun-day by drinking two bottles of red wine and eating a seafood raw bar platter. It was freaking perfect.
The next day we took it easy, ending with Jordan's flag football game and then BBQ. The following day I was back at Charleston International Airport awaiting my (on-time) flight back to JFK. I'm smiling the same smile writing this as I was in the airport thinking about that week in Charleston with three of my best friends. Such simple, easy joy - the best kind. I don't remember the last time I laughed until I cried and I did numerous times over the week. This project has this repetitive life lesson about how rewarding it is to identify what you want to do with your time, doing those things, and the most important, doing them with people you're absolutely obsessed with. People who embellish all moments. People who adorn your life.
Mike and Trevor were such bonuses on this item, and I'm just so grateful for those three, for finally visiting Jordan, and for my grandma teaching me the lesson to go do things before you run out of time. I don't think I could respect my time more than by the sides of those guys.