Not 4 years, For Life
A few weeks ago, I flew to New York City for a getaway weekend with my sister and best friend. Taylor and her husband bought us tickets to see HAMILTON! on Broadway as my gift for being her maid of honor. Y'all, let me just tell you, I would be the MOH for a million more weddings if this was the prize for all of them.
On the way to New York, I had a layover in St. Louis. To answer a few FAQs, yes, I know that STL is west of both Atlanta and New York. YES, I am aware that it makes no sense to fly into the Central time zone just to re-enter the Eastern one. And lastly, yes, I am aware that Atlanta has plenty of direct flights to New York City. This one just happened to be cheaper. (Phew, so glad we got that out of the way).
I had a fairly long layover in St. Louis, which was fine, because I had upcoming writing deadlines for class and my thesis. I planned to settle into a semi-comfortable airport chair near an outlet and get some writing done. I've always found airports inspiring. I'm not sure why.
My flight got delayed multiple times, but finally, after four hours at the St. Louis airport, only an hour after our intended departure time, we were loaded onto a plane and ready for take off. Just as we were about to leave, the pilot received a call from LaGuardia saying they wouldn't let us fly in because we would "miss curfew." Like our plane was a bunch of seventeen year olds stuck at a red light two minutes from our house at 11:59 pm.
I booked a new flight (after spending more money than I care to disclose), got my luggage, and set up shop to sleep at the St. Louis airport. Of course, I documented the entire thing on my Instagram story, and one of my sorority sisters, Ruby, saw it. She and her husband had moved to St. Louis. After a small debate of me not wanting to impose on her, I ended up in an Uber on the way to her house.
She and I haven't talked much since college. Possibly not even at all. But in the short time we spent catching up on our lives in her cute house, I realized that this is what we mean when we say that sisterhood is forever. It didn't matter that we hadn't spoken, that it's been four years since we both participated in Kappa ritual together. The only thing of any significance is the letters that we share.
It's been three years since I transitioned from being an active member to an alumna. In that time, I've kept in touch with sisters, been to a sister's wedding, been in a sister's wedding and got to place her Kappa pin over her heart before the ceremony, but for the most part, I've been out of touch. I taught for two years and had a hard time committing to an alumnae association directly out of college. Now, I live in a rural town where the closest association is over an hour, and my campus doesn't have a Kappa chapter. I had been missing the connections that Kappa provides, so I decided to seek out the opportunity to become an advisor for a local chapter here in Georgia. Ruby's generosity has reminded me of why I want to continue giving back to Kappa. Sisterhood doesn't end in college; it transforms.
During college, Kappa was a million things to me. It was friendship and sisterhood, sure, but it was a safe place to land. It was an automatic support system. It was a Kappa sister who first opened my eyes to the issues of systemic racism. In the years after college, it's been that and more. One of my Kappa advisors texted me when she saw me post some things on Twitter during a hard time to see if I needed anything. When I started Teach For America, the only other girl placed at the same school as me was a Kappa from Auburn. We bonded instantly, becoming each other's life rafts in a swelling sea of difficulties. My big, who is a PA, listened as I told her about my dad's illness to give me comfort via her medical knowledge. My former roommate from the Kappa house, a current occupational therapist, gave me ideas on how to help my dad regain his fine motor skills. Sisters donated to my classroom when I taught. The network is endless. I'm forever thankful that I ran home to Kappa in 2011, that these women accepted me, invested in me, and encourage me now.
To all my Kappa sisters: I miss you, I love you, and I'm continually grateful for your influence in my life. Reach out; let's catch up!