Growing up and through most of college, Jana was one of the best, closest friends I had. We were inseparable.
We ate onion bagels with cream cheese every weekend morning together after we had sleepovers in her water bed.
We got our nails done together.
We air sprayed our jeans, wore wrestling sneakers, and spiral permed our hair constantly.
We tried to style our hair with an actual iron. Like, a clothing iron. After we cut each other’s hair. That whole thing was a disaster, actually.
We partied so hard and got in so much trouble together.
We had boyfriends that were best friends.
We were on the same cheerleading squad through middle school and high school.
We were college roommates at Stonehill College.
And, if my brain weren’t so dead since I started having kids 18 years ago, I’d probably have a couple hundred other amazing memories to share. But, it is. Dead.
I would argue that I am surrounded by an abnormally high number of people that are focused and disciplined and super successful at a hugely wide range of things.
But, the one thing that I have never seen at quite the level that I have always seen in this woman since the day I met her is this: determination.
Jana Karr Conway is the most determined person I have ever met. She has always, literally since middle school, known what she wants…went after whatever it was with cat-like laser focus…and, always always always ended up getting what she wanted.
Not in a bad way. At all. But, in a hugely impressive way that you couldn’t help but be inspired by.
Any ounce of determination in my heart and soul is a direct product of spending the majority of my upbringing with this girl by my side. She can’t even imagine the impact this role modeling has had, and will continue to have, on me over the years.
I would even go so far as to say that I majored in English and Philosophy in college so I could become a lawyer because Jana always said she wanted to be a lawyer. To no one’s surprise, neither one of us ended up going that route. Luckily.
Jana, thank you so much for shaping my mind set for so long and getting it in my head that if you want something, whatever it is, you go after it until you either get it or realize that it’s not actually what you want anymore. There’s always a way so long as you know what you want.
And, if we all just keep our hearts and minds open to the never-ending number of ways of doing things in this world, we will end up right where we should be.
I love you so much, girl.
Happy birthday, sister.