Tag Archives: best friend

Project Inspiration: Chris New

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Chris New has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution. He is that there-for-you-any-time-every-time-Midwest-hearted-turned-California-dude-slash-uber-hipster-on-a-beachcruiser-with-a-prius-great-taste-in-music-loves-me-full-heartedly-stands-for-me type of best friend.

Dear Chris New,

We met.

In a Bar.

Celebrating.

Obviously.

Story of our college life. Really, story of our friendship life. I strut into Kilroys during those IU college summers when you really think you ‘own’ the town. I saw you just yelling so loud, smiling so big, happy and free. I said to myself, “I want to be best friends with that guy, right now”. And so it was. And be it with my family, just the two of us, with our friends in Vegas or on the sand, we have been partying ever since.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

Chris New. You are a radical best friend, and by radical I mean the true definition of the word. Extreme, to the limit and extraordinary. I remember when you made me promise to wear jeans twice a week to go out and have fun with you. I tell that story all the time. As my best friend, you pulled me out of a funk and brought me back to reality.  In a language that made sense. “Jacki, no more legging and yoga clothes – put on jeans!” I am forever inspired by your ability to speak to people you care for in a way they understand. Thank you for speaking my language and bringing me back.

You are a live-it-all-right-now human being. There is an 80’s song that is my definition of you, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears; it opens with, “welcome to your life, there’s no turning back….”. I mean, do you play this song every morning? Because you took that welcome mat and RAN with it. I am inspired by you, your life choices and your ultimate enjoyment of who you are. It is a constant reminder to live my life now, because there is no turning back or do overs.

You are a part of my family, Chris New. Period.

I really love that you go to concerts and movies solo. I think it is so cool that you don’t miss a favorite band or rad concert because everyone is busy – you buy the ticket and treat yourself. It inspires me to not wait on anyone else to plan something, just go and be happy.

And on that note, Chris, you are just freaking cool.  You are.  Cool music, cool dive bars, great foodie foods, flannel…you are who you are.  You do not try to be anyone else, or look good with ego or do things that don’t feel right.  You are self aware and so true to your values.  It is very beautiful.   I am inspired every single day to be me, as you have been such a great example in my life.

You are the life of a party, the true meaning of friendship, and someone I will always have a space for in my heart.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally, being on reality tv with me, getting P90seXy day after day, making me go out and be your best friend, for loving my family, sticking it out through the hard stuff, for being cool, and for loving Christmas as much as I do.  I am always inspired by you.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Erin Thomas

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Erin Thomas has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  She is that  freaking-hilarious-and-knows-it-huge-hearted-party-of-a-good-time-up-for-anything-make-you-have-real-conversations-when-you-don’t-want-to-unconditional-loving-always-forgiving-always-guiding-best friend.

Dear Erin,

I can still close my eyes and feel the way I felt walking across the threshold of your apartment in The Villas, Sex and the City intro music playing over and over in the background, red wine waiting on the glass coffee table and a safety net catching me every step.  I was in that age twenty tornado just flailing and you grabbed my arm and pulled me out.  Best friends ever since.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

Erin, you are one of those great greats of a friend.  Period.  You pick up the phone.  You check in.  You call people out.  You lift people up.  You forgive in a way only real friends do.  Your capacity for love in a friendship is endless. I am inspired by our relationship and truly aspire to be for my friends and family who you are as a best friend to me.

Always up for a good time, you are a true partner in crime when it comes to a party.  Doesn’t matter what we are wearing, who we are with or where we are headed, if I am with you, I am in for adventure.  And don’t even get me started on your dance moves.  I am inspired to never ever feel sorry for partying.

Erin, you are beautiful.  Say it in the mirror three times.  Because you are.

Be it a bagel shop, a yoga studio, a dear friend or an accepted invite, you are loyalty.  When I wade a little deeper in the vocabulary pond, you are devotion.  And that is a beautiful quality.  To be devoted, attentive and true is something I most cherish in you.  Stepping into a new career, becoming a yoga teacher, and being a yoga teacher; your life shifts are inspiring and a true testament of your amazing future.  I see it.  I enjoy it.  And I am inspired to keep shifting in my life and devoting to creating my future.  Thank you for being a great example, a true leader in this.

Let’s talk about the humor card, because you were dealt it.  And you are not afraid to tell anyone and everyone that you are most definitely and without a doubt the funniest person you know.  I laugh out loud and often when I am around you, on the phone with you, or looking at your life photos on facebook.  (smile)  Laughter is a form of emotional balance.  Don’t forget that, because when you provide me with a bit of balance, I am forever grateful, forever thankful and forever inspired.

Erin, thank you for never giving up on this twisting and winding roller coaster of a frienship you and I stepped into.  You are, in the words of Tina Turner, “simply the best“.  Thank you for loving me, for shifting in the most powerful ways, and for making everyone in your life laugh.  I’ll be seeing on the yoga mat, in a car driving around some lake or posted up at the bar.  And I can’t wait.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Matt Hoglund

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Matt Hoglund has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  You probably have one of these:  the talk-for-hours-yoga-loving-possibility-seeking-share-your-goals-and-dreams-with-brutally-honest-and-well-dressed best friend.  Let’s compare notes. 

Matty,

I remember that sunny day you walked through the glass double doors at lululemon athletica Santa Monica and thinking, “Hmph, how did this guy get the job I applied for?”.  Ego talking.  Recurring theme, I am aware.  From our shared yoga dates to work drama, our amazing coffee evenings or late night wine chats, match.com winks to cleaning out my closet and sharing possibilities, I am so happy you got the job and walked into my life that day.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are, has and continues to shape who I am every day.

You, Matt, are possibility every day.  I envision when you wake up there is an inspirational book of quotes next to your bathroom sink to read while teeth brushing, you have a daily declaration on your mirror every morning,  and  you leave the house standing upright and walking with an air of “today is the day to be great”.   And I envision this because when I speak to you via phone, you ooze with greatness.  I am inspired by your mentality, your ability to believe in yourself and who you choose to be each day.  And, I believe in you.

Matt, you look good.  And I mean really good.  Your fashion sense is unreal and you have no qualms sharing what not to wear.  As I recall, you saved me from the insanity that was packing to move from LA to Chicago by shipping out 3 large black gallon garbage bags to goodwill.  It was not the sheer and utter honesty when you held up the pink and black polka dotted skirt that was size 2 and you looked at me like “that is never going to happen every again”; what it really was:  is who are you are.  We had a great time cleaning out my closet, we had a great time making fun of my fashion sense and you allowed space in my life.  Space that was not there before.  I am inspired by the space you allow people by being you.

Your decision to leave a job to create one that would fulfill all areas of your life is inspiring.  You choose possibility over fear and that in itself is a rare gift.   Go ahead, check him out:  www.matthoglund.com.  You’re not going to live a mediocre life and neither am I.  Knowing we are in it together keeps me excited – and calling you every other day for accountability.  Thanks for picking up the phone.

The ability to be open and patient definitely allows you a leg up.  A long leg up.  You thrive on feedback to be better, you listen listen listen then ask questions and you allow yourself and others time with no judgment.  I yearn to write ‘envious’ – however, that is not the correct word.  I am inspired by you as a great leader in my life.  I continuously work on patience and listening and you are such a guiding light.

Lastly, I will not leave out our one night of amazing dance moves at Circle Bar.  There it comes up again – that fearless movement, literally.  We showed that dance floor and Santa Monica community who was boss that night.  And to me, that sums up how you live your life.  Create it, show them who is boss and dance because you can.  So inspiring and I will continue to shake my groove thing with you.

Thank you Matty for going against the grain, having a different conversation and beautiful worldview, and for teaching me everyday to be a great human being.  The experiences I have from our friendship are ones that I am forever grateful.  I will continue to be a name that shows up on your caller id, and I look forward to every encounter; as every time I am in a different and greater space than I was before we connected. 

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Alex Christensen

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Alex Christensen has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  You probably have one of these:  the always-there-for-you-voice-of-reason-eat-everything-and-stay-thin-perfect-coutnerpart-super-organized-travelling-adventure-seeking-crazy-big-hearted best friend.  Let’s compare notes…

Dear Alex,

You are a once in a lifetime best friend. 

We met our first day in college, you had bangs and braces and I had an ego and mismatched outfits.  It took us a year or so to come around to best friends, and once we did we were inseparable.  Same classes, studies abroad in Australia, moved to California together, shared living space, and thus shared life space.  I am forever grateful for that college encounter on our dorm floor and the countless memories we have shared.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am everyday.

Your life is an ultimate adventure.  Spending a year in Australia to currently hopping around Europe – your ability to dive headfirst into life is inspiring.  I love reading your writing, sharing with my friends that you are my best friend wandering around the World and I am so proud of you for living the life you want.  I triple dare all of you to read Al’s radical adventures here, and I wish you luck to try not to pack your suitcase to meet her in the upcoming romps across Africa, Italy or Greece.   Al, you remind me daily to live the life I really want and remember that life’s too short not to make it happen.

You are the voice of reason, the organized part of my brain that is missing, and you tell the truth.  Thank you for standing for me in all these years, for staying on this friendship rollercoaster even when the drops and turns got gnarly, and for telling me how it is like it is.  True friendship is honesty and that is something I have learned from you. 

As my own travel agent and organized to the hour planner, you are the master.  I literally bow down to your ability to organize a group trip, plan the daily activities and crunch those dreaded numbers.  I am truly in awe and so lucky to have you on my life team.  My ideas are mere thought bubbles of fun until you sit down and book a flight, find an adventure and say “hey, let’s go”.  You inspire me to get into action.  Have an idea and plan it out, Jacki!

You are just fun.  If we are together, I have no doubt in my mind that it is going to be a damn good time.  Always.  Dance moves, funny voices, laugh till tears,  memories relived, movie quotes and more; you’re energy and radical spirit is something I always want to be around.

To be honest, you are always right … and in the right way.  You think things through while thinking of others.  The compassionate side of you is what always makes you right.  I honestly feel for the husband you wrangle – he will undoubtedly 87% of the time be wrong, lose that knowledge battle and apologize later.  Its your intuition, your core values and knowing yourself.  I am inspired to be right…like you, in the right way.

You are a teacher.  A life teacher.  You are never one to just give the answers away.  Whether you know it or not, who you are provides lessons to all those around you.  I am inspired by your ability to drop the ego and allow someone else to step forward, find the answer and succeed in a spotlight.  True grace. 

As I look back in my memory files, flip through my photo albums, and click through facebook of our 244 pics, I smile.  Filled with gratitude for a best friend like you.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally and sharing life space with me.  Alex, thank you for inspiring me everyday to live  an adventure-filled life, to know my values and keep me in check, and for leaving me to hop the World.  I have never learned more. 

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Kristina Gong

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how one of my best friends, Kristina Gong has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution. You probably have one of these; the World-traveling-smart-Karaoke-singing-tech-saavy-loud-laughing-goal-oriented-cool best friends.  Let’s compare notes…

Dear Kristina,

We met while moving somewhat fast, breathing heavy and in need of water. While training for a marathon in sunny Santa Monica, California, our life paths crossed. My first memory was passing you on the boardwalk and you yelling, “hey, are you a soccer player or something?”. I get that all the time … big quads. Anyways, I yelled back “no” and just kicked it in and sped off.

From there on out, we were running partners. Then marathon finishers. And now, best friends.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am.

You are such a commander of your life. Your decision to quit your job and travel the World for eight months the past year was and remains truly inspiring. Keep sharing! Find her story in video posts, here.

Your candid honesty is superior to any fluff some non-friend would provide to smooth a situation and encourages me to be honest in return and in all areas of my life.

You crave knowledge. You are so rich in culture by choice. And that choice is powerful. Thank you for sharing everything you learn with me and inspiring me to search for more.

You are wise beyond your years and you stand up for what you believe in. And wow, you karaoke a mean version of Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia”…nasty mean. In these moments, you are vulnerable, fearless and demanding – and I admire that.

You want to truly experience this life, laugh deep and loud in this life and be madly in love in this life. And that is someone I want to be around, talk to daily on gchat, go with to adventures places, sing far too loud with in the car, roll out my mat to yoga with, and call my best friend.

Thank you for allowing me space in your life. Thank you for inspiring me everyday to be in constant wonder of the World, to be adventurous, to be honest, to seek knowledge always, to laugh and sing way outloud, and to stand for what I believe in. 

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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