Okay, so my friend Sonia is simply put. . .badass. She is a single mother of three and recently launched her own company called hipS-sister. I have known her for 27 years since the 10th grade. We met at San Dieguito High School in Encinitas, CA, in a psychology class and became immediate and long-term besties. I don't know why, like many instances in our life, but we both chose to write our final paper on teen-age suicide. Now this could possibly be the most depressing thing to think about and practically impossible to discuss, yet there we were trying to stand up in front of our class of 22 students and publicly speak about this issue. I think on this day I truly realized how much I admired and respected my friend, Sonia Rampas. I had really bad butterflies that felt like bats in my stomach as the teacher said, "Okay, class now it is time to write your names on the board showing us all who will be presenting their papers today." It was just three of us, Sonia, someone I honestly don't remember and me and there were three numbers on the board to fill in as to the order of presentations. So, the person I don't remember writes his name in number three. Then, Sonia smiling writes her name in number 2. Finally, me smiling back at her, erases her name in number 2 and writes her name in number 1 while I happily write my name in the second position. At that moment, the teacher says, "Okay we have our list, now lets proceed. . .Sonia please begin by standing at the podium."
So she glanced at me like friends do and her eyes said it all. . ."You got me, guess I'm going first." She began by opening to her first page and reciting the first couple sentences of a very deep, somewhat, well definitely disturbing topic. My nerves leaped outside of my body and felt hers knowing what she must do and at that point she took a deep breath and said, "I'm nervous. Okay just had to get that out." And from there the most eloquent, beautiful paper was presented flawlessly. I completely appreciated her in that moment and she made my presentation so much easier by vicariously living through her the purging of nervousness to the ability to really just get the job done! From then on, we were inseparable during our school years. We had a blast together every summer. Later, we remained buddies through all of our dating, getting married and rearing of children years (as we still do and sometimes struggle.) One summer, between 10th and 11th grade we traveled to Hawaii together. I would always eagerly try to get a tan as she rocked her olive skin tone in glistening tanning oil. Sadly as a result of all of my effort, I was lucky to get a gentle burn and slight maybe approaching copper skin color. No more like roasted salmon color :(. However, even when I got close to this sort-of tan, I was happy. . .almost like I achieved something. She always made things seem so easy. Like the impossible was just a piece of cake. She helped me survive my teenage years. When things got bad, we would take off running to the top of the hill overlooking the ocean on 3rd and D street in Encinitas. Here, we would find our favorite spot underneath a large overbearing tree and sit down. Then we would close our eyes and begin to meditate knowing God would hear our silent prayers.
One day, after leaving her Encinitas home, we proceeded down the street walking like we would always do when we were bored. Some guys in a jeep pulled up and shouted, "Hey girls, do you wanna go party?" This night we declined. I guess we had had enough of partying that summer and just wanted some time to ourselves. We continued to walk and ran right into another two gentlemen down the street a little ways. "Hi," they greeted us with big smiles and shining eyes. . .I felt sort of captivated. They were young guys but dressed really nice in slacks and a button down shirt. "We just have one question for you. . ." We smiled back, "Yeah?" "Have you two ladies accepted Jesus into your heart? You know, sincerely, with intention to do so?" We answered, "No." "Well, are you willing to do so, right now," they asked. And we both replied, "Yes. . ." Something in that moment changed inside of me forever. I can't tell you really why or how but it did. We recited the beautiful words verbatim asking Jesus to enter our hearts. There was a joy that overcame us both and we began laughing as we all held hands and finished our prayer. I looked up in that instant and realized we were all standing right in front of the SRF temple on 2nd street. And in a blink of an eye, they were gone. They didn't want anything more from us, just left us looking at each other like what just happened?
Words cannot really describe how I feel knowing I have a friend like Sonia. She helps remind me every day that without each other, where would we be? The joys and the pains in this life, how could we possibly get through? There have been many tasks placed in front of the two of us in this lifetime to conquer. I can honestly say that she has helped me with almost all of them! Sometimes we just need those people who understand us with unspoken words.
Here is her latest post on FB, 'the definition of a badass' and why I love her so much. A woman that lives by no one else's standards but her own and is always willing to tell you what she is feeling while looking at you directly in the eye. . .that to me is a true badass ;)