Better Jill

8 May

afterlight-41

Let’s start this thing out with a terrible San Francisco Starbucks selfie and…go!

Last week I met the better version of myself.

We will call her Better Jill and we will try not to let her existence ruin our lives.

(I don’t now where the plural thing is coming from.  Apologies from us.)

I always knew there might be a better version of myself out there, laughing loudly, quoting Dawson’s with a fury, but I preferred to think of her as a myth.

A Yeti.

Not real.

And then, last week, on a sunny day in non-sunny San Francisco, Better Jill and I came face to face.

Or curl to curl, rather.

I first saw Better Jill about a mile from my job interview location.  I immediately noticed her striped almost-mini in the sea of pantsuits and sturdy pumps.  It was the sort of almost-miniskirt that looks appropriate in professional settings, but only just.

I’m all about skirts that are appropriate but only just. Right on that border, laughing at it.

Appropriate, but only just.

That could describe a lot of things in my life.

Better Jill had wild, brown curls, but somehow a color that might be called “mousy” on me was a vibrant shade of honey-kissed peanut butter on her.  She looked a bit out of place, glancing at her phone for directions.

The light turned and she started across the street.  That’s when I saw the clincher–Better Jill was wearing killer black ankle boots!

Of course she was!

I was staring at me, but just me 2.0!  Her curls were tighter, her ankle boots fiercer, her skirt less appropriate!

Better Jill was headed the same direction as I was, and things only got weirder when we turned down the same side street.

And stopped at the same building.

And looked at our phones at the same time.

That’s when I realized something horrifying–BETTER JILL WAS MY COMPETITION FOR THE JOB.

There was no other explanation for how two girls as similar as we were–young, 20-somethings in semi-professional get-ups and ankle boots–would stand outside the same building at the same time, twirling our hair and checking our gold iPhones.

She was literally me down to my job hopes.

Only better.

I was really nervy at this point, all jumbles and giggles, and I decided I needed to calm down.

I headed into the nearest Starbucks and took a few cleansing breaths.  I was tired and carrying around a vat of lotion because when you come into the city seven hours before your interview you need a vat of lotion just in case.  You also need a curling iron.  And eyebrow gel.  And a bag that can support every irrational thing you think you should bring seven hours in advance just in case your plan of “sit very still and not ruin anything” doesn’t work out and you have to redo your look before your interview.

I settled into a corner table and pulled out my MacBook.  I texted a few friends about meeting the better version of myself and they laughed it off and I laughed too.

Things were calm.

Er.

Calmer.

Whew that was a manic time!

AND THEN BETTER JILL WALKED INTO MY STARBUCKS.

I lost it at that point, obviously.  ”GUYS, BETTER JILL JUST WALKED INTO STARBUCKS THIS IS UNREAL.  She pulled out a MacBook.  I’m making this more than it is, right? Or AM I?”

I stared at Better Jill’s curls jealously from behind my computer screen, wondering exactly how much of my reaction was “crazy due to job interview stress” and how much of this was “crazy due to crazy.”

Katie responded to my crazy-due-to-crazy texts, “Never mind other Jill.  I’m sure she’s 50% the writer you are and 400% the drama and no one could love her like we love you.”

I took a few more cleansing breaths and turned on Frasier.

I don’t know exactly when Better Jill left Starbucks on that fateful San Francisco day.  I didn’t even notice, actually.  She slipped out of my life as quietly and quickly as she had slipped in, leaving her mark on my very soul.

**Insert musical note emojis**

I’ve heard it said

That people come into our lives

For a reason,

Bringing something we must learn.

And we are led

To those who help us most to grow

If we let them.

And we help them in return.

I catch myself thinking of Better Jill from time to time.  What is she doing at this very minute?  Is she also wearing a black floral mumu and topknot?  Are her nails a buttery shade of Easter purple today, just like mine?

Is she at a coffee shop with her two best friends blogging about her experience with Lesser Jill?

Is she thinking of me too?

I’ll probably never know.

All that can be said for certain is I know I’m who I am today because I found Better Jill.

Because I met her, I have been changed.

For good.

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2 Responses to “Better Jill”

  1. Rhonda May 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    I hope you get the job, not Better Jill, who I’m sure is talking to her friends about the Better Jill SHE saw in San Fransisco.

  2. Helene May 8, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    better jill sounds like she needs to get a longer skirt, just saying. it’s funny how we think of others. she actually might have though of you as the better jill. You never know…

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