My dear Magda.
We met in Vienna in an apartment that I shared with three guys. She was visiting her then-boyfriend, and I was happy to have a female presence. Not because I didn't get along with the guys - they were all gents: funny, smart and always up for a night talk in the kitchen, over a beer or a glass of wine.
But when Magdalena came along, something changed quickly. She was like a breath of fresh air, in an already captivating environment. I never confessed this, but when I first met her, I was convinced I have just met a ballerina. Everything she did was gracious. Every move, every word, every smile felt like it as taken out of an old school movie, a movie you watch only on special occasions.
In the mornings I liked to watch her prepare her lunch box and listen to her talk about books, love, and friendship. The more time we spent together, the more I loved her. She was an enchanting presence, and she could convince me to do anything. When I introduced her to my friends, she was my beautiful polish architect. Until one day, when she decided we are no longer architects, we were musicians. I was playing the violin, and she was a master at the cello techniques. "You introduce yourself as Fabulous Ioana - that's your new name. Ok? Follow my lead." The first time we played this game, she made me laugh so hard, I could not breathe. There were five new people in our group that afternoon, and after a warm and friendly handshake, she responded to questions with charming confidence. Of course, she was classically trained and spent all her life rehearsing. Yes, she adores *insert a random Polish name*. People were looking at her with curiosity and fascination, so she took the opportunity to show off. She sat at the edge of the bench, with her back straight, with their arms relaxed and her head down, while her fingers were gliding over the invisible instrument. "See, my dear Ioana, they believed me. And I've never learned how to play the cello. Isn't this game fun?" she said in amusement, after a successful impromptu representation. She was right; it was a lot of fun - those were the lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer.
She always used words like "lovely," "my beautiful friend", "sweet Ioana" and she was making me feel like a goddess, with just a few words. And when someone as smart and gorgeous and kind as Magda is in your life, be sure you're life will be full of color. You'll have sunsets and laughter, late-night messages and early morning jokes, joy and above all - you will have love.
Vienna and Magda will always be connected. She taught me how wonderful life can be when you open your heart; she explained that not everything has to last forever. She wanted me to be more confident, so we had a photo session in a big bridal shop. We were drinking champagne, and I was a supermodel that day, trying out so many dresses that I wanted to buy seven of them - one for each day of the week - as my new outfit.
Today is her birthday and words can not describe how much I admire her. She dares to say no to cliches - and if anybody thinks architects should be in a certain way, Magda is here to break the stereotype and let the world know that patterns do not always apply. She traveled the world, and when I look at her pictures, I imagine the conversations she had when she was making new friends. And the delightful part of following her journey is that you can't be jealous. You're just grateful to have an awesome friend.
Happy birthday, my dear Magda! May your following year be full of magic and music.