Monday, July 18, 2011

Through Distance and Time...

When I told two of my co-workers that my best friend from middle school was coming to spend the weekend with me in New Brunswick, they were shocked that I still TALKED to such people, let alone arrange visits. I told them that we had never really lost touch, despite the fact that she moved away when we I was thirteen (she was still twelve. baby.) and we'd never lived in the same state since. Even as I was explaining this, I realized how downright weird it was. I don't talk to the overwhelming majority of even the people I graduated high school with--only about two on a semi-daily basis. There are more I'll have occasional catch-up convos with or hang out with while we're both home, but on the whole most of my once-best-friends and I have grown apart. 'Tis unfortunate, but that's life, man...and we can still hang out from time to time, so it's not the worst thing in the world. 
But's different with her. She was whisked away out of my life before we had cell phones and regular internet access...we actually mailed letters back and forth for years. We tried to have hours-long conversations but 8 people live in her house, so tying up the landline for that long was nearly impossible. She didn't give up on me even when it looked like our trio could never reunite because T and I weren't speaking. Going to visit her the summer after our freshman year of high school was my first independent non-familial adventure. Enter facebook: she's someone I actually have regular communication with, not just a random status-like or whatnot. Through elaborate schemes of lying to our parents, she was with me the first time I ever got drunk, and when I found out that Greg and my mom broke up. And now she was here with me again this weekend. We combined childhood--water gun battles, swings, and sidewalk chalk--with grown up games--drinking Jenga, Dirty Minds, Uno with the added rules that you have to drink every time you draw a card--and like every other time, it was like no time had passed at all. 
We're such different people from such different backgrounds. It would have been ridiculously easy for this friendship to fizzle out. But it never has, and it never will. We've been friends through the miles for wayyyy longer than we were ever close while we lived in the same town. And we're luckily not one of those multiperson friendships that can only function with the whole group; our trio has awesome reunions, yes, but SP and I and SP and T can each have separate awesome hang out sessions too. And the best part is, it has never felt like it has taken a lot of effort or like we're fighting against a world that tries to pull us apart...we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like, and we don't always talk super-regularly, but something right found us in the hallways of William Davies Middle School and we're never going to let it go.
You never know who's going to come into your life. You never know how they're going to change you by doing so. You never know if the person you rely on today will still be around the next time you need a shoulder to lean on. You can bulldoze your walls and let people in. You can share and trust and love all without quite knowing if the person you're sharing with and trusting and loving is giving as much to you as you are to them. Relationships of all kinds have as much power to hurt as they have to heal, and you never quite know which will do which to a larger extent. What I'm saying here is the strength of this friendship never ceases to surprise me. May you all have such ride-or-die chicks.     

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