For those of you who know my writing, this is going to be a bit more serious than most of my posts. Today, I want to talk to you about friendships and those that will come into and go out of your life unexpectedly.
I. I met him through an old boyfriend. He was always around when we would do things with our group of friends, a name that I had heard for years in our small town. He was charismatic, popular, fun to be around, and kind-hearted. Naturally, when the boyfriend and I broke up after a tumultuous 3 year relationship, I assumed that this friend would be lost in the divvying up of belongings. I was very wrong. This boy remained one of my dear friends, taking on the role of big brother when needed, a shoulder to cry on no matter the distance, and piece of home that was never more than a phone call away.
When we went off to college, I feared I would lose the friendship to the 700+ miles between us. Again, I was wrong. The first month of college was tough for me; I was incredibly homesick. So what did he do? He Skyped me every day, despite loads of homework and studying, just to be sure that I was okay. He made the drive down for sorority formals, and I made the drive up for holiday festivities. It wasn’t until we both graduated college that things began to change. He had a serious girlfriend with whom he had been discussing moving, and I was now permanently living 700+ miles away. We drifted. The texts and phone calls became more infrequent, and then they just stopped all together.
It was hard for me to accept that he would be moving further across the country and I would more than likely not speak to him again. Someone who had been my best friend for nearly 8 years was someone I now barely knew.
II. When I joined a sorority, there was a system set in place to help the younger girls get to know the older girls – they were lunch and dinner dates. I would get phone calls or texts from girls I didn’t know, bursting with excitement about getting to know me. One of those texts was from one girl in particular about whom I kept hearing. We met for a somewhat early dinner at one of the dining halls, and took our salad-bar salads outside. Sitting on the brick, still warm from the afternoon’s heat, she told me about a baseball player while I nervously picked at my craisons. She was very loud, and she kept using the phrase “of a thousand sons” to express the enormity of her love or hatred for something or someone. She was unlike anyone I had ever met.
That same girl became the single most important person to me during my college years. She was my other half, my role model, my big sister, and at times, my harsh reality. She was the person I went to when my heart felt like it was breaking – letting me curl up in her bed with a bottle of wine and a good movie, and canceling her plans for the evening. She was the person with whom I partied, studied, and gossiped. Mind you, we were a year apart and still had our own groups or friends, but she was always my rock. Fast forward 4 years, and we’re now living on opposite sides of the country, but somehow have managed to love each other even more than we did when we were just across campus. In fact, she is now my beloved boss and our EOC.
I know this was long-winded, but I assume I am not the only twenty-something dealing with the readjustment of friendships. There will be people you never thought you would lose who will walk away, and you must let them. Try to remember that they brought light and love into your life, and now their journey is taking them elsewhere. Focus on the people that are here and now, even if you can’t physically hold them. The people you call at the end of the day, or call when you’re crying from sadness or laughter, love on those people and let them build you up. Let them become bigger parts of your journey.