Friends that are now little more than strangers. But still, I call them friends.
See, growing up, we were inseparable. We practically lived at each others' houses. We had most of the same classes with the same teachers. We were the kind of friends who could laugh and cry together. The kinds of friends who supported each other in our happiest and saddest of times. We were sisters. Each others' strengths complimented each others' weaknesses. Where one was shy, another was outgoing. Where one was falling behind, another was pulling us forward. Not everyone is so lucky to have had friends like these.
And you might ask, with friendships like those--how did you ever lose touch? Aren't those the makings of friendship for life?
I think so. But some things got in between the friendship. And with college separating us physically while we were already divided, I guess we didn't stand a chance.
It has been seven and a half years since I called them my best friends. And to say a lot has happened in seven and a half years would be a grotesque understatement. Between the four of us we hold six degrees. We have one husband and two fiances--one deployed overseas. We have promising futures and jobs that drive us crazy (for different reasons). We have families with their own unique problems. And we have our history.
But do we still have anything in common? Do the ties that drew us together in high school still remain? I'm not sure. *NSync is no longer my favorite band and I don't cry over boys. I have no curfew and don't fight with my parents. My happiness doesn't entirely depend upon whether or not my crush makes small talk with me in biology class. I no longer order the caramel macchiato at Starbucks. And if I stay in on the weekend, it doesn't utterly depress me. I actually kind of enjoy it.
I'm not the person who I was in high school. But you know what? Neither are they. Could it be possible that we've all grown up--together--yet apart?
On Saturday, I had the pleasure of reuniting with these ladies after seven and a half years of nearly complete silence. They've all kept in touch, but not with me. And that is a burden that we all share. But that is history, and today is the present. And before I keep talking like a Hallmark card or some weird inspirational office poster, let me cut to the chase.
I looked forward to our dinner for weeks, with butterflies in my stomach--wondering how it would all unfold. Would we pick up where we left off? Or would we find that we no longer have anything in common--eager for the check to come and return to our current lives?
Instead of awkward silence, laughter filled the air. Instead of uncomfortably counting down the minutes until we could make our respective escapes, we lingered at the table until we received death glares from the waitstaff, long after our plates were cleared. It was everything my 17-year-old self would have wanted it to be. And the nearly 26-year-old current self? She had fun too.
There's no way we could have made up for seven and a half years of lost time in one evening. So I wonder, what do I want these ladies to know about me? The grown up me? Well, in a perfect world, I guess I would want them to know everything there is to know... just like they did in high school. That's probably not possible. So in the meantime, here's a good start:
- Unlike the high school version of myself, I can't stomach top 40 music. (You kids call that "music"?!) Music is a huge part of my life and I love recommending artists to friends. I've seen more than 60 bands/artists live, and yes, that does include *Nsync. (3 times. Thankyouverymuch.)
- I don't go out on school nights. In order to be a functioning adult, I like to be in bed by 11 p.m. And as I did in concert chorale in high school, I still like to belt it out. On the weekends, I can sometimes be found at a local watering hole, singing karaoke along side some of the city's finest hipsters. (I do not consider myself to be a hipster, though I do have a quite fancy fanny pack.) And you know what I said about hating top 40 music, earlier? Yeah, that definitely DOES NOT apply at karaoke. Bring on the Britney Spears, baby!
- I still do not have one athletic bone in my body... and have given up trying. Though, I am in a bowling league. And I'm not THE worst player in the league. But pretty damn close. Pretty damn close.
- I like to put my inner most thoughts on this thing called a blog. (Ohai!) Some people think that's weird. But at least it's moderately more entertaining than what I used to write in my diary. And through blogging I have met (yes, some in the flesh) some of the most wonderful, thoughtful, entertaining, and quirky people across the globe. It is what I declare to be my one and only hobby. And I can't imagine a better use of my free time...
- Except maybe for getting back into volunteering. I was with Children's Hospital for more than a year, and it was something I loved. But when I started feeling like the volunteers outnumbered the children (a good problem!) I hung up my red smock. I am holding out for my next opportunity to make a difference. I would love to have our greyhound Lucas certified to become a therapy dog and visit senior care homes together. Everyone loves Lucas. I would be honored to share him with anyone and everyone in need of a little cuddle.
- Oh, yeah. And I married someone who makes me laugh more than I ever thought possible. On our first date, he made hot chocolate shoot out of my nose. No one else has ever been able to do that. So yeah, he's a keeper.