I’ve been struggling for a few days on how to write about this experience. Three drafts have been started and scrapped. It is not for lack of words or a message but more an appropriate, meaningful way to portray what I am trying to express. Please read and understand this is part of life and my life experience.
I am 33, soon to be 34 years old and my best friend is my husband. I am not simply saying this to be cute or prove my marriage is any better than anyone else. My point is he is my best friend in the truest sense of the term. He is not what this post is about. My realization is about best friends and friends in general.
Living in California I was never wanting for friends. I had a good quantity of quality friends and a bigger quantity of friends. There was always an event, party or just friends hanging out together. My social calendar was never blank. Friends were a phone call and 10 minute drive away, sometimes 15 at the most.
I told several close friends there was no way our friendship would change simply over my moving across the country, being married and having another kid (not in that order). We would ALWAYS be close friends and nothing would change our friendship.
Six years later and what I believed to be a near impossibility has become reality. I was not surprised when I lost touch with some of the more casual friends. Those friendships were momentary and simply for that portion of my life. However, the quality friendships I am saddened to say have also fallen to the wayside.
Life moves on. People change. Paths traveled are no longer linked. Our paths and friendships drifted apart over the last few years and I am ashamed to say I did not make the effort required to upkeep many acquaintances and friendships.
Much to my delight not all has been lost. On my recent road trip to California I did not make many plans to see a plethora of friends. Some schedules did not mesh but we have hope for a future visit and continue to stay in touch, I was not highly disappointed as I was able to see this friend on our last visit out to California. Other friends in Utah were also unavailable but we continue to talk and stay in touch.
A woman I have grown to love and cherish dearly was available and we made concrete plans for a day with her and her kids. A simple day at K’s house by the pool was all we needed to remind ourselves how distance can not change our affection for each other. We laughed, watched our kids, swam a bit to cool off, ate ice cream sandwiches and even cried just a little. K is an amazing woman and friend. This was a good for the soul visit.
On our last day in California a dear friend returned my phone call and we made arrangements to spend the day together at the beach, with my kids of course. We talked about our current happenings, mutual friends and acquaintances, and catching up. Mostly we just talked. We were ourselves, no airs, no pretenses, just us. Our beach day easily could have taken place six years ago. With C there was no crying but we did laugh, remind each other why we became friends to begin with and most of realized we did not need to work at our friendship. This was a good for the heart visit with C.
The last was a visit with a girlfriend I met when I was 18. Eeek let’s not do the math on that one please! Queen B and Queen C in the collection department, dancing buddies, weekend sleepovers, you name it we probably did it, or thought about doing it. M stayed up until midnight to welcome us into her home for a night on our journey back to our home. M had her spare room made up for us and in the morning made a delicious breakfast. M can cook and is part of my cooking inspiration. She may have grandbabies now but we can still stay up all hours of the night talking and laughing. I know M will be there when I need her and though some things have changed about us our friendship is still intact. The night with M was good for the mind (and tummy), yum!
All together I have realized as much as we may love some friends the paths we are on may separate us and take us in different directions but true friends will not require work or extreme effort. Good, quality friends will remain friends over time. These visits with K, C and M reminded me how lucky I truly am. Though I may not have the 10 minute drive to these dear friends, they and others I hold dear are still a part of me and near my path.
Here’s to good souls, hearts, minds, food, and friends.