Grown-up friendships

Last weekend, my best girlfirend, Carmen and I gifted each other with spending an entire day together. We spent the hours shopping, listening to fun music in the car, eating delicious food and mostly chatting and catching up. It had been almost a year since the last time we hung out alone, which is the longest we have ever been apart. The funny thing is that on Saturday, it felt like no time had passed. We were our old selves, just having a ball, being girls and enjoying the time we set aside just for us.

Carmen and I have been close friends since high school and we lived together for a year in college. Back in those days, we spent endless hours together doing fun and silly things. We danced on our back porch to Habanera, ate Doritos with cheese and bean dip for dinner, put sponge curlers in our hair, discovered Sex & the City, spent too much money on shoes and so much more.

As young women, we also were touched by devastating tragedies and loss that we cried through together and came out the other side as wiser and closer friends. Through our post college years, as it is for so many, we have not been afforded the luxury of living in the same city. We frequently talk about how amazing it would be if we found ourselves even living in the same state again and what it would be like to get to see each other more often.

The thing that stands out to me, is that as I get older, I seem to get farther and farther away from the people who were closest to me growing up. No matter how hard we may try, life moves in and we physically drift apart from one another. As we get married, have children, and plant lives of our own where we live, it's harder and harder to keep up with those weekly phone calls and almost daily emails. The every-other-month get-togethers turn into once a year or longer.

I think back to the glory days of grade school and college, when I took having proximity to my friends completely for granted. I didn't know how easy we had it. Whenever I moved away, I did my best to keep in touch--sometimes I was consistent and sometimes I wasn't. The amazing thing is, that with most of the friends I've had, it doesn't seem to matter how long it is in between visits or phone conversations. Somehow, whenever we reconnect, we are able to go right back into the groove we once had. We are still "us" and no matter what has changed in our lives, we are able to find common ground in each other again.

As adults, these relationships have gone through a subtle, yet significant shift--at some point we stopped just being friends and became family. Somewhere along the way, it stopped being a choice and we know that we are and will be in each others lives forever, no matter what. I still feel sad that we can't have lunch or impromptu slumber parties whenever we'd like. But this grown-up stage of friendship has a different kind of comfort that I wouldn't trade for anything. Not even for living in the same zip code.


rachele said...

i miss you!!

Carmen said...

I love this! I miss you already!

sara said...