Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . Old Friends

Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I think many of us get to connect with old friends we otherwise wouldn't see, right? It can be super awesome to exchange even a few lines with a buddy from high school you haven't spoken to in a decade. It is for me, anyway. =)

Yesterday was Brittney's birthday--Brittney was my absolutely-without-a-doubt-best-friend from age 5 through about 14. We drifted apart a bit in high school--stayed friendly, but not inseparable by any means. Still, May 18th can't roll around without me thinking of her. Thinking of all the fun we had over the years. The fashion showed, the magazine we made from photos glued with the decorative, neon-colored paints so popular in the late '80s, the games of make-believe that kept us entertained for days on end.

I also just touched base with another girl from our middle school group, Melissa. Melissa took to calling me "Mom" in 8th grade, and my nickname for her was Mylissa. When I finished my first novel, she was at my house. And when I came into school the following Monday, she'd made me a card that said, "So proud of you, Mommy."

These are a few of the girls that grew with me, whose friendships shaped me. Girls I rarely talk to, more rarely still manage to see . . . but who are often in my prayers.

As someone who married her high school sweetheart, it's sometimes really sad to realize I never talk to my high school friends. For someone who emails her best friend (who she's only met twice) several times a day, it's baffling why I can't keep in touch with these others.

It's strange how different our lives are.

Brittney's lived in New York, is now in Pittsburgh. She's in marketing and is, when last I saw her, one of those statuesque, model-esque women who always look gorgeous with their yoga-inspired figures and impeccable fashion sense. Needless to say, I felt a bit dowdy when I last hugged her--I was six months pregnant with Rowyn and carrying Xoe on my hip.

Melissa, on the other hand, lives out in the country, within driving distance of me, but I couldn't tell you how to get to her house, LOL. She has four kids and helps her husband run his construction company. One of the last times I saw her was at her wedding, when she and her husband (each having a daughter already), pledged their lives and joined their families. It's the only wedding I ever cried at, so beautiful was it when her little girl pointed at the bride coming up the aisle and declared happily, "Mama!"

Ever wonder what these old friends see if they look at you? I do. Yes, I've fulfilled my goal of being an author--more or less, LOL. I have books out . . . on a small scale. I have a big(ish) contract . . . but it's not out. And even when it is, it's just one book. I'm not a household name. I doubt I'll ever be a household name. My house is old and not exactly breathtaking. I could probably make it nicer, but I choose to spend my energy writing. And homeschooling. I like to think I put myself together pretty well, but let's be honest--no flat, yoga bellies here. I generally come to the conclusion that "slender" is good enough, since I don't have to work for it. "Fit" just takes too much work, LOL.

But most of all, I hope that when I see these old friends again, they see the Annie they loved. They see a girl who chased her dreams. They see a woman glad she made the decisions she made, who loves her life even when it isn't glamorous or hugely successful. I hope they see the same thing I do--a woman who has been shaped by great childhood friends into an adult worth knowing.

How about you guys? Do you still keep in touch with your very first best friends?


  1. Yep, slightly on and off through email. Maybe run into a few of them at the annual homeschool conference.

    Great post! Makes you think.

  2. So many friends, so seldom see them. Life gets in the way. :(