Women are complex creatures… So it’s understandable that our friendships can be complex as well. Put TWO of us together and there is bound to be some intricacies that are woven through. The older I get, the more I value my friendships and realize that true friendship is nearly freaking impossible to find. I feel lucky that I have an large handful of AMAZING women who I can call close friends, but these relationships have definitely changed over the years. These changes have meant distance with some that I swore I would never grow apart from. Other times this change means that certain friendships grow with you and add new layers and dimensions you hadn’t experienced before. That’s a beautiful thing.
I remember being 22 and graduating from college. I cried my eyes out as I drove away from Chico in a U-haul and headed toward San Diego. Of course, I was excited… SAN DIEGO waiting for me. But – oh man, the comfort of the 12 girls I lived with (I know right? It was like every guy’s dream AND nightmare rolled into one – haha) wouldn’t be there every day. These girls were home to me and I could be EXACTLY myself. After graduation, of course we promised we would all keep in contact and nothing would change – but life happens. Distance happens. We get married and move across the country. We have relationships, children and jobs which now take up all of our time. These college friendships, while still precious to me, have changed over the last 15 years. They are still there, still full of love and life – but different than when we would see each other every day. (Side note – here’s where social media is a blessing… keeping up with our friends and their families when otherwise we could’ve easily lost touch because of the business of… well, LIFE. Amiright, ladies?!)
But the beauty of a friendship that can grow with you where you still continue to prioritize each other – it’s honestly one of life’s greatest gifts.
My best friend and I became close in our mid-twenties in San Diego. We both worked for the same company and had common core group of friends. We soon formed a strong bond that was fueled by our shared love of clothes, laughter and wine. I know, I know, it sounds shallow – but perhaps we were at the time. I can own it 🙂
Our days would be often involve just that – shopping trips, laughing our butts off at the most mundane things and having a few too many cocktails. Times were simpler. The only responsibilities we had were really showing up to work on time and making sure rent was paid. I loved those days and we were having a blast.
However, as life works – we got older and our lives have become more complex. We’ve acquired husbands and kids along our way. This little pack we had, has doubled, then quadrupled. This last weekend, her family visited us and it was the first time we were together as two families of FOUR. It was nuts. We couldn’t get through one topic of conversation before one of us was pulled away to chase after one of our kids. She had to scarf down lunch while standing up and bouncing her littlest on her chest and I had mine entertained right next to me – inhaling my food before she got fussy. It was a constant day of juggling and a bit of chaos.
But that chaos was joyous and filled with awesome moments, like the first time I met her new son and the first time she met my daughter. Seeing her 2 year old dictating to my 4 year old where he should sit and what she needs him to do (that girl will be a boss lady – let me tell you. Wyatt literally did exactly what she told him to, no questions asked). Watching our husbands be the awesome dads they are, playing with the kiddos while they also kept our champagne glasses full. I mean, SOME things have changed – but not EVERYTHING.
I look back at our friendship and where it’s taken us. We’ve gone from girls in SD to actual adults. We’ve watched each other become wives and mothers. We’ve grown in our careers and been each other’s cheerleaders through new jobs and promotions. Our friendship has been able to grow with us.
I’m a firm believer that you have best friends at certain stages of your life. All those friendships are special, but they aren’t ALL going to follow you through the next chapter. I learned this when I graduated from college and started my new life in San Diego. I saw it again when I moved from San Diego to San Francisco. And again when I crossed over into my new identity as a mother… some of my friends just didn’t understand what this new life entailed and that’s OK. I couldn’t expect them to. While not every friend may come along for the ride through the next phase and that doesn’t make that friendship any less special. It just elevates the ones that DO come along with you.
So here’s to you… ALL girlfriends of mine. Here’s to the ones who I lost touch with after high school and college. To the ones who I can call and text with questions about my baby at all hours of the night. To the ones who still see my silly side and crack up when I dance like an idiot. To the ones who now live across the country and our sole contact is a couple of FB comments and likes. To the ones who stood next to me at my wedding and I at yours. To the ones who can show up at my house and make themselves at home because it’s just that comfortable. To the ones who continue with me on this journey.
But here’s an extra special cheers to my best friend, my soul sister. The one who calls me out when she can smell a little BS. The one who thinks I’m funny even when I’m not trying to be. The one who supports every step of anything I do. So grateful I get to take her with me at every step. And I get to go with her. Thanks buddy!