Moving around a lot as a kid was destabilizing. I went to five different elementary schools and three different high schools. Sustaining relationships over time was not easy and also turned out to not be my strong suit. But as an adult person, I have been able to hold together friendships over the years. In spite of still moving around quite a bit and also having this kind of expectation that out of sight, results in relationship over.
So I will own that most of the lack of longevity in my relationships is a result of me just moving on, replacing the cool people from my past, with cool people who are here and more readily available. It is a flaw and an asset. I can get over anyone being gone, usually with minimal upset. It isn’t that I don’t care deeply for people, I think I just always enter into friendships and relationships with the idea, the belief that the end is coming so don’t get too attached.
In spite of all of that, the universe has blessed me with a few friends who have stuck in there with me. Who have spanned the distance of the entire USA and time. Have made it a point to stay current with me, love me and work to maintain a relationship with me. And I want to give them credit because the effort has been at times very one sided...
As I have aged, I have come to appreciate the value of long term friendships. Really having no reference point for this earlier in my life. Everything was temporary, so I just didn’t see a good reason to put forth a great deal of effort. I am so glad that this changed for me. And that today I have maintained contact with the ones I have. It is so nice to have history with someone. To have that commonality of experience, most especially as one grows up and adults.
My friends Patrick and Karl arrived last night. Karl was set to come and Patrick came on a whim. I have known them for 24 years. And they are like family to me now. Brothers that I never had. The three of us have such fun together but also see our flaws and can, at times, hit a little too close to home. I am so grateful today that when I woke up that they are here. Jet lagged and tired but here. I am grateful for the hiking we will do. The beach walking, the meals, the laughter and the joy that comes from any time spent with them.
There is something healing about spending time with people who have known many versions of you. And you them. Who we are now barely resembles who we were then. But in the same vein, we are exactly who we have always been, friends.
It is such a comfort to this Army brat who moved around so much, distant from family and the lasting friendships. An only child who didn’t have an easy time maintaining connection. I could always connect, it was maintenance of that connection with which I struggled. And that still rings true all these years later.
I am grateful for the friends who have stuck in there with me. Their relationships and friendships have given me courage to keep trying. I am going back to my high school reunion in September which is anxiety provoking on several levels:
1. I only went to that high school for two years so my time with those people was short;
2. I was drunk the entire time, a complete shitshow of teenaged angst with a lack of self concept soaked in alcohol. I do not remember a lot.
3. I am not sure how much they want to reconnect with me...and I am unsure why I am so afraid to try.
But going back to that reunion, will be a two fold gift: I will get to see people I haven’t seen in 35 years and also I will get to see Patrick and Karl. So my time will be spent reconnecting to friends I haven’t been involved with for so long, and also putting in the time to maintain the ones that I have been so blessed to have in my life the last 24 years.
I am so grateful today to wake up to these two men who have hung in there with me through heartbreak, through parenting nightmares, through divorce, death, love and everything in between. I am grateful to them but I am also grateful for them. They have been and continue to be great examples of how kind, compassionate, loving and fun men can be, and I have needed this as I lost faith in men many times over the last 24 years. They have been my gold standard which is funny, you will see and know why if and when you meet them! HA!
All kidding aside, I love them. They are my rocks in a sea of a lot of change. And I believe, perhaps incorrectly, but I believe it still, that I have been that for them as well. We get each other. All the others that we have been and will be in the future. Long live old friends! I am so grateful that I was willing to not throw in the towel. Sometimes when you hang in there, swimming through the sea of uncertainty and doubt and fear, you are rewarded with like minded souls who just love you for who you are, while you get to love them back in the same way.
They have loved me through my darkness and my light (and I am not just talking hair color)!
God bangs were such a bad idea!