Finding Meaning in Old Friendships

Friendship is a funny thing.

I have people in my past whom I’ve lost touch with (as we all do). I have people in my past whom I occasionally talk to over Facebook and other social media, but if we got together to talk in person, it would most definitely be painfully awkward (yeah, I’m sure we all have those too).

Then, there’s Megan.

Have you ever known one of those people whom you might not see for years, only to meet up with them again–both older and wiser and more experienced–to instinctively fall right back into the swing of things, as if you just saw each other yesterday?

That, my friends, describes my relationship with Megan in a nutshell.

Megan and I were best friends all through elementary school. We did practically everything together. With our friend Nicole, we formed a secret club entirely based on the boys we had crushes on; it was called Double R.A., a name that naturally arose out of our infatuation with the  boys themselves–Nicole and I had crushes on boys whose names both started with the letter R and Megan had a crush on a boy whose name started with–you guessed it–the letter A. We gave them code names: Respect, Ready, and Awesome. Thus, out of the clever collaboration of three eight year old’s, Double R.A. emerged (keep in mind, we were eight).

We bonded over our love of Little House on the Prairie, American Girl Dolls, and dance. We had numerous sleep overs and birthday parties together. We shared secrets and many, many laughs. The childhood memories I have with Megan will last a lifetime.

When she switched schools in sixth grade, we still managed to keep in touch; since we were in dance together, we saw each other every week during dance class. We still had birthday parties together and hung out outside of dance on occasion.

Seeing each other got harder and harder in high school as we became more involved in our own things. When I quit dance in eleventh grade, we went from seeing each other at least once a week–something we had been doing since we were in first grade, at least during the school year–to seeing each other only a couple times a year.

Despite how difficult it was to get together, we still tried.

College came; now, it’s almost over. And yet, we still manage to see each other once or twice a year to catch up. When meet up, we quickly fall back into a pattern. We pick up where we left off.

Today was no different. On this damp and rainy Christmas Eve, we met up for brunch and ended up spending two hours chatting and catching up. The last year has been rather busy for the both of us, so the last time we saw each other was in August of 2013. Yet, our meetings were just like always; we fell right back into our usual pattern of conversation like it was just yesterday that we parted rather than last year.

It’s a good thing too, since Megan will be heading off to Ireland to student teach in a few days and who knows where I’ll be after graduation in May (hopefully D.C., but that’s certainly not set in stone).

I have no idea when I’ll see Megan again; knowing how busy we are, it might be a year or two. Regardless, we always make a point to find time to catch up.

So, yes, friendship is a funny thing. We think of our friends as the people we have by our sides at all times; those people that catch us when we fall and cheer us on when we succeed. Those friends are, undoubtedly, extremely important. However, I think there’s something to be said for a friendship that has lasted multiple years despite time a part and different paths taken. Megan and I aren’t always by each others’ sides because that’s just not how our time together has played out. However, the fact that we make a point to meet up with each other, only if it is once a year, really says something. Meeting up with old friends takes time; it takes dedication.

We are not close as we used to be. We no longer share secrets. We don’t go to each other when we’re feeling down. That’s okay though;we’ve been able to maintain a relationship despite time and distance, and that’s an accomplishment in its own right.

It just goes to show that not all friendships are created equally; I mean, we pretty much had the best childhood together and that’s something we’ll never be able to replace. That we still make time to see each other, even during our busy lives, is certainly worth something.

That being said, we still have yet to go out for drinks together. 😉

PicMonkey Collage
Left to right: Megan and I at my 9th birthday party, 2002; the last time we saw each other in August, 2013; today at brunch, Christmas Eve, 2014

What friendships are you thankful for this holiday season? Is there an old friend out there that you’d like to rekindle a relationship with?

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4 Replies to “Finding Meaning in Old Friendships”

  1. We have experienced friendship in our life, and I learn a lot of from it.
    One of the precious lessons is that
    the more we closed, the fewer we need.
    It is the intimacy that is unexplainable by any words.
    Let the silence communicate in friendship instead of word.

    Great thought. Please keep posting. : )
    Jade the Mystic

    Like

  2. My best friend Guillermo is in town for the holidays, and even though I haven’t seen him in a while, it is like he never left. We fall right back into our familiar ways of communicating, bantering and laughing at jokes that only we find funny. He is amazing. Always thankful for him. xx

    Like

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