I graduated college in the Fall of 1993, but I did not go through graduation ceremony till Spring of 1994. I literally moved home the day after taking finals - such a rush I was in to leave behind my college days, and especially my sorority days. I had been in college for 5 1/2 years and away at school for 3 1/2 of those years. Home was only about 45 minutes away, but it was a world away from the life I had been living for so many years.
As my father kept telling me I had to get a J.O.B (ya, he said it like that, over and over again) and pay off my student loan as soon as possible. Moving home and job hunting was my only option. Having left a large number of my very close friends to move home, I found myself lost and sad to not see my college friends on a daily basis. Hell, I lived in the sorority house with about 40 other women. I had spent most of the last 3 years with them every day. I was sad that some of the friendships just died and went away as soon as I drove away. It was like a really bad break up with out the constant dwelling of, "How he done me so wrong?" with my close girlfriends. I was perplexed and I.....oh, I don't know may have (may still) obsessed over it.....a tad.
Friends For A Time & A Reason
Lucky for me I tended to solve all my problems back then with self help articles in Women's Magazines, like Cosmopolitan. I could always take the Is He The One Test (he so was not), or Do Guys Like Short Hair or Long Hair Better? (I was sad to learn long hair....and started growing mine out immediatley) quiz. One weekned, while sunbathing (yes, I used to do that way back in the day....don't judge!) in my backyard I read an article that actually resonated with me. One that helped me with my obsession about my sudden loss or dis-interest of friends.
The article talked about how you would meet friends at all different times of your life, and how they could affect you in all different ways. Some friends would come back in and out of your life at monumental times, and they would always be your friends. It would be as if they never left your side. Never would you have to reaquaint yourselves, you would just slide right back into that comfortable place, like an old pair of slippers or jeans that you forgot you had. It would be as if only days , not decades had put themselves between you and your friend.
Some friends would be with you through your entire lifetime, never leaving your side. Whether
you met them in grammar school, high school or college - these girls were there for the long haul. No matter the miles, the lifestyle changes or the many obstacles thrown in your way - these girls were going to be with you forever. Through every milestone, every heartbreak, every death and every life lesson, they had your back. If I were still a girl scout I would call these my Gold Friends (and if you were not a girl scout, the song goes like this:
Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold
Yet others, would only be friends for a specific time in your life. They were there for one event, maybe one year, possibly just one month. They would come in and out of your life like a storm or a cool summer breeze. Most likely they would never return. They were there for a reason, and then they left. The article went on to explain that this was just a mild blip in our lives and to accept these friends for who they were and what they meant to us. We....okay me, or I was forced to realize and accept some friends were not forever, they were there for a specific reason or just a season in my life.
Being a person that craves, dare I say demands (ask a few ex-boyfriends) closure at the end of a relationship, this was a tad hard to swallow. But, swallow I did and I learned to accept it. Since reading that article, I have probably read hundreds if not thousands of articles about romance, friends, parenting and the ever popular - aging. Most don't stay in my brain long enough for me to digest what it was about. But that article , seventeen years ago (see I can do math) really stuck with me. I was forced to acknowledge that pretty recently.
Old Friends Have Great Memories
This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend an entire weekend with a large handful (if I had eight fingers) with some of those friends I so missed after leaving college. These are friends that I have had for twenty of so years. We get together, sometimes a few times a year, other times we don't speak for years. This year, we crammed in about much fun as possible in the two days we spent together.
I feel it is important to stay friends with some people that knew me way back when, friends that
knew me before I was an adult, a parent, responsible (okay maybe not that one)....middle aged. I feel it relative to keep them around me, and I adore them. Sometimes I do not want to be reminded of who I was or who I have become - but they insist on reminding me. Old friends call me out, they roll their eyes and point out what I won't. At the end of the day (or a long weekend) I sort of love that.
So, I get it ladies - I promise to Let it Go, even without the closure I so crave. Which makes me think I would like to end with the best quote EVER. In the in the 9th episode of Big Love, Alby said something profound to his sister Nikki (after he decided to NOT kill her of course). Alby touched Nicki's collar and said, "This is who we are, this is who we will always be".