Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Former Friends

If you’ve read this blog for a great length of time, you know that over a year ago my life long best friend and I went our separate ways for reasons that I still don’t know, reasons that I probably never will know. I struggled for a long time after that, I needed several months to get to a place where I was just starting to accept that she wasn’t the first person I called when I had great news I needed to share or when I needed someone to help me up when I tripped over something in life. There aren’t many people in my life that I put my full trust in, that I confide my deepest secrets too, but she was one of them. The two of us have literally known each other our entire lives, friends before we even knew what friends were. Aside from a few brief, sporadic exchanges the two of us haven’t talked at great lengths in a very long time. I’ve desperately missed her, but my pride and stubbornness have gotten in the way of me telling her on numerous occasions. For some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to say those words to her. What if she didn’t miss me? What if she didn’t care? What if? What if? What if?

A little over a week ago I received a facebook message from her. I was shocked, because even though we had both attended a family party where we had seen each other, things were still a bit frosty between the two of us. We shared a few memories, but the words to actually engage with each other just weren’t there. Her note was short, a piece of jewelry had triggered a memory of how much fun we used to have and she felt compelled to tell me. In her note she also said those words that I couldn’t bring myself to say, that she missed me.

I immediately wrote her back, starting off a flurry of messages filling the other on everything that was happening in our lives, up coming plans and before I knew it we had a concrete place and time to meet for dinner. Just the two of us, away from the family and other friends that for the past several month we’ve been hiding behind.

On Monday night, I found myself sitting across a table from her, a nervous knot in my stomach wondering how we would ever fill the uncomfortable silence that has separated us for so long. While I had visions of the two of us hugging and talking as if nothing had ever happened, realistically I knew that was very unlikely. We met each other with a hug and settled in. The conversation was horribly awkward, mainly revolving around the menu and the weather as if we were strangers meeting for the first time, neither of us really knowing where to take the conversation.

Eventually the conversation became a little easier and we opened up more telling the other in more detail what we’ve been doing, future plans, and even reminisced some. The nervous knot in my stomach disappeared and I relaxed. At times the conversation flowed freely but other times there was an uncomfortable silence. There were things I wanted to tell her but didn’t, I know she felt the same way. We didn’t talk about why we stopped talked or place blame on the other for our separation because really, none of that matters. After a few hours, we ran out of things to say and with little fanfare went our separate ways again.

Seeing her was really good, hearing about the life she’s carving out for herself, how she’s finding her happiness, and enjoying what she’s doing brought me a sense of peace. I’m happy for her. I hope she feels the same. Our meeting also made it clear that while we used to be the first person the other would call in times of happiness or distress, we weren’t that person for each other any more and that’s ok. It feels right, in this moment in time.

I thought facing that realization would make me sad, but its quite the opposite. We’ve both moved on and we’re both doing really well. We both miss the other, cherishing and honoring those memories we have but acknowledging that our futures are headed in different directions. Even though that closeness is gone and there is still some unknown separating us, I do think that the two of us can find a way to be a small part of the other’s life again, even if its just in random, slightly awkward dinners and facebook messages.