When you're in elementary school, you judge who your best friend is by who sits next to you on the bus and shares your snack pack. In middle school, it's who's mom's van you ride in to the dance. In high school, it's who you are in classes with, and who you party with on the weekends. In college, it's the friends you're lucky enough to have kept from high school, and the new friends you make through some serious life experiences with them, bonding over the great times you have at the frat parties and Saturday morning tailgates. And in the post-college years, your friendships are measured by who you'll choose for your bridal party.
Today is my best friend and college roommate Kristin's birthday. We live in different states now, but I'll never forget how we met going in blind as roommates in college, and the amazing friendship we developed. It made me think about the changing nature of friendships through your twenties.
Most girls that I know, whether in a relationship or not, have their bridal party stacked in the back of their minds. Through the years, girls move in and out of the circle, you lose touch and they move to the outer circles of friendship, or they surprise you and you become closer friends, moving back into the circle. It's not a race, or a competition. For me, it's simply tangible evidence of how your friendships change through the years.
I like to think that I've made peace with the path my friendships have taken. I've had some amazing friends who I am extremely close with, and am lucky enough to still remain close with. I've had some great friendships that, after college, jobs, moving, etc., we have lost touch a bit. But there is a mutual understanding there: we will always be in each other's hearts, even if we don't talk on a regular basis. This is exemplified by random, nostalgic facebook postings of "Hey, remember that time we stopped at that party on Beal Street at 3am, and you woke up sleeping in the lobby of our dorm?" There are friends I've made in my adult life, some of whom I have become closely bonded with--people who I tell everything to, share things that are going on in my life, and there are friends who have grown distant through time; we've fallen out of touch for one reason or another.
I've found that the friendships that I've been able to remain close with have been maintained with minimal effort. Those people have organically come into my life and stayed there, they've become my family. I can picture five, ten years down the road, all of us married with kids, taking vacations together, merging our families as we get older. These are the relationships I can't ever see myself letting go of. And sometimes there are the friendships that challenge us, maybe hurt us, and don't come as easily as others. You fall in and out of touch with these people, but your friendships with them teach you a lot about your character, integrity, and who you are as a person.
I feel incredibly lucky to have the people in my life that I do. All of you hold a special place in my heart, and always will. And I think no matter what happens in the coming years, each person is put into your life for a reason, whether that reason is immediately clear or not. And I feel honored to have had so many amazing people in mine.