Make new friends
but keep the old;
one is silver
and the other gold
Those of you who were Girl Scouts should recognize those lyrics. It’s one of the first songs you learn as a Daisy. Make new friends, but keep the old. It seems simple enough, but it rarely ever is. However, just because you lose touch with someone doesn’t mean that they are out of your life forever.
My visit back to South Carolina this week had two specific agenda items:
- Visit my family
- Visit my best friend
Everything else was just ancillary. I really only wanted to see the people that truly mattered to me, but an old friend I recently reconnected with mentioned that I should consider reaching out to someone who played a large role in my past, someone who knew and loved me through ALL the awkward, someone I hadn’t talked to in at least six years: my best friend from middle school, Laura. A new agenda item was added to my visit.
Looking back, Laura and I had a complicated friendship. We went to the same middle school but ended up at different high schools. We remained friends through the switching of schools, but our friendship didn’t even survive a year of college. That is when we drifted apart to the point where we lost communication.
Since I was home, I figured it was time to get in touch with her and at least attempt to close the six-year gap in our friendship. I didn’t have high expectations for our meeting; I certainly didn’t expect our friendship to pick up where it left off in the 11th grade, and to be honest I was just hoping she would return my phone call.
We had lunch today at noon.
Meeting again was pretty much what I expected it to be. It was both extremely awkward and extremely comfortable all at once. It was comfortable because Laura was My Person for so long; she was the one who knew me and and all my secrets during some of the most important years to have a best friend, and vice versa. It was awkward because it was painfully obvious that neither of us are still the same people we were all those years ago. It was still a good lunch. We caught up, talked about our current lives, touched briefly on the people we both knew, and reconnected.
Will Laura ever be one of my best friends again? No. Nor will I be hers. This doesn’t break my heart, this doesn’t make me sad, it doesn’t even make me nostalgic. Because that’s part of life – you grow up, you evolve, and you change, and sometimes your friends don’t change with you. I’m not sad that Laura isn’t part of my life, but I am grateful that she was willing to take the time today to briefly make me a part of hers.