Friday, August 14, 2009

The Original BFF, Part 2

There was a falling out, and this was a big one. It was over men, of course. She suddenly didn't like the choices I was making, and I was so wrapped up in my choices that I no longer had time for her. I'd like to say that I was torn up about it, inconsolable even, but that would be a lie. I was so wrapped up in the warm fuzzies of new love that I hardly noticed the loss of my best friend.

Years went by without any contact at all. I thought of her occasionally. Hoped she and her (my?) family were well. Got over the hurt and anger of the fight, a fight which ended a multi-year friendship, and of which I can no longer remember the details.

And then, late last year, the inevitable happened. After over 10 years of no contact at all, I ran into her (my?) parents one Sunday morning at breakfast. They recognized me, and called to me before I had noticed them. I immediately ran over to them, big hugs for both, and sat down at their table. We caught up on all the major things in life (marriages, deaths, births (or lack thereof), etc). I didn't have any paper with me, so I found a business card in my wallet, added my personal email, and told them that if H was interested, I'd love to hear from her.

A month or 2 went by without anything. I had almost forgotten the encounter, when a friend request popped up on facebook. It was H. We chatted a few times through FB and email, and quickly made plans to meet for breakfast.

To say I was nervous for that breakfast would be an understatement. I couldn't decide what to wear, and settled on going the "comfort" route, over the "style" route. I woke up 3 hours early. I drank a pot of coffee and smoked a half pack of cigarettes before leaving the house. I drove the mile to the restaurant with my hands shaking and my stomach doing somersaults. I arrived 30 minutes early, got a table, drank another 2 cups of coffee and smoked 3 more cigarettes before she arrived.

She walked over to the table, and I immediately jumped up to hug her. Conversation was slow and awkward to start, but soon fell into our old familiar rhythm. We updated each other on surface things (education, marriage, travel, boyfriends, blah blah blah), and grazed a little more into the meat of some more intense issues (infertility, relationship issues, etc). It felt natural and comfortable, and truly as if we had just picked up where we left off 10 years ago.

When we finally pried ourselves away from the table (almost 3 hours later!) and got into our cars, I headed home with a light heart, and a giant grin on my face. I had found my friend once again. A friend that I realized I had missed terribly over the last 10 years. My long lost sister was back in my life, and I was going to soak up every moment of it.

A few weeks later, the high wore off.

We hadn't gotten together again, as her new semester of school had started, and Grumpy's mom had gotten very very ill. But we chatted regularly via email, and I believe there were even some phone calls in the mix. But something felt, off. Forced, almost.

And than it hit me.

Our friendship hadn't changed, but I had.

I was no longer the giggly school girl wrapped up in boys and reading between the lines of every conversation I ever had. I was no longer interested in impressing people, or "keeping up with the Joneses". I wasn't into the bar scene, or driving downtown to check out the new restaurant, or spending a night in Royal Oak having cocktails and people watching. I wasn't interested in attending internationally themed dinner parties and discussing politics.

Sure, I could do those things on occasion, but they weren't my life. They weren't comfortable for me. That's not who I am. And honestly, that's not who I want to be. I've worked hard to build the life I have, a life centered with my marriage and my home, surrounded with friends and family that I trust and care for deeply, and free from outside drama and unnecessary conflicts.
I like the life I have today, and I'm not willing to alter it to fit a friendship that felt natural, but in reality, I've long outgrown. It feels strange to realize that I've outgrown my Original BFF.

And to be fair, I'm certain that H has outgrown it as well. This is not meant to attack her AT ALL. Simply to illustrate how 2 like-minded little girls can grow up to discover they've become women who not only aren't on the same page about life, but are quite literally in different books.


Lavender Luz said...

I think it's normal and natural and OK to outgrow friends. Good for you for realizing it without blame.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

As much as I hate to hear about the falling out, I love where you are by the end of the post. Where you are emotionally with it.

Emily (Apron Strings) said...

I completely understand your last two posts. I've outgrown a friendship similar to such. It sucks. And yet, it's also liberating. A reminder of how much we've grown up.

Beautiful Mess said...

I think I'm on the verge of this happening to me and my BFF. We didn't spend our childhoods together but I know I've out grown some of the things she hasn't. Only time will tell, I guess.

I'm sorry you lost your childhood BFF, but am so glad you found YOU. That's very important.