I was always a little envious of people who were still friends with their childhood friends all through adulthood. After moving to California from Connecticut after I graduated college, I basically lost track of all of the girls I was friends with growing up. I stayed in touch with my college friends, but my elementary school friends completely left my radar.
I graduated from high school way back in 1983… long before there were cell phones and email, much less twitter and Facebook. Other than the telephone or writing a personal letter, there wasn’t anyway to stay in touch. So we didn’t.
I had lots of friends… women I met through my different jobs, but very few stayed in my life for more than a few years. There was nobody who “knew me when” and nobody who totally understood where I came from, what my life was like growing up, and how I used to be as a young girl. It was a little sad.
I’ve written before about how Facebook completely changed my social circle. I met an immeasurable amount of fantastic women, who I consider close friends. But still… there was something missing. I had no connection to my childhood. Until I found her…
I was one of those creepy stalkers who liked to track down old friends on the internet. I had some luck… but not much. Still, every few months I would try again. I would put in names, locations, anything I could remember about people and places. I found some friends who couldn’t have cared less that I got back in touch with them. I found some friends that thought it was fun to catch up, but I still had a hard time finding my real friends.
One day I sat down at my computer and put in her name again. I hadn’t had luck finding her, but for some reason THIS time her name came up on Facebook. OMG… really? I found her. The one person who I had known since I was in elementary school. The one person I was friends with through elementary, junior high and high school. The girl I went to concerts with and sports games and movies and parties. The one who sat behind me in History class, writing notes back and forth about boys we liked and what our plans were for the weekend, and was I coming over after school to watch Guiding Light. I found her.
And even better… we had the chance to see each other when I was in North Carolina this summer. She married, had two children, and moved from Connecticut to NC. I moved to California, married and had 3 children. I was nervous, she was nervous. Would we still like each other? Would it be weird after not seeing each other for almost 30 years?
Lots of tears.
It was no different. Not strange at all. Despite the years, I felt like nothing had changed. We’ve both changed, but we really hadn’t changed inside where it counts. She was still my best friend. This was the connection that I wanted. This was the connection I needed.
A few hours was not nearly enough time. I wanted her to meet my kids… I wanted to meet her kids. I wanted us to hang out and talk more. I wanted… I wanted… I wanted… I wanted us to not live clear across the country from each other! It’s not fair. It’s easier now with email and Facebook… but it’s not the same as calling up your old friend and getting together for lunch, or spending a holiday together.
But it is what it is. She’s not moving to CA and I’m not moving to NC. Sigh.
Pam… I love you. I miss you. I’m glad we have this second chance to be friends. I can now say that I’ve had a best friend since I was a little girl.
It feels good.
High School Graduation.
Don’t laugh… it was 1983.