And if anyone is considering that for next year, I really would advise against it. This was chosen for me against my will. Early last Tuesday morning, I once again said goodbye to Kelsey, my best friend, who cruelly chose to run off to Chicago for college.
I’m a little bitter about it.
But after almost three years of this, we’ve pretty much surrendered to the routine. We see each other at Fall Break, Winter Break, Spring Break, and Easter.
As we embraced at the door last week, it struck us that it was Mardi Gras, and the next time we’d see each other would be Easter Sunday. “Leah!” Kelsey exclaimed, “I’m giving you up for Lent!!” We both laughed, but I think it was a truer statement than either of us realized at first. We spent the wee hours of Fat Tuesday really indulging in our friendship in preparation for the 40-day desert we saw before us.
I wish Kelsey and I got to see each other more often. I might even be content with simply talking more often. We’re just both incredibly busy and we literally have to make plans days in advance just to catch one another for a 20-minute phone call. But this whole situation really made me appreciate the sturdy constitution of an old friendship.
I guess I’m on a posts-about-friendship kick now that I’m out of my posts-about-rain rut. And I don’t even feel like this post is any kind of revelation about friendships or anything. Today is just one of those days when I’m struck by the unfailing goodness of real friendship.
Good, old friendships are really sturdy. Think about all the stuff they withstand. All the storms they weather. When Kelsey and I were teenagers and we had youth group activities four nights a week, we saw each other almost every day. And miraculously, we never got sick of each other. Wait…Kelsey, did you get sick of me? If she did, she sure didn’t act like it. We saw each other all the time back then. And at church camp during the Summer, we’d literally spend weeks together. And now we see each other three or four times during a 9-month school year. How does a friendship withstand that?
Somehow, it does.
Kelsey just told me that she’s graduating from college a semester early. Hooray!! That means only one more semester in Chicago!! No such luck. My heart fell as in the next breath, she told me that she’s planning on getting a job up there as soon as she graduates. But I’m so stinkin’ happy for her. It leaves very little room for selfish disappointment in my spirit.
And besides, I still hold this stubborn and childish hope that someday Kelsey and I are going to live together. She’s probably the only other human I’ve ever met who has the same beliefs about community that I do. We’ve talked for years about buying a piece of land and a house one of these days and growing a garden and adopting kids and a bunch of jazz like that. Or about getting a place in a big city like Chicago and living incredibly hospitable lives, friends and family under one roof (garden roof, yes please?). Okay, so the exact plan is still a little vague, but we just want to be roommates! With boyfriends and careers and responsibilities, who knows how realistic this dream really is? I have a guess. Not very. But like I said, this is a stubborn and childish hope, so far be it from anyone to try to wrestle it away from me or yank my head out of the clouds.
Really, all I’m asking is to one day see my best friend on a regular basis again. But in the meantime, I know that she isn’t going anywhere. Even if she stays in Chicago or goes back to Singapore or packs up and heads to Portland. She’ll still be here. You know? Because friendship is tough stuff.