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I have something rare in my life. I don’t claim to have an exciting life. I’m a chemistry major who lives in a small college town nine months out of the year and a dull suburb the other three. I don’t travel the world or go to concerts or party. I’ve worn my hair the same way since I was fourteen and the most exhilarating part of my week is when we decide to go to Applebee’s instead of Chili’s. But there is something special that makes my life exciting:

I have sitcom level friendship with five amazing humans. All six of us met my freshman year of high school, and have been pretty inseparable since then. I can’t think of a single big event from high school that they weren’t some way involved in (from homecoming to prom to band concerts to rolling around in the mud together because it was raining for the first time in nearly a year and it was like the thrilling conclusion to an apocalyptic novel).

Think of the TV show Friends. Now imagine those six very distinct, unique personalities. Each of us fit one of those personalities pretty darn well (me, personally? I’m Rachel). There are three girls, three guys, and plenty of drama, bickering, and unconditional love to go around.

Tenth Grade (top) vs. Sophomore Year of College (bottom)

Tenth Grade (top) vs. Sophomore Year of College (bottom)

But here’s the part that’s different from Friends: we live very far apart from each other now. We’re spread out from Texas to Kansas to Georgia (and have had guest appearances in California and Italy and Wales). I see my friends once, maybe twice a year. I don’t hear their voices very often and sometimes I go months without talking to them.

But nothing has changed. Even though we’ve been in college for three years now, with the first batch of us graduating in December, we’re still just as close as we were when we went to our first homecoming together, or when we snuck into our first (really terrible) rated R movie together, or frequented iHop at two in the morning every Saturday for pretty much our entire senior high school career. I have lived with these people, cried with them, made promises that ranged from cute to life changing with them.

Even though I don’t see them often, nothing has changed. When I see them, there is no awkwardness, just hugs that last a lot longer than normal. Nothing is considered too personal to talk about. True best friendship is when you don’t see each other often, but when you do, you feel complete for the first time in a year.

I love these people. I always will. They will be the first people I call when tragedy strikes, the people standing by my side at my wedding, the godparents to my children, the unmoving boulders in the tempest of my life. I am so thankful that I was blessed with my amazing friends.

Thank you for always making me feel loved, safe, and cared for. No matter where I am, as long as I’m with you, I’m home.

Love,

Your Rachel.

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