I was always the type of girl that though of myself as independent. I never "needed" friends to validate my own life. I tried to go with the flow. Yes I got my feelings hurt by girls when I was young. But I was always a pretty strong person, who went about life with a feeling of independence and getting what I wanted.
I would get something in my sights and make a decision that I was going to do it, and there it was. I decided that I was going to be an exchange student on a whim. I filled out the application with thoughts of where I would go in the world for my Junior year of high school. An impending dread of being away from family and friends really never crossed my mind. I was going to do it. I would live with a new family for a year and experience things that I never even thought possible. I was accepted into the program and started planning my journey. I got to pick where I was to go, and since anywhere the middle east was out due to the war in Iraq that had just started. I decided on Sweden. Where there were pretty blondes and snow.
I had just started dating the man that I now call my husband. We were in the new phase of our relationship at the time that I was accepted into the program. I learned that I had to go on a ski trip during the winter dance at our school. The dance that we were going to go to together. This was heartbreaking to me. I wanted to go to this dance. I didn't want to go ski with people I didn't even know. And I don't even like snow (ironic since I was going to Sweden for a year don't you think)? But I broke the news to him. I remember we were sitting in the back room at my house, I think that it was my moms sewing room at this time. We were sitting on the couch, and he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was elated. I was sad that I could not go to the dance, but happy to know that I was his girlfriend.
So to make a really long story shorter. We are now married. I still look back on the decision to go on my ski trip, and exchange program a great decision. Something that I will never regret. Something that even now makes my independence stronger. I was a strong woman, I was going to live halfway across the world from friends, family and now a boyfriend. And it was awesome. Something I don't regret one bit. When I was gone I talked to Dru on the phone a lot. He has the phone cards still to prove it. I talked to my family a lot too, but friends not to much. Facebook was not invented when I was gone. It was harder to keep in touch then. But I returned and still remained friends with the people I had left. It was as if nothing had changed.
Yes I was a changed person, yet friendships were still there. After being gone for 10 months, I was able to step back into my old life and remain friends with many wonderful great women. A few of which were part of our wedding last year.
And this is what hit me today. Great friendships can stand the test of time. I have had the chance to get to speak to a few great girlfriends this past week, that I haven't been able to connect with for almost a month. I live across the country. I have not seen many people since the wedding last year. Yet we still talk on the phone. Not as often as I would hope. Yet things are still the same. Stories are shared, sometimes tears are shed, but we are still friends no matter what. I relish in the time that we get to chat, the stories that we tell. I love seeing facebook pictures of them and the most recent happenings in their lives. But nothing is the same as a phone call, reconnecting.
I am so grateful for the great friends that I have. The different lives that we all lead, yet we will always be friends.
Kristen I know that you don't read this as often as you did when you sat at a desk and had time for the internet, and Reem I know that you are on an adventure this weekend (which always seems to be the case :) But girls I love you. I love that you fit into my life so perfectly even when way too much time has passed without a phone call. And WAY to much time has passed since a face to face visit. But I love you, and thanks for being such great friends!