good for the soul

So, in my last post, I mentioned that I was headed to Atlanta to spend some time with some friends from college and that it would be the first time all of us had been together in about a year. I know I said it would be a surprising day.....and it was. Surprisingly good. The 5 of us have been through a lot together. A whole lot. The good, the bad, and the ugly. But, despite everything that we've experienced together, done to each other, and done with each other (or maybe because of it), the friendships remain. Maybe stronger than they were to begin with.

I met 3 of these girls -- Becky, Steph, and Meghan -- freshman year through a mutual friend. They had all gone to high school together. I wasn't thinking that these girls would be such good friends when we met. We started hanging out together all the time. There were several times when we'd be in each other's dorms (along with a few other people) until real early in the morning. Many of my memories of freshman year of college can't be placed on a certain day because all the days flow together. We had our ups and downs. We did new things together. They taught me it was ok to relax a little and laughed that I was always doing homework when we hung out (I'm not sure how I had so much more work than everyone else...). We went on road trips (and "road trips"). Manny told us when to cross and drunk guys after football games told us where the parties were (along with giving us a few laughs). We let each other down and hurt each other's feelings. We picked each other up and encouraged each other. These girls became my support system, and a huge part of my life.
Sophomore year started beautifully. Everyone back together again. Becky and I were roomies off camous; Meg and Steph in a dorm. We were all on the leadership team at BSU -- Becky doing outreach, the rest of us working with freshmen. I'm not sure what I expected sophomore year to be like, but I was pretty sure it was going to be so much better than freshman year. And it was -- in some ways. During this year, we separated ways a little more. We were meeting new friends apart from each other and becoming involved in different things. Each of us was attacked, I guess you could say, by something different. Because it isn't really my place to say what the other girls were going through, I won't. But it isn't truly essential to this little story.
The summer separating sophomore and junior year was a defining point for all of us, I believe. We truly were headed in many different places -- I was going to Boston, Becky to Moldova, Meg to a camp for children with disabilities, and Steph to St. Simon's island. It was a wonderful thing to all be going off and experiencing something outside of our little worlds.
Junior year, we all lived together, next door and under some good friends of ours. It seemed like a perfect idea. Finally, we all get to be together. This is the year I met Sarah -- she already knew a lot of the people I knew, so it was only a matter of time. I think junior year stretched our relationships more than we thought it would. We fought our way through this year. Fought things coming against us -- together and apart. Fought each other. Fought to find how we would grow as friends and individuals. I remember a lot of crying this year among the good times. Sarah moved in with us while Meg did a study abroad in Mexico. Sarah is an amazing girl who stepped into an apartment that had a lot of issues (sorry, girls, but we did :)). I loved living with these girls most of the time, but it was definitely a challenge. I can't say that I wasn't ready for the end of the year to come. Our relationships had become really strained and we all put a lot of pressure on each other. Summer -- and senior year -- were around the corner.
Senior year was a great year. I won't tell you that we came back and all was well with the world. We faced a lot our senior year. Definitely didn't see each other as much as we branched out and became involved in our majors, new friends, and new things. We had grown a lot through college and we were going to continue to grow this year. Mostly separate from each other. But we still tried. A lot.

Since graduation, we've been in so many different places and experienced so much. We're still growing and learning. We're on our own, in a way because we're growing up. But they're still there. And they will be. No matter what.

From a movie:
Carmen: [voiceover] It would be easy to say that the pants changed everything that summer. But looking back now I feel like our lives changed because they had to, and that the real magic of the pants was in bearing witness to all of this and in somehow holding us together when it felt like nothing would ever be the same again. [pause]
Carmen: Some things never would be
Lena: But we know now that no matter how far we traveled on our own separate paths... Bridget: Somehow we would always find out way back to each other.
Tibby: And with that, we could get through anything.
Bridget: To us. Who we were, and who we are. And who we'll be.
Tibby: To the pants.
Lena: And the sisterhood.
Carmen: And this moment, and the rest of our lives.
Carmen, Lena, Bridget, Tibby: Together and apart.

Silly movie -- but one that Becky and I share a love for :) And, while we don't have a pair of pants that magically fits us all that we can share, Becky, Meghan, Sarah and Steph are my sisters. My friends. Part of me.
Lots of love, girls...


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