Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Common Life Stages

Once upon a time I was upset when one of my besties was, well, not being much of a bestie at all.  We had somehow drifted from doing everything together to not doing much of anything at all. We worked together, schooled together, dreamed together, cried together, laughed together and shared all of our most embarrassing moments together... and then... it slowly went away. She went away.

Of course physically she was still in the same office and sat next to me at school but it was as if our friendship had hopped a plane with a one way ticket to Timbuktu and I was left behind in the airport, alone, crying. I missed her.  Even as we got coffee together every morning, I missed her. I missed us.

I had talked to my husband about what I was feeling and that helped, but it wasn't until I talked to another of  my wise best besties that I finally really understood what had happened.

On a day I was feeling most upset about my lost friendship I headed to another wise best besties house for some girl talk and coffee sipping. She let me ramble on and share how I was feeling. Tears and all.

After drinking a pot of coffee and talking non-stop, I finally took a breath.  That gave her the opportunity to respond to everything she had been listening to. And what she said changed everything for me.

She smiled while I cried and said, "Heather, it's normal and it's called 'common life stages'."

Whatever.  What the hell does that mean?

The conversation that followed not only made me feel better in that moment, but has also helped me through a dozen other moments over the last ten years.

Common Life Stages.

Basically, what the lesson amounted to was that in the ebb and flow of friendship, sometimes we are in sync with our friends and sometimes we aren't.  Sometimes we are working through life together and sometimes we need to 'break up' and handle our lives with some space around us.  And you know what, that's ok.

This friend of mine was handling her life.  She was newly pregnant, planning a wedding, learning a new way of living -- and it took all her focus to do that.  She needed to be doing JUST THAT.  She was entering a new life stage that was far different than mine. It wasn't that she didn't want to share with me, she was just buried in the work. 

So, with this new wisdom I had gained, I gave her space.  I quit being an ass, I quit being mad, and mostly I quit being hurt -- and I gave her space.  I would be there for her when she needed me and I never left her, I just gave her space.

The space took up a lot of time... months went by and I missed her.

My husband reminded me that just as I hadn't left her, she hadn't gone anywhere either.  She was still there.  She was still my friend, she was still my bestie... she was just hunkered down and focusing on her new spot in life.

We still worked together, went to school together, graduated together, and talked with each other... and she had a baby and a marriage.  We kept up with each other until we just seemed to recapture the core of what we use to be.  We synced back up.  Our life ebbed and flowed and we found ourselves in the same tide pattern. We were never apart, but we were together again in the way we use to be and it was good.  It was great.  It was perfect.

That was 9 years ago.  And you know what, she and I have had several more times that our life ebbed and flowed and our life stages were common and uncommon. Each time I held my breath a little while we worked on what we needed to do.  And each time I sighed and smiled when we would reconnect and sync up.  She's my bestie.  For the long haul.  I don't worry so much anymore when we drift apart because I know that we will always be together.  She's my sister from another mother.  She's my pea and I am her carrot.

This has been true with other friends in my life. Including the wise best bestie that taught me the valuable wisdom of "Common Life Stages."  She is ALWAYS there for me. Whether we are down the street from one another or over a mountain range and hundreds of miles apart, she's there for me and I am there for her.  Sometimes more so... due to the ebb and flow of life.

If I could pretend to be as wise as she, I would say to all... remember, friendship isn't all or nothing.  It's everything.  It's taking the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the common and the uncommon and loving each other because of, despite of, and through it all. 

It isn't very often that we find people that turn into forever friends.  Mostly we just poke each other on Facebook and send chain letters, but if you are lucky to have a friendship really grow, take hold, and blossom then enjoy the times you are in sync and make time to laugh, play, share, and love often. And when you aren't in sync... love anyway.  In this sea of life you will eventually be synced up again and riding the same wave! And when you do, ride it with passion. And when you aren't let kindness and faith nestle in and make no room for hurt.  Common Life Stages. 

1 comment:

Dear Gina said...

And a common prayer whispered while reading. Bless the besties before me, and the love between us. Truly, madly, deeply, do love you!