Saturday, June 6, 2009


I saw three of my best friends tonight. We all lived together in college, although never all four of us at once. Even after college when one went on a mission, another moved to New York, and the last two of us moved into a house with another roommate, we were still four. They were the kind of friends that you keep your whole life. They were the kind of friends that even when you don't see them for a year, you can get together and it's like you've never been apart. But I lost them. The semester I started graduate school, I also got engaged. I didn't have time for the girls anymore, and I foolishly assumed I could make up for it later. But when later came, I felt the damage was too great. I didn't know how to fix it. I knew I had made the choice to leave them behind, and I convinced myself that if they didn't care, then it didn't matter.

When I saw them tonight, we talked again like we used to. We laughed, we commiserated, we shared. I realized again how deeply I've missed them. And how deeply I regret not having been a part of their lives for the last 5 years. The three of them have managed to stay in each other's lives, despite living in three different states--one is in law school, another just finished her MBA, the third is heading into her 10th year of teaching junior high English. It's obvious they harbor no resentment toward me, but also obvious that I am no longer part of that circle. They are three now, without me.

Do I wish I hadn't gone to grad school? When I was in the middle of it, I wished I had never had the idea, but finishing grad school was absolutely one of the top 3 self-defining achievements in my life. Do I wish I hadn't gotten married? Of course not. Marriage is great. I adore my husband, and still wonder how I ended up with someone so darn cute. What I do wish is that I could have had the perspective that I have now; that I could have seen a way to go to grad school, get a husband, AND keep those girls in my life. It wouldn't have been that hard. A couple of nights a month would have been enough to let them know that I cared.

When my daughters get engaged, I hope I will be able to help them see the value in setting aside some time to hang out with the girls. It's so hard to see it when all you want to do is be with that wonderful guy that you're so in love with. And he is wonderful. But I miss those girls. A lot more than I have been letting myself realize. And I'm afraid it's really too late now to make up for lost time.


Kelley said...

Is it ever really, really too late? You may have lost part of the past, but you still have the present and the future to look forward to. Perhaps this is just what you needed to make them a part of your life again.

And talking about the past, I miss you. I really am coming to Utah this summer (after some hiccups in the plans), and I'd really, REALLY like to see you again.


Marie said...

People walk in and out of our lives so often. Some stick for a lot longer than others, but sometimes we have to let go and move on because we're moving in such different directions.

You'll always make friends some point along the way and the ones that stick by you for good? Well my dear, those are the ones to stick with as well. No matter how far away they are distance wise and no matter how many times you see them during the year. :)

Liz said...

I can relate to this. I also let marriage fill my social needs for a long time and didn't really work at making or keeping female friends. It wasn't till after Will was born and I stayed home that I realized how much I needed that. Now that you know how important it is though, you can make friendships a priority, right? I'm so much happier and more fulfilled now with close girl friends. Maybe you wont get those same friendships back, but you can make other close friendships that can be just as fulfilling. And you'll appreciate it more now, right?