Favorite Shirt, Favorite Friend

I’m sitting here at my computer, slightly exhausted after a day of running errands in the city, and driving back to camp… all on very little sleep. It was my own fault.

But very worth it.

I spent yesterday evening hanging out with friends that I hadn’t seen in about 12 years. And then I got to Ben’s parents’ house super late, and stayed up talking to my mom-in-law way into the night.

So I’m tired, but feeling very socially satisfied.

And now I’m thinking lots about “the good old days”, and about friendships, and what makes them fade away, even when you don’t want them to.

Those girls that I saw last night were my friends and dorm-mates for all three of my college years, and they were my world. They were wonderful, and they’re still wonderful, and last night I kept asking myself what happened during those 12 years to make me miss out on so much of their lives.

But it was in college that I learned during a class on relationships that it is not really possible for someone to have close, healthy relationships with more than 30 people at a time, and that includes family.

I had a batch of friends in high school, another batch in college, added some more while I lived in Winnipeg, and then had a whole new batch in Niverville. And then we moved out here and started all over again. If I kept every single friend that I had made since high school, I would either be totally overwhelmed, or else I would have a life full of people that I didn’t know very well, because I couldn’t keep up with everybody.

It made me think of my closet.

I do not own every article of clothing that I’ve worn since high school. My closet would be bursting at the seams, and I wouldn’t be able to find anything in it. An annual purge of the closet is a wonderful thing.

But last night, we’d see pictures of our clothes from 12 years ago, and say things like, “That was my favorite shirt! I totally remember wearing that!”

Last night was a night for thinking, “You were one of my favorite friends! I totally remember the way we talked and laughed and cried and learned how to live life together!”

And for a moment, I wanted it to stay the same. For a moment, it was like really, really wishing I’d never gotten rid of that favorite shirt.

Because it wasn’t an intentional decision. Those friendships just kind of drifted. I really thought they’d last forever.

And I guess in some ways they will, because I know that seeing those girls will always bring smiles and laughter and memories. But life goes on.

So what do you do with those favorite shirts and favorite friends, who fit more perfectly than anything else back then?

I guess you laugh over the memories, and get out the pictures, and linger over the evening as you relive what life used to be like, and then you let go of the guilt, and surrender those friends to go back to the full lives that they have now.

Sometimes, we do  have the chance to rekindle old friendships, and that is an amazing gift that doesn’t come along all that often.

And I think you learn to hang on to the present moments a little better, and you learn how fast life goes by, so that you make the most of what you have right now.

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