Thursday, July 7, 2011

on growing up

In middle school I had 0 friends.

Okay, that's being a bit dramatic. Between 6th and most of 8th grade, I had 2 friends: my sixth grade science teacher and Sally (who happened to live in Virginia).

I met Sally at Ligonier the summer between 5th and 6th grade--we were tribemates in good ole cabin 2. We instantly clicked. I was probably borderline oppressive in wanting to be her friend. She was a grade ahead of me and she was plum cool. After the 2 weeks of camp had passed, we kept in touch via AOL instant messenger. It wasn't long before we made plans for her to fly out for a visit in Ohio.
Camp: the later years. From left, me, Sally, Jen, Emma, and Emily
I think she cried the whole weekend due to homesickness.

After that visit, we would alternate. One of us would go for a visit in the spring, we'd see each other at camp during the summer, then the other would fly for a visit in the fall.

Truthfully, looking forward to our visits (and camp in general) were the only things that gave me joy during those tumultuous years. Lonely isn't a strong enough adjective for what I felt during that time. If it hadn't been for her friendship I'm not sure I would have made it this far.

And just over a year ago, a friendship spanning a decade was reunited for one of the most important dates in my life so far:
June 5, 2010: the day I became a Mrs.
Our friendship has definitely changed since I was ten. We talk far too little. But when we do talk, it's like no time has passed. I view her family as my family. There are definitely days I wish we could go back to camp and pretend like we're thirteen again. We were (one of us still is?) oddballs. I think we went and saw Napoleon Dynamite in theaters three times during the week I visited her. We cracked up just as much the last as the first viewing, if not more. And while there are approximately 7 hours/475 miles between us, I'm just grateful for her friendship to a lonely and confused kid from summer camp. That doesn't mean I don't miss her though.

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