I recently had the good fortune to get back in touch with one of my closest friends from high school. He and I were only in school together for one year before he graduated, but we kept in touch after that, especially since we both went to the same university. He moved away while I was still in Baton Rouge, and I always wondered what had happened to him. None of the other people who I still kept in touch with knew how to find him, either.
Last week, I happened to find him on Facebook, and after e-mailing a few times, we talked on the phone late into the night. It was like we never lost touch, and it turns out that he is going back to school for nursing, as well. I hope that we stay in touch again, even though he's bad at e-mailing, and I'm not big on talking on the phone.
I realized that he and I have been friends for 19 years. I can't say that I have too many friends who I have known for that long, especially since I moved around a lot during college, and moved to a different state eight years ago. It's hard to make friends once you are out of college; it seems like neighbors and co-workers are the only people I am friends with now, and I wonder how many of them I will stay in touch with now that I am not working with them on a daily basis.
I am someone who needs a lot of friends, especially since we don't have much family here. I am an extremely loyal friend, and cannot stand having anyone mad at me. I've tried really hard to maintain all of my old friendships over the years, but it's gotten more and more difficult. With a lot of my friends, it always seemed like I was the one making the effort to stay in touch, whether it was through Christmas cards, phone calls, e-mails, or visits when we went back to Louisiana. Even though it hurts, I have finally come to the realization that I can't be the one making all of the effort anymore. It got tiresome to try to make plans with friends during the limited time we have when we are in Louisiana; we drive four hours to my parents' house, and friends who are an hour or two beyond that never seemed to want to come and see us. If we were in the same city, sure, maybe they'd have time for us to stop by.
Since we moved to Texas, friends here have come and gone from our lives. It's happened for many reasons: switching jobs, moving, or our children not having a class or activity together anymore. I have developed a few close friendships that I know I will keep, but have also lost many. Darren and I used to socialize a lot more than we do now; we'd rotate having dinner or going someplace fun with our friends. For the past couple of years, it seems like with a large majority of our friends, if we didn't invite them over, we weren't going to see them. Since having a baby in September, we haven't had anyone over besides New Year's Eve, and haven't been invited to do many things with anyone besides one or two of our closest friends. I am okay with it, because it is a lot of effort to get two kids out of the house, and most of the time, I'd rather just hang out here as a family. We play Wii, watch TV, go for a bike ride, or just hang out together.
What hurts the most is losing a friend who I used to be really close with, and we had so much in common that I thought we'd be friends forever. We went through job changes and having babies, but we always seemed to have time for each other. In the past couple of years, I realized that we are not as close as I thought we were, and maybe it's my fault that we are no longer friends. Who knows, maybe she still considers me a friend, and has no idea that I am hurt by her actions. My last few phone calls and e-mails have gone unanswered; maybe she doesn't realize that she blew me off. I really want to give her the benefit of the doubt and think that there is nothing wrong, but it's hard to do that.
I am already starting to make new friends in my class that I am taking, and most of them will be applying for nursing school with me in the spring. If we get in, we'll be together for three years. It's nice to have such a small class, and get to know my classmates and professor. I never had that in college. During teacher certification training, there was a core group who was really close, but we were all together for less than a year, and no one lived near each other. I would love to know how many of them are still teaching!
Time to go and get Zach from science camp...