Mar 29, 2015


Okay I am going to tell you about the coolest thing in the world....visiting with old friends :) I am not sure when I discovered this joy but I know without a doubt that I could not ever live my life without it.

I lived in Lawrence, Kansas for nine years. The longest I have lived anywhere in my life. I made some very dear friends during those nine years. In the years since then whenever any of us from Kansas reconnect we remember those nine years as the best ones we have all experienced thus far. It was a weird utopia moment in time for all of us. We all had young kids. We took them everywhere together. We gathered as adults and played games together. We all went out to eat together. We exercised together. We talked about life together. We watched Survivor together. We did book club together. I guess you get the idea....all of us and together :)

Obviously, life has moved on. Most of us have moved away from Kansas. Some of us are divorced. Some of us are grandparents. Some of us have had breast cancer. Some of us have had wayward children. Some have money struggles. Yep, none of us have escaped life and its ups and downs. None of us imagined ourselves where we are now.

Every single time I meet up with old friends I love how we just pick up where we left off. I love the comfort I feel in knowing I can be myself without worrying about being judged. Unconditional is such a great feeling especially if you may have ever experienced friendships that were conditional.

When I knew I was going to Utah for Spring Break I knew I wanted to see some old friends, for selfish reasons, it always rejuvenates me, it always help me to focus, and it never fails to remind me who I am.

 I never know who wants to see me so it is a hard thing knowing who I should contact. I hate to assume everyone wants to see me and embarrass myself by contacting them saying "oh hey, here I am, you know you want to see me." So I usually play it safe and just contact a few friends and hope if there is someone who wants to know when I am in town they will not be afraid to tell me. This time it was Kristy, Kathy, Kelleen, and Melissa.

Melissa, Kelleen and I met in Orem on Wednesday night at 6 so we could ride up to Salt Lake City together. We talked, and talked, and talked the whole ride up. We met Kristy and Kathy at a Mexican restaurant downtown Salt Lake City in the Old train station. The food was very yummy and on a Wednesday night it was not crowded. We sat at a round table in the corner, and talked, and ate, for at least two hours. We could have gone much longer but I was starting my long drive back to Oregon early the next morning so I was the party pooper....which is so not like me.

I keep searching for the words to describe the feeling of sitting in the presence of these amazing women hearing them talk about their struggles, their joys, what they have learned, and what they are learning. Bonding with each other as we all realize none of us is living a perfect life. I love what great examples these women are to me. I admire their strength. I smile at what makes each one of them unique. It is such a content, peaceful, happy feeling. I am in heaven to just sit there and watch them and listen to them talk.

I was lucky enough to also feel this feeling on the Monday of my Utah trip when I met my dear friend Joan downtown Salt Lake City at a shopping mall for a way too quick visit. Joan and I met years ago in Indiana and quickly I found a kindred spirit. We have shopped together, had lunch together, drove carloads of kids to church events together, picked raspberries together, and so much more. Our families did a lot of things together. Such great memories...from Nauvoo, to movies, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas. I love to get a Joan fix whenever I am in Utah.

I love having this trail of dear friends across the United States. I have lived in
 Princeton, New Jersey,
 Lawrence Kansas,
 Huntington, Indiana,
 and Westfield, Massachusetts.

I grew up in Snohomish, Washington and I went to college in Provo, Utah. From these six places I have gathered such an amazing group of  BFF'S. I feel so blessed (yeah, I know cheesy....but so true) I wish I could just spend all my days basking in their awesomeness from Massachusetts to Maryland, to Virginia, to Georgia, to Arizona, to New Mexico, to Minnesota, to Utah, to Illinois, to Washington and so much more. I wonder how many of them even realize I remember them and consider them a dear friend? :)  Most of my life I have not lived by any family so these girls are really like my family. They lived in the same towns with me and went through what I went through with me. Some lived by me when I had a gazillion little kids. Some lived by me when I did not know myself so well. Some lived by me when I was struggling out loud. Some lived by me when I hid my struggles. But no matter what, strangely, they still loved me and saw my potential. It is alarming to realize how much I have grown and learned about myself from the 1980's high school friends all the way to the 2007-2014 Massachusetts friends. Those friends from high school probably deserve a gold medal :)

I found this quote that seemed to sum up how I feel best. As I read it I felt grateful for the friends I have who never tried to twist me to fit their own image :)

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them” 

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Beautifully said- it is always so great to see my Kansas friends- it's where I learned how to be a mom. So many great examples to watch and learn from- including you! Hope we can all do it again soon! :)