For the past few weeks, I've been in what I like to think of as a "transition" stage in my life. What would I do, who would I be, if I had the freedom to accomplish that? Well, life as a paramedic is extremely frustrating and abusive, but also incredibly satisfying, so I don't think I would change that. I'm going to Disney World with BFF in December, and training for the tri. So, I'm thinking the "do" part is covered. So how about "who would I be"? Hmmm....
Trying to figure out who I would be means I have to define who I am. And in order to define who I am, I take a good, long look at those closest to me, my friends. The majority of my closest friends (translation - best) I have known for many many years. Some dating back to freshman year of high school, 1 who will hit the decade mark soon, and 1 who I've know for around 4. And as I've watched each of them grow into wonderful, loving, caring, productive, confident adults, I wonder, have they done the same with me?
Although thinking about the past brings up feelings of nostalgia and what might have been's, I have no regrets as to the direction each of my friendships have taken. Each has their own special place in my heart, and while life takes a journey, so must we.
BFF has been one of the "long timers." No longer my friend, but my sister. The one I met in high school, at music camp. We live in different states and were friends for 2 weeks one summer. Something that should have ended with the new school year stuck like glue into a now 14+ (or is it officially 15?) year friendship. She's the one I could talk to for hours, not talk for months, then talk again like we had never put down the phone. And as we grew, so did the bond forged through similar life experiences, desires, goals, commitment, and her amazing ability to be all the things I want to be. She's the one who encourages me to do the things I want to do, and some of the things I didn't know I wanted (um...really, a triathlon?!). She's also the first to pick me up when I'm down, and the first to kick my @$$ when I'm being a butt. Sympathetic and supportive, she's also knows when to say, "enough of that, let's move forward." And she somehow manages to do this with grace and ease, 400 miles from where I call home.
The Two are the friends I met as an awkward freshman at a small Catholic HS. Three polar opposites, we still, to this day, can't figure out how we became or remained friends. We just figured that, somehow in the process of fitting in, while everyone else branched off, we just stuck together. One was the beautiful blond goddess who got the boys attention, and kept it. The other, equally as beautiful in her own right, was the book worm. I, the "fat" kid played sports (stop laughing, somehow I made it work). And yet there we were, inseparable to this day. We've been through HS, college, bar hopping, marriage, divorce, un-wed pregnancy, loss of childhood pets, loss of Dad, loss of baby brother, loss of hope in a future and God, recovery, finding true love, a second marriage, a planned pregnancy, finding faith again, and ultimately finding peace with ourselves. Sure they're both married with kids (and one on the way) and I'm divorced, but when someone has something come up, the other two show. Just the way it's always been.
Ry is the best "guy" friend that I met at work a few years back. We were partners which translates to spending, oh, a third of our life together. 24 hour shifts without leaving the others side (well, yeah with the exception of...ahem...potty breaks). He was the one who quietly, without actually saying anything, encouraged me to get back with God. And a couple years later, he was the one to baptize me. A true leader by example, while still making life fun (and yes, I remember him mooning the other ambo late one night while driving down the road-did I mention he was the one driving?). I'm still part of his life and his family, even though we haven't been partners for awhile now.
KT is the bff I met at church. Our introduction was pretty informal, I needed a roommate, she needed a room. The first conversation we had involved "hi nice to meet you, when are you moving in?" We've led a youth group, became children's leaders, sang in the worship team, left the church, partied, drank, went back to church, drove to California in the middle of the night to watch the sunrise from the beach just to turn around and drive back, got married, got divorced, got pregnant, had a baby, tried going back to church, and through it all laughed, cried, loved and lived together.
While I think about the impact each person has had on my life, I think of how much we've all changed. While no one person, myself included, is perfect, each friendship in its own way, is. Things that were SOOOO important in HS, aren't now. And days and weeks go by without talking to Ry. BFF continues to encourage me daily and is my accountability partner, not just with training and weight loss, but with life in general. The Two still make me laugh and I truly cherish our, what once was girls night, "girls' breakfast mondays." My friendship with KT has developed into something new entirely. We still have our nights that involve nothing more than a bottle of wine and a bible, but we also have a "quiet" friendship. One marked by the ability to be content in each other's company, rocking a baby to sleep.
So as I think about what defines me and who I want to be, I realize that I'm pretty content with where I'm going. Talking on the phone long distance while planning reaching (and swimming, biking, running) for a goal AND the trip of a lifetime with my BFF, planning a baby shower for one-half of The Two, meeting Ry and his girls (wife and daughter) for breakfast, or holding a baby while drinking a glass of wine and talking about God...this is who I am, and who I want to be.