Friends Are the Security Blanket of Adulthood
A while back I wrote a piece about how moms are a firm foundation as well as a soft place to land, and how this all hit me when I watched Ellie play soccer for the first time because every time she kicked the ball in the net, the first thing she would do is look around to find my face.
Well this past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend with my two college roommates/bffs and I was reminded of the incredible value of great friends.
These are the women I saw every single day, the women who’s beanbag chairs I slept on nearly every single night (uninvited) during my sophomore of college, the women who found my endless ability to talk entertaining. They have listened for countless hours, forced me to participate in “prop night” during our senior year, and given incredible, consistent and often repeated advice.
When I had a fight with my college boyfriend (whom neither of my them were a big fan of) a few weeks before graduation, my friend Christina skipped her Spanish class to hang out with me so I could obsess about how I could or could not make a relationship work post-college. This was her 4th absence in that class that semester, meaning she would lose half a grade as a penalty. She skipped, spent the morning in bed with me, got bagels and coffee with me…all knowing that this could put her in jeopardy of graduating with honors…and only mentioning it like 3 or 4 times.
Her final GPA was 3.499. You needed a 3.5 to graduate with honors. I wore the blue honors cords at graduation (which, years later, my sister and brother-in-law used one morning after a long night of partying to walk their dog) and Christina did not. When I said goodbye to them after we graduated, I curled up in a ball and cried for hours. I simply could not imagine my day-to-day without them.
Since then, there have been, in no particular order, promotions, demotions, altogether career changes, multiple apartment changes, home purchases, boyfriends, non-boyfriends, a cancelled engagement, a wedding and babies. And yet, somehow, through out it all, the fabric of our friendship has remained the same.
This was the first time we have all been together in 4 years. The last time we all gathered was a few weeks after I had Ellie…Katie and Christina had both travelled to come and spend a few days with me…even though I didn’t feel at all like the old me. I don’t remember much from that visit, but I do remember both of them waking up in the morning, after I had been up every couple of hours with Ellie and was still very achey from my c-section, and crawling in bed with me to watch TV – just like we had done 10 years prior.
This was a point in my life when absolutely NOTHING felt familiar. NOTHING. I had changed jobs when I was 7 months pregnant, I had a newborn, I was single, my breasts were the size of my head and my stomach felt like pizza dough. I had change fatigue. To put it mildly.
But there was incredible comfort in our insignificant chit-chat. The conversations about nail polish color and what it actually feels like to breast feed sprinkled in with questions about my plans on navigating single motherhood as a network news producer in Manhattan began the slow process…and I mean slow…of feeling normal again.
When Ellie began stuttering pretty severely a couple years ago, Katie (a speech pathologist) was right there for me…listening, watching countless videos I’d text to her and sharing invaluable insight, advice and support all while somehow making me really believe that it was all going to be okay.
Within minutes of all of us being together in the same room again this past weekend, there was laughter, comparison of c-section scars and inappropriate question and answer sessions. Our weekend was comprised of dinners, drinks, shots, a totally sketchy guy who apparently thought it was his job to make sure we were having a good time (he was very wrong), take out and pajama pants. Simply put, nothing had changed, even though so much of our lives have changed.
And as I drove back from our visit, knowing that I am staring down the ally of a new job and a new home, all taking place within a week of each other – I began to get that all too familiar anxiety induced tightening in my chest. And for a brief moment I became overwhelmed with the fact that since finding out I was pregnant with Ellie, I feel like my life has been in a nonstop state of change. About 85% of those changes have been incredibly great…but they have been…change. And…well…some days…it feels a tiny bit like a lot…
But then it occurred to me that no matter how much the material things in my life change – my surroundings, my job, my abs – the amazing relationships I have with my friends are the constant in my consistently changing world. Those relationships are my security blanket. They feel the same, they look the same and they comfort me in exactly the same way they have for many, many years. And I know that as long as I have them (and my amazing family) it will all be okay.
I will be okay.