So, I decided to jump on this 52-week Blog Challenge to kick off the posting on my blog and give everyone a chance to get to know me a little better.
Week 1 is Meet My Best Friend. That would be this lady, Timber Leaves. Out of respect for her privacy, since she’s also a blogger and hasn’t posted a picture of herself on her blog, I won’t post a picture of her here on mine either, but I can still tell you a little bit about her and our relationship.
“So, how’s life on your side of the world?”
That’s how many of our letters when we were teenagers ended. Living in different states as teens was hard and the distance felt tangible to both of us.
We were pen-pals through our teen years and into our young-adult years, back before we both got internet. Then, we became AOL pen-pals, lol.
She has been my best friend for so long, that she hardly even qualifies as a friend anymore and is more like a sister. I’ve always loved the way she puts it…”sisters of the heart”, and we are.
In spite of how long we’ve known each other, we could not be more different from each other in some fundamental ways. Our lives have gone in completely different directions since childhood.
We both became teenagers and I went to live with my mom and dad (I was raised by another family member until I was nearly 13, but that’s another post for another time). When I was 16, she moved to another state and a few years later, she got married and started a family.
I got married and started a family here. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
This lady has had a large piece of my heart since childhood. She is one of my oldest remaining friends.
Her and her parents moved in down the street from me when I was about nine. My cousin, Bradley, who was like a brother to me, and who I miss dearly, met her first, but when we did finally meet, it was like putting on a pair of old jeans.
The fit was perfect somehow. I will always believe that we are a type of soulmates. Not the romantic kind, but I believe that there are different kinds of soulmates in the world. She is one of mine.
Our friendship has endured, in spite of how different we turned out.
Although very open-minded about my lifestyle choices, she is completely straight and Christian while I am mostly straight (I considered myself bi when I was younger but since the accident, it’s just me and the hubby) and Pagan.
She homeschooled her kids and when her two oldest were pretty much grown, she went to college and made a career for herself while Mini-Me went to public schools and I was mostly either a stay-at-home mom or worked in the food industry.
She has always been close with her biological family while I had very little bio-family and mostly made my own family from some of the awesome people who have been part of my life over the years, including her.
I can say that regardless of what our families were made up of, being very family-oriented is another thing that we do have in common.
We were supposed to always live down the street from each other like we did when we were kids. Our kids were supposed to grow up together. Our girls, who are approximately one year apart in age, kind of did, but it was a mostly pen-pal and online friendship. Honestly, ours has been, too.
It was her that first introduced me to two of my favorite pastimes, blogging, and World of Warcraft.
This woman has such a huge piece of my heart that I feel like she’s with me everywhere I go, even though we live so far apart from each other.
Time and distance haven’t really changed much with us, though.
Last summer the hubby and I visited her and her family. We hadn’t seen each other in nearly 20 years when I walked into her house.
On the way there, part of me started to worry that things would be so different. I mean, we’re grown now with grown kids.
I was a grandma already and she was a soon-to-be grandma at the time. Our lives had gone in completely different directions in the years in between.
I thought maybe it would be awkward. Maybe we’d find that we didn’t have anything in common anymore and it would be weird, which I knew would hurt my heart in ways I couldn’t put into words. Turns out, there was no need to worry.
It’s rare when you can find someone with whom, no matter the amount of time that has passed or the distance that separates you, nothing changes.
It was like we were kids again. 20 years melted away in a moment and I saw that gangly girl on a bicycle riding past my house, in a water bottle fight with my cousin.
We spent the whole time we were there giggling like school girls, sharing our love of
creepy things by visiting a few landmark graveyards near her house, and whispering about our husbands like we once did about our boyfriends.
She lives near the ocean in the city where I was born (but, ironically enough, not where we met) and the trip was to double as a healing trip for me.
I’m a Pisces and nothing heals my heart and soul quite like the water does. After the accident that nearly took my life and left me permanently disabled, I needed spiritual and emotional healing desperately.
I hadn’t told her of my plans to do a personal healing while I was there, but when I wandered off alone to the water, not only did she instinctively give me the solitude I needed, she snapped a picture of the moment. Somehow she just knew. She always knows.
She has seen me through some of my darkest hours. She knows the ugly side of me. She’s seen me at some of my worst moments in life. She knows my imperfections and my short-comings, and she loves me anyway.
And that’s what a best friend is, right? Someone who just knows you. Someone who knows, not just the good and the happy parts of you, but someone who knows where you hide all the dark parts behind your smile, and loves you anyway. Sometimes they love you in spite of the dark parts…sometimes, they love because of them.
Either way, they love you, and that’s what counts.