Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Tribute to Friendship

I was on the phone with my best friend Stephanie last night for like the second time this week (we usually stick to email but sometimes you just need to talk on the phone) and part of our conversation turned to how it really has been 10 years now that we've been friends. Saying that out loud makes it sound so huge. The truth of the matter is that it IS huge.

It seems a fitting time to make a bit of a big deal about reaching a ten-year marker in our friendship. Last night after we got off the phone, I was still wide awake so I started working on getting some stuff organized in my closet. I came across a box of all my old journals. I knew it was there because I put it there a few weeks ago, but I hadn't opened it in several years to flip through any of the notebooks.

For those that don't know, I have made a journal entry of some sort about every day of my life since I started high school. I honestly don't know what got me started with it other than my enjoyment of writing. Some days I don't write much. Some days I fill up page after page. Sometimes it's thoughts about life. Sometimes it's a prayer. Sometimes it's an account of things that happened to me. Sometimes it's just two very uninteresting sentences. I think in the back of my head, I feel like I'm doing it to 1) have a lot of my own reality recorded to aid me in the writing of book one of these days and 2) to leave behind a written account of my life. NO ONE, and I do mean no one, reads these journals but me... but I think once I'm gone I probably won't mind anymore and would want someone to have those notebooks.

So with that said, I want to share a tiny excerpt that I found about Stephanie in my journal from that year. It's not the first thing I wrote about her, but it's something I recorded about 3 months after we met. There's certainly plenty more entries that include Stephanie, but this is the first one where I really said something about the friendship that we were in the midst of developing. I rarely share anything with anyone out of my journals, but I feel like this is a fitting way to sort of celebrate that Stephanie came into my life that day in math class. Keep in mind I was 14 when I wrote this.

"They weren't bad friends [I was talking about my friends from middle school]. But they weren't the kind of honest-to-goodness TRUE friends that I want. I don't know that I've ever had that. But maybe I have found that now. Stephanie and I are really nothing alike. She's a cheerleader and a lot more loud and spunky than me. But I know I'm just kind of shy. I wish I wasn't though. I still have no idea why she seems to like hanging out with me so much, but I guess maybe it's for the same reasons I like hanging out with her. We get each other. We laugh... a LOT. We seem to understand each other, and we always have fun. I don't know... but I think that maybe we could end up being really good friends... maybe even for the whole time we're in high school. That would be nice. I'd really like to have a girl that I can trust with secrets and stuff... and that won't laugh over who I like... and that has good advice and stuff... I think maybe Stephanie is that kind of girl. Maybe that's how we're really alike."

Somewhere over the course of the past 10 years, we've become so much more than just good friends who have fun together. I trust Stephanie with anything, even the most personal details of my life that I don't dare tell anyone else. Despite the days and usually months that go by between when we get to see each other now, it always feels as though no time ever passed. That's the part that amazes me... our lives have changed so much over the past 10 years, but at the same time it doesn't really feel all that long ago when we were wandering the halls of LHS like we owned the place and passing notes about cute boys (all written utilizing quality code names, of course) and having sleepovers and going to church together and laughing and crying and so much more...

I think that as both of us have grown into women, our friendship has grown into something that really can't be defined any more. She's my best friend, but I would call a few other people a best friend, too. I mean, I'd like to marry a best friend someday. But the friendship between me and Steph is so much different than anything else. I feel confident that we've got a lot of years ahead of us to continue to grow and shape one another, because when it comes down to it that's what happens in relationships. I know I am a better woman today because of Steph and the influence she has over me. I admire her. I love her. And she better hope she doesn't ever decide she wants to get rid of me because it's not happening, ha! But seriously, I know we'll be old and gray and sitting in our rocking chairs still laughing and talking and enjoying this life.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: My relationships matter more to me than anything else in my life. I am thankful for all of my friends, and my prayer is always that I'm giving and loving in each of those relationships. I certainly hope that all of my relationships will continue to grow and flourish, and my life is more fulfilling because of ALL of them... but it seemed fitting today to highlight the one I have with Steph.

We've had a lot of adventures (ok, and maybe some misadventures, too) over the past 10 years... and I'm certainly look forward to more.


smc said...

Remember MD (milk duds) and Jim? Haha, Jim was the best code name of all. Perhaps I should make up a code name for Patrick (even though I'm pretty sure he already knows I like him) just for old times' sake.
I'm so glad I have you to lean on and laugh with. I'm glad we've been able to weather the tough times and come out stronger. And I guess I'm still louder than you are, but I don't think I'm more spunky anymore. You've got quite a bit of moxy to you now, Ms. Mel.
We need to see each other more often. Let's make that a priority for the next ten years. :)

db said...

Okay, I'm waiting for my tribute. Hehe.
(I understand that Steph is kind of like your Kerri, and we DID have that 4 year hiatus where we talked like twice online and allowed our sisters to keep us up-to-date, but I'm still waiting!) Okay, old #2 is tapping her foot! Hehe. Love you. And I love the way you make relationships a priority.

And, hello Stephanie!