An online friend mentioned something on Twitter that reminded me of a hard lesson that I learned when I had kids. Life changes. I mean, duh, I know that life changes and I knew that at the time when I was pregnant. Actually, I knew that before I even got pregnant and before I even got married. I think I realized it after high school. When your path in life is different than those of your friends, things will change. We all say we will keep in touch, we will visit, we will get together and you do, at first.
Then, life changes.
Your friends gain new friends, they are doing different things as they figure out their place in the world and discover who they are while you are doing the same. I didn't go away for college. Most of my friends did, whether it was just an hour away or several hours away. Slowly, the phone calls lessen and the letters stop coming. It isn't just a one way street either, I got caught up in my life too.
We did get together when they were home on holiday breaks and we would hang out and it was fun. Sometimes, it was as if time never passed, there was never a distance and sometimes, I felt like the odd girl out. As they talked about college stuff, I didn't quite know what they were talking about. I went to a small business school in the city and I commuted everyday. I didn't live that college life, we didn't have that in common.
Then, I got pregnant. We decided to get married. Whoa life was changing for me very quickly. While my friends were in college doing their thing, doing what kids do in college, I was at home at my apartment with my husband preparing for a baby. I think I heard even less from most of my friends. Not all of them, some still remained and I was so grateful for them.
I had a baby. Life changed even more.
I was busy with a newborn and things were hectic. I was suddenly a mom, handling things the best I could at 20 years old with a newborn and a husband. It may seem so young and really, it is but looking back, I didn't feel so young. It was just how my life was. We made it.
Fast forward a few years. I now had two kids and I was a stay at home mom. My friends had graduated from college and were starting their new jobs and living on their own. Life was going on. Again, I had a few friends that remained and we kept in contact. I had one friend who I didn't talk to very often but when we did, it was as if we had never been apart. I still appreciate that and it is still the same way with her.
We grow up. Life changes.
I was online a lot now and I was making online friends. There were several people that I "met" through blogging and social networks. I remember getting my invite from my friend for this new site called Twitter and wondering what the heck it was. I loved it because all the friends I had made were on Twitter and we could "talk" more. That was before everyone and their mother was on Twitter. The relationships I built online with other girls was fantastic. There are a handful of them that I would really love to meet in real life and one that I have met. She is a doll. (Hey there Melissa!)
I found that online, I had built true friendships and on some sites I was a member of a community and we had a great time getting to know one another, cheer each other on, sad when someone had bad news or heartache and feeling sheer joy when someone had good news, a baby, a wedding, a new house. The friendships and relationships are real. They are genuine.
The friendships that have diminished in real life, the ones I grew up with, are heartbreaking. There are days when I really wonder what happened. Then I have to realize that this is life, this happens. Life changes. I couldn't possibly hold on to every friendship that I had. We change, lives change, people change.
Would I have loved to remain friends with everyone I was friends with in high school? Absolutely. There are some really great girls that I called family back then. Some are still there, most aren't. It's okay. We are in a different place in life now. It doesn't make the pain of not having some of them around go away but I understand it more.