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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Growing Up

Today, after a long day of work, I met up with my friend Kaitlyn to eat dinner at Texas Roadhouse (my old place of employment, where I served steaks and beer for years and years... it was a great college job!) before we headed out to shop for (gulp) a bachelorette party gift and a wedding gift for our friend Adriana, who is getting married October 1st.

Kaitlyn and I kept saying, as we walked through Bed, Bath and Beyond clutching the registry, that it feels so weird to see our friends going through such big moments in their lives. Thursday evening is the Bachelorette party, which we are excited about. Adriana, Kaitlyn and I, along with Val, made a fierce foursome my senior year of high school. We hung out all the time and had some really great memories, calling ourselves the Sisterhood. We drifted apart from Adriana in college for dumb, high school reasons, but I'm so thankful that we've come back together to be friends just in time to see her go through a huge moment in her life. She has two beautiful daughters (seriously, two of the prettiest girls I've ever seen) and a great fiancee and is about to buy a house... she's in such a different place in her life than I am in mine, but she seems happy and her life seems really perfect for her. She's a great mom and still as hilarious as I remember her being in high school.

From Top Left: Kaitlyn, Adriana, Val, and Me.

We went to high school dances and they were there with me when I was named Winter Ball Queen.

We were especially skilled at celebrating birthdays: we'd always plan an elaborate surprise for the birthday girl, like sneaking into her bedroom while she was away and decorating it from top to bottom with balloons, a cake, and streamers, or kidnapping the birthday girl early, early for a birthday breakfast. We'd go out to the desert with our guy friends and build a bonfire at this little desert area called the Pit, and we'd stand around the fire and just talk and laugh and enjoy being in the dark, huddling around the heat of the blazing bonfire, being with each other.

They were there for me throughout my awful years when I was carrying a torch for this guy that definitely didn't deserve me (isn't that always the case?). They were there for me when good things happened and when bad things happened. We cried with each other, laughed with each other, fell asleep huddled togeher in sleeping bags at slumber parties.

We've grown apart, of course, as we grew up. Val has gone into more of a dance/concert scene (with techno music from DJs I've never heard). Kaitlyn, the genius that she is, is getting ready to rock Boston University with biochemical engineering after she graduates this year (seriously, the smartest girl I know... and did all this while being in my sorority!). Adriana, of course, is getting ready to marry the man she loves, has a stable home-life, and two beautiful daughters. And I'm not quite sure where I am. But we're a long way away from all being in marching band (nerdy, I know!), talking about boys and going to dances together, discussing where we would be in ten years. Back then, we were all pretty similar: our interests overlapped, our class schedules overlapped, we saw each other every weekend. A lot has changed since then.

And yet, not a lot has changed. I've seen my close friends grow but, if both parties are interested in growing together, I've found that it has been easy to keep at least these three in my scope. We check in with each other and actually care about what is going on in each other's lives. And while we have all changed as we grew, it's wonderful to have a group of friends that know my entire history (all of my mistakes and my successes, who I was and who I am, my weaknesses and my loyalties).

And come October 1st, I can't wait to be there to witness my friend's step into becoming a wife.

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