The inimitable Gwen Bell and two cohorts started a month-long initiative to reflect on 2010 called Reverb10. Each day one person contributed a prompt for bloggers to jump off from. And today was my prompt. So I thought maybe I should, you know, also reflect upon it.
December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
Whenever I encounter the question “What couldn’t you live without?” my answer is my friends. And I’ve been very lucky in my friendships. I’m still friends with the girl who was my very first friend. (Our moms became friends when they were pregnant with us, and her birthday is almost exactly one month after mine, so we have known each other our whole lives.) I’m still friends with the girl who would come to my house after preschool till her mom got off work when we were three. (We also took ballet together until we were in middle school.) I’m still friends with my clan from high school. I’m still friends with my crew from college. And I have made so many friends in this New York part of my life, too, both within the publishing industry and outside of it. And when I say I’m friends with all of these people, I mean really friends, not just casual acquaintances who still keep in touch occasionally. They are my people; the ones who have been beside me in both the worst and best times of my life; the ones who I will stand beside through anything that happens to them. No matter what. Because once people matter to me, they matter forever. I get attached, and I’m incredibly loyal, and I can’t ever stop caring about people. So my friends are stuck with me. I think they’re okay with that.
But that’s not really what the prompt asks. It asks specifically about this year. And in this year, I have been constantly blown away by how we all can change and grow and yet stay connected and never lose ourselves.
Suddenly, I’ve hit the time in my life when my friends are getting married and having babies. Three of four of my high school girls have all had children in the past year and a half. How odd to be the parents when we all hang out rather than the kids! Everything has changed . . . and yet nothing has changed either. We’re all still the same girls we were at sixteen hanging out in our own parents’ basements, watching scary movies and over-analyzing the boys we had crushes on.
And one of my best friends from college got married over the summer, which meant I got to see a big bunch of my college people all at once. Again, so much has changed, and yet, we’re all just as comfortable and ridiculous with each other as we always were. It was like no time at all had passed in the nine years since we all saw each other every day. And this new guy, whom my friend loves and who loves her just as much as we all do, was instantly part of the circle from the very first moment we all met him.
These are just two call-outs of so many I could choose from. I hope that every single one of my friends knows how important they have been to me in 2010 and how much they make me look forward to 2011.
So. Now you know why I’m always saying that I love books with strong friendships in them, too.