I spent some time last weekend catching up with my best friend from high school.
When I say best friend, I mean BFF, bestie, might as well have been sisters.
Erin and I did everything together: sang in the choir, took the same classes, gown-shopped for school dances. We were even together on the weekends because we attended the same church and youth group.
It’s been 12 years since we have sat across from one another. Seems like a lifetime of experiences have come and gone and yet there she sat, seemingly unchanged by time. She sports the same cute pixie haircut, eclectic style, and warming smile.
We spent several hours, sipping wine and trying to keep from spewing it all over the table from intermittent laughter. We joked about the summer after junior year when, out of frustration, I told her in a dressing room I hoped she gained tons of weight with pregnancy and never lost the pounds.
Cruel, right? You have to understand that she is petite and could always grab a x-small off the rack and not even have to try it on because she knew it would fit; I always had armfuls of medium/large sizes and would maybe find one flattering ensemble.
We caught one another up on the major ups and downs of the last 12 years. She was always a free spirit and her adventures prove it. She dropped out halfway through college and moved to Tennessee, then, after a couple of years in Nashville, she moved to Washington, D.C., and finished cosmetology school.
Then it was back home to Denver for a short while. Once she had saved enough money she spent five years traveling Europe and eventually met her Spanish husband and settled down to teach ESL. Last year they moved back stateside to New York City where she is currently a nanny in Harlem. Joaquin and Erin share a small apartment with two roommates.
Her life path is a stark contrast to the journey I’ve traveled. Two college degrees, a school counseling career, marriage, and transition to full-time, stay-at-home mom. I own a home, minivan and a dog.
What struck me most about all of this, isn’t the vast chasm between our lives’ courses, but the bonded foundation from where they started. We shared everything in the mid-late 90’s: friends, music, accessories, lunches, frustrations, heartbreak, and dreams. We saw one another through the challenging and transitional time known as adolescence. I am certain that I made better choices because of Erin. I laughed through some difficult times because of Erin. I am the friend I am today because of Erin.
Even though our lives are miles apart and focused in different arenas, I am who I am today because of how she touched my life at a critical age. Another 12 years may pass before our paths do again, though I certainly hope not. If it is another stretch of time, that’s okay, our friendship can take it.
As I write this, my daughter is sitting next to me finishing her lunch. I have an infinite number of dreams and desires for her life. Today I’m adding another to the list: that she finds her Erin.
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs here on momaha.
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Also read “A friendship that’ll change your life forever,” by mom blogger Danielle Herzog
Tell us about your best friend.
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