Having friendships is a key part of being human, but I also think it can be one of the more difficult things to maintain.
In 28 years, I have lived in 4 different states, attended 8 schools during K-12, and maintained 10 different addresses (not including the 4 I had while in undergrad). Was I a military kid? No. A product of divorce? No. We just moved a total of 5 times before I turned 18. And then I took it from there, moving away for college, moving even farther away for grad school, and then moving in with my then-boyfriend, now-husband.
With major moves in both 2nd and 11th grades, it was tough hanging on to friends. I will never have the story about a BFF from kindergarten who later became my maid of honor. After I moved from Virginia to New York in 11th grade, I was able to keep up with my southern friends for a whopping 6-10 months, and then we went our separate ways.
I don't think it's because we didn't care, it was just extremely difficult. None of us had time to spend hours on the phone or AOL instant messenger when instead we had SATs and school plays and field hockey practice. It wasn't personal, we were just all busy growing up.
I graduated from a high school I had spent a year and a half in and walked away with 3 really great friends. Of that smallish group, I can honestly say I fell out of touch with one and was greatly upset when another—a reader at my wedding—texted me 5 days before the wedding to say he couldn't afford a plane ticket and a motel room.
So that leaves one friend from the high school group that I do keep up with (he made it to the wedding, no problem). But he lives outside of DC and is an extremely busy engineer, growing his career with a great firm. We might see each other once a year, but I have a feeling we'll always keep in touch.
I think that's how it works with me and friends. Sometimes I am just awful at keeping up my end of the friendship. I often don't like chatting on the phone and usually am pretty busy throughout the calendar year, so taking off for a 3-day weekend can be tough. I know I'm the only person I can blame for some of my friendships fizzling.
But then, there are other friendships I have that seem to do just fine. Like my friend Rach. We were in the same wing of the Dork Dorm freshman year and became good friends.
Good friends that could scream at each other one minute, and then be cool in an hour or two.
Good friends that could maintain a friendship after Rach transferred to a different college junior year.
Good friends that could maintain a friendship after I moved to Philly.
Are we on the phone once a month catching up? No. Do we e-mail each other regularly? Not really. We might comment on Twitter posts or "like" something the other has posted on Facebook. But in reality, Rach lives her life and I live mine. But when we DO reconnect, it's almost like no time has past. And to me, that's one of the best friendships.
So this weekend, that's where I'll be. Jetting off to the 716 in search of Bison chip dip, the Erie County Fair, and some much needed time away from life.