We all have friends who come into our lives for just a little while and then move on. Some make a huge impact and leave us with happy memories and wistful wishes and some make so little impact you're surprised to see pictures of your younger self with your arms wrapped around someone and huge grins on your faces. Who was that person? Why are you two so happy together? It's like having amnesia.
I have a picture of me and another little girl sitting on a picnic table at the Abilene Swim Club, our faces and fingers covered in orange powder from the giant bag of cheese puffs between us. We're maybe 3 or 4 and just grinning away. I vaguely remember her. Her family moved away not too long after and, obviously, we didn't keep in touch. Our moms might have. I'm actually fb friends with her mom. I know who she is, I just don't remember being friends with her.
Another girl who was there for a Season was my best friend in 2nd or 3rd grade. She was a year younger than me and she's actually the person who finally taught me how to ride a bike (I was a really slow learner. Like...REALLY slow. I did other stuff well.). I missed her when she didn't come back to our school the next year but always remembered her because she had the same name as my favorite doll, a name I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles I'd made up. Apparently I wasn't very creative because it's really not an unusual name. I ran into her a couple years ago at a birthday party for a mutual friend. That was bizarre. (This just occurred to me...maybe she's a Reason...teaching me to ride a bike? lol)
My soulmate was the above mentioned 9 year old. I knew some of what was going on in her life between 3rd grade and 2009, but not much. We were distant acquaintances and then heartbreak brought us back together. I like to think of it as we spent a Season apart and we're back together for a Lifetime. Call me an optimist. :-)
In college, I made friends with an amazing group of men and women, lived with five of the women over 2 years...and am barely in touch with any of them now. Nearly all my college relationships are now primarily fb relationships: we check in on each other online, we "like" each other's pictures of our children and status updates about jobs, houses, children, etc. We try to get together when someone is driving through or in town for whatever reason, but...it's not the same.
Austin and I aren't exactly social butterflies. I've touched on that before, so I won't go into detail. Leaving Dallas wasn't really that hard for us. We didn't have a lot of close friends (read: none), we (read: I) didn't feel all that at home in our church, and we didn't have any kids to uproot. The main thing I hated about moving was the move itself. I LOVED my house in Carrollton. Absolutely. I felt very at home there, very comfortable. I had made it my home in the 18 months we lived there and was starting to plan a nursery and looking forward to raising my kids there when we moved. The best thing to me about moving? Being closer to a friend who had been in my life in some capacity for most of the 22 years I'd known her.
Being close to her geographically was great. We were able to get together more, though still not as often as I would have liked. We tried to plan a weekly thing, but she had lots of family obligations, which I totally understand. I was happy with seeing her for an evening once a month or so. She helped throw a beautiful baby shower for me and Asher. She came to the hospital when he was born and visited afterwards, bringing awesome food (she and her husband are amazing cooks). We still hung out on a semi regular basis even when a baby was in the mix. I just brought toys along to entertain him.
And then 2012 happened. She and her husband bought a house that needed a lot of work. I got pregnant. And I haven't seen her in nearly 2 years.
Elijah and I were in a hospital room two doors down from her sister-in-law when he was born. She didn't come by.
Asher was in the hospital overnight at ARMC, like a mile from her house. She didn't come by. I don't think she texted even (I'm not one for talking on the phone).
I tried, for a year and a half, to see her on her terms. I've offered to meet her with the husbands and kids, without the husbands, without anyone else, at her house, at a restaurant, anywhere, anytime that was convenient for her. And she's always busy. And I get that people are busy, I really do. But this....this hurt. This woman was someone I thought would be there for me and my family for a Lifetime...but she seems to have chosen to make it a Season.
So, last summer, I quit. I decided to stop asking. I decided to stop putting myself out there and letting her disappoint and hurt me with her disinterest. Even if some small part of her is interested in what's happening in my life, to me it feels like disinterest. I wasn't even going to invite her to Elijah's blessing dinner, but my mom told me I should. I knew she wouldn't come, she showed no interest in him during my pregnancy or his infancy, why would she suddenly want to bless him? And I wasn't disappointed. Several people DID come and blessed our baby boy beyond measure.
Every text conversation has been friendly, but I haven't actually heard her voice since standing in her driveway in February of 2012.
I won't lie or pretend that I don't miss her, because I do. I know we grew apart, it started in high school when we had very different experiences. I let her go and didn't miss it in college because I had such a great group of people around me who wanted to see me and hang out with me. When she came back into my life, I was still riding the high of having lots of friends who genuinely cared about me. As they petered off, mostly due to geography, she was still there. Until she wasn't.
So this is my declaration. I'm done. I'm not going to ask anymore. I miss her and I WOULD be friends again, but she has to meet me halfway. She has to try, too. It's not a friendship otherwise. I won't be a doormat anymore, waiting for her to need or want me. But I'm not going to sit on the other side of the door and wait for her to open it, either. I'm moving on with my life and if she knocks...well, we'll see. I may just be petty enough to not answer. And that's the sad, disgusting truth. The even sadder, more disgusting truth is that I probably will and will probably act like nothing ever hurt me. And I hate that part of myself.
Until then, I'm done. I wish you the best. I'll catch you on fb.
Me, the soulmate, and the baby.