Time with One’s Oldest Friends

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Last weekend, I was able to meet up with one of my closest and oldest friends; we met during our first year of high school. Since we graduated, we’ve had 10 years of never living in the same place but somehow managing to see each other once or twice a year despite moving across continents and across the United States.

There is something very reassuring about being friends with someone for a very long time; it grounds me in the fact that I can change over time but there will be people who notice if I stop living authentically as myself. My friend and I have both come to new places in our careers and our relationships this year that have not always been easy or simple to sort out, but even those new rhythms seem to mirror conversations we’ve had all along the way.

I joke that it is hard to call my friend because anything less than an hour of chatting seems like ludicrously short for the kinds of talks we usually have. This year, in particular, I’ve struggled to find the important multi-hour time slots to make sure we have real, meaningful connections. This trip was lovely, though, because she arrived at noon and we didn’t part ways until almost midnight… and we were talking most of those days. We drank coffees, we ate delicious meals, we wandered, we climbed a lighthouse, we marveled at the people we saw. It was wonderful, and so affirming that someone I’ve cared about for so long can still connect with me so well.

What do you love best about get togethers with old friends? I think it is more than just the fact that I feel like my real self (whatever that is) has stayed intact despite years of changes… but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

9 Comments, RSS

  1. blissfullycreating October 19, 2017 @ 11:17 am

    i always love how these kinds of friendships are effortless. we don’t need to talk daily to affirm we are friends and when we do get back together it’s like we had never parted.

  2. calendars4kids October 19, 2017 @ 12:07 pm

    Lovely post. 😊My three oldest friends – one of whom I’ve known for 30 years (since we were 7) – are coming up to visit me tomorrow. We only live a couple of hours away from each other but family life, disability and work commitments mean we only meet up a couple of times a year. I too find it very grounding. We’ve known each other for so long that we always just pick up where we left off.

  3. anyaralli October 19, 2017 @ 12:35 pm

    My oldest friends have been my best friends since preschool. We were all neighbors; my house surrounded on either side by their houses. Meeting up with them always takes me back to more simple, happier times. We still joke in the same way. And no matter how long we go without seeing each other, it always seems like no time has passed at all when we see each other again.

  4. teacherturnedmommyblog October 19, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

    I used Facebook to reconnect with many of my friends from the past. I don’t think I have that one friend who I feel I’ve kept in touch with over the years more than others. I do have a few that if we were in the same room you’d never know we’d been apart for years. Life gets in the way of life sometimes

  5. Amy October 19, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

    My three best friends from college and I schedule a multi-day reunion every other year. We are scattered from Seattle to Colorado to Massachusetts, so it’s hard to arrange any more often than that. From the moment we get together until the moment we leave, it is as if we are transported back 40 years but with the wisdom of having lived those 40 years. It’s non-stop talk and almost never about anything superficial. It’s like sitting in our dorm room floors years ago, talking until we could barely keep our eyes open. It’s heaven.

  6. Claudette October 19, 2017 @ 2:12 pm

    I always know my truest friends are the ones that, no matter how much time or distance has passed, when we get together, it’s like we were never apart.

    I have to say that email and social media do play a part today. I grew up in Europe, and because of the internet/facebook I have a glimpse into my friends’ lives out in Switzerland…and they have one into mine in Canada. I love that we can share pictures of what’s going on and commenting on each other’s experiences. 🙂

  7. Vanessa Dias October 19, 2017 @ 3:24 pm

    I find really amazing when people have “those friends” no matter how much time passes by! I don’t have any long term friendship now and sometimes I think it would feel nice to have such connection but also having what you feel with your friend: that you can be yourself with the other person. Also, the sense of “continuity” of the self helps a lot, especially when we get a bit sidetracked 🙂

  8. 3C Style October 19, 2017 @ 7:39 pm

    Ooh- I know what you mean. I share this kind of friendship with two of my friends. Even if we see each other only three or four times a year, the connection between us is so strong that each time we are reunited it’s like it was yesterday. -Dominique

  9. Nicola October 24, 2017 @ 3:44 pm

    I feel it is almost coming home – I have one or two friends with whom I have this connection – so blessed.

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