Today I’d like to take a minute to celebrate my new discovery: the thighs of rugby players.
Today I’d like to take a minute to celebrate what led me to the discovery of the well-defined perfection of the leg muscles of those short-shorts clad athletes. Today I’d like to celebrate one of the most rare types of friendships: a friendship that is undeniably, genuinely timeless. Scarcely do we ever come across friends in our lives that we can connect with on such a level that we are certain, no matter the distance or time, that we can always come right back together as if we are still the awkward adolescents we believe deep down that we still are. Some old friendships are like the shallow end of a pool: refreshing for a moment, where we can reminisce in the playfulness of when we were a height where this was the only pool we knew, but eventually leaving us wanting for more – for a deep end and a diving board. Others are like the ocean. We start on the shore, and then the tide engulfs us in its warm embrace, willing us out to sea. When we visit this old friend, it feels like the ocean we’ve always known, but then we become aware that each time the tide comes in, it replaces the sand we knew with more, slightly different sand. Yet this movement and change is comforting to us as we stand and let the waves wash over our feet like they always have. Eventually, our vacation is over and we must return home, but we carry with us the knowledge that the ocean will always be there, awaiting our return.
Such is my friendship with Libby, one of my best friends from Lebanon. In my carefully guarded collection of handwritten letters is one from three years ago – a letter from Libby on the eve of our goodbyes. Written after graduation, the letter looked on as we all headed to various schools across the state (and country). In this letter, she says:
“I cannot possibly convey in a single letter how much I am going to miss you. I feel like i’m heading off without my other half, and I know for a fact that I will not find anyone else who understands me to the degree that you do. I absolutely love that you are present in every dimension of my life: the wannabe hipster, the academic, the inner little kid, the soul-searcher, the staggeringly immense nerd, the socialite, the xenophile, the literary romantic. I feel like I could talk to you about anything and you would light up in that radiant way you have and explore every possible interest with me as if we were wandering through some market of thoughts and ideas.”
At the time, we were both terrified to leave each other – to go to school without that person who accepted us, supported us, and also challenged us. Yet, something wonderful happens when you take the leap and leave the people you love most. Even if you’ve changed, if you’re different now, a friend as strong as this will always have a grip on your core, no matter how much you’ve shifted. Libby and I have held onto each other like a child holding on to the string of a kite – admiring it as it dances through the air and then reeling it in every so often to check on it, only to let it go once more.
On days like today, these few rare moments where we get to talk, we don’t bother with stories about what we’ve done since we’ve last seen each other. We bypass that walk on the shore (those beach pics are all over Facebook anyway) and head straight for the deepness of the ocean – we talk about what we’ve learned, how we’ve grown, and what we think; we share what we truly value. When I see my curly haired, eccentric best friend, I immediately reach for my reusable tote, knowing we’ll head straight for that dazzling market of thoughts and ideas that we still love to frequent more than anything. No length of time or distance between colleges will ever change that. Today, I celebrate meaningful, life long friends – the ones I admire most of all.
Libby and me at the rugby tournament.
The one day senior year that we got to truly be ourselves.
My much loved letter from Libby after high school graduation (and also proof to anyone who says my handwriting is good that there is still better out there.)
PS. If you want to read a blog that is really beautifully written and meaningful, you should definitely see Libby’s blog!