the future I thought you’d have

I have a clutch of girlfriends from my childhood whose trials and tribulations are among the few things I remember with any reliable clarity, including sisters who were a year apart. Both brilliant. One was my best friend through high school, but our closeness didn’t last through college, due to some ugly incidents I never quite understood. (She made target practice of me at a public event, silencing our dinner table. The apologies that followed months later were strange and unconvincing, though she still meant a great deal to me.) Her younger sister and I remained good friends, and even shared an apartment in our post-college years.

Now through the magic of LinkedIn,  T reconnects with me and sends along wedding photos of her sister’s sunset ceremony. I see my old best friend, and I am startled. She looks so young – you’d never guess this woman was over 30, never mind over 40 – as if she was the happy cousin of my best buddy in high school. We all had great, fun ambitions then, and I had very high ambitions for her.

But now she looks like someone I would know, or an aggregate I think I’d understand. Really smart, pleasant Irish-Catholic woman, but with acceptable, in-range achievements – nothing striking, or out of the ordinary. Nothing too threatening. I know where she would sit in church, what car she would have, where she would shop. But I don’t know how my old friend became this woman.

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2 Comments

Filed under ambition, Friends, friendship, generational change, girls, revision, wedding photos, weddings, who we are, who we become, women

2 responses to “the future I thought you’d have

  1. Oh its pretty sad losing a best friend isn’t it, they really are akin to relationship break-ups?! Nicely written post.

  2. Yes, it was like that, but with more at stake. I would say though, that looking at the pictures reminded me of how, as teenagers, we were not fitting in to the world around us. With no chance or real desire to assimilate – beyond minimizing being harrassed – I figured we would both find our way out of the misogynist, narrow-minded hometown and find our fortune (not money as much as appreciation) elsewhere. It’s strange to look and see the 180 – to see that she ended up choosing to fit in, and apparently succeeded.

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