I’m walking hand in hand with my S.O on 4th Avenue South, heart racing to the beat of my quickening stride. I’ve been waiting for this moment for what seems like eons; the scent of batter and lard beckoning me from just a few blocks away. Why doesn’t Waffle House serve sangria/ some sort of brunch libation?Note to self; reach out to corporate. That’s when I see her. Still with that willowy, neat walk and glossy hair. Her hand flies up in recognition and soon we’re reaching for each other in a hug that mimics what we’ve learned about politeness.
The introductions go well enough but it’s all downhill from there. I am a blundering mess of laughter, interruptions and energy. She looks like a legitimate adult, donning scrubs and a look of wisdom. I’m rocking a BCBG print wrap dress with serious cleavage and pigtails. Pigtails. How did this happen? My lips are dry and I need to bolt. I mumble something about telling her Mom hey for me and then we turn our backs, both grateful for the end.
“My friends have made the story of my life. In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges.” ― Helen Keller
She used to be one of my dearest, closest friends. We’ve gone to church together, passed notes in AP Lit and texted each other to the point of carpal tunnel. We laughed with hand-clutched bellies when my wig nearly fell off in class circa 2008 (#neverforget). How did that sort of connection become a series of mechanical nods and smiles? Distance and added responsibility are feasible answers but what stands out is lack of effort. You start to live solely for yourself and what’s within view. I don’t want to lose any more friends to that disease.
My sister-friends are all over the globe- Austin, Seattle, Tamarindo and beyond. They are brilliant, genuine and kind women who live life joyfully and support me. But sometimes I go 3-4 months without communicating with them. Am I honestly that busy?
So love the ones you’ve got and make an effort to cultivate new relationships that feel good. Reach out to someone who you have a beautiful memory with and relive it. Dismiss your insecurities about rejection or silence on their part and just do it. If they don’t love you with a slightly risqué neckline and pigtails they don’t DESERVE YOU.
-The Iron Sister
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