Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Reflections on Friendship + A Weekend Escape

On September 5th, 1989 I started first grade. It was my second year of elementary school, and most of the faces in my class were familiar, but there were a few new ones. I went through elementary and high school with most of the same people, had a few constant friends, some who drifted in and out of my life, and there are some I still speak to today. But on that day, I met one person who would end up being a huge part of my life: Krista. 

Can you guess who's who?

Through elementary and high school, Krista and I drifted in and out of each other's lives. Sometimes we were just 'in school' friends, and other times we were inseparable. Toward the end of high school, we were best friends. We spent a lot of time together, had sleepovers, travelled a bit together. The summer after high school (which I still refer to as the best summer of my life) we had a ton of adventures with a bunch of people from high school, and became even closer. I stayed in town to go to college, and she moved several hours away. We talked constantly on MSN Messenger, saw each other when she came home, and retained our closeness, despite the distance. 

The next year, I was still in college, and she moved on to university. Different city, different school, different people. During Frosh Week, she made a bunch of new friends and met the guy who would become her boyfriend, and things slowly started to change. We went from talking to and seeing each other all the time to her being too busy for me (from my 19-year-old perspective). I was busy with college and I had my own friends, but I wanted my best friend. I didn't want things to change. I thought because we beat the odds and managed to stay close during that first year apart, things would carry on that way...but I was wrong. We had a huge fight, and things weren't the same after that. It didn't help that we had a mutual friend who wanted each of us to herself and didn't want us to be friends with each other, so she pitted us against each other. I can't place all the blame on her - we were all at fault. I didn't see that until years later, though, which I'll get to in a minute. 

Over the next few years, we saw each other a handful of times and sent the occasional Facebook message. I harboured a lot of anger and resentment toward her, and I think she did too. There was an underlying element of frost between us, which made it hard to go beyond surface stuff. 

Until two years ago. We started talking about something random via Facebook and it felt natural. It progressed slowly, and she invited me to come spend a weekend with her (she lives an hour away). You could have knocked me over with a feather. I immediately accepted, then swung between excitement and nervousness until we were finally together. I worried it would be awkward or we'd have trouble finding something to talk about. From the moment we greeted each other with a huge hug, it was like all those years of animosity melted away and everything was different. We talked a lot about what happened all those years ago, and each took responsibility for our part in it. We told each other things the other didn't know about the situation, and I admitted a large part of the problem was my jealousy and possessiveness.

We kept talking after that weekend, but didn't see each other again until the next summer, when we spent a day at the beach together. It was then we started tentatively talking about taking a trip together. If you've been reading the blog or if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you'll know those tentative talks turned into a plan and eventually a two-week trip to London, Paris, and Rome. If someone had told me a few years ago that I'd eventually travel through Europe with Krista, I would have laughed in their faces. I didn't think we'd ever be close again, but here we are, with our friendship stronger than ever. 

The reason I'm sharing all of this is because I want to remind people how complex, complicated, messy, wonderful, and beautiful friendship is, no matter how old you are, and that if you've ever experienced hard times in a friendship, you're not alone. Friendships go through rocky patches, just like any other relationship. Sometimes friendships end, and it hurts like hell. Sometimes you wish you could have those friendships back, and sometimes you know you're better off without that person in your life, especially if they're hurting you or creating a toxic environment for you. You have to do what's best for you, even if it's not easy. And sometimes you think you've lost a friendship forever and that person will eventually come back into your life and end up meaning the world to you. Hard times can make or break a friendship, and in our case, it did both. If you can get past those hard times, there's magic on the other side. Krista and I both realize now we were meant to be in each other's lives. We made it through hell and back and have the scars to prove it, but we also have a special place for each other in our hearts. We now love each other unconditionally, and know that not many people understand us the way we understand each other. 

That leads me to this past weekend. Krista and I have seen each other more this year than we have since our first year of college - she came up right after Christmas, again in May to see Avengers: Age of Ultron with me, and again right before we went to Europe, then we spent a total of 15 days together travelling. I was thrilled when she told me she'd taken a few extra days off around Labour Day and wanted me to come spend some time with her. 

Krista has a horse and she does a riding lesson every Thursday night. Her mum lives in the same city as me and goes up to watch Krista ride, so she drove me up there so Krista wouldn't have to backtrack. I'd never met Krista's horse Vennazada (I met and rode her first horse, Cali, in high school), so it was exciting to meet her and get to see Krista ride for the first time in years.


After her lesson, we went back to Krista's. We planned to watch a movie, but we got talking and before we knew it, it was 3am and we figured we should get to bed. This is what always happens with us - we get talking and can't stop. Even being together nearly 24/7 for 2 weeks in Europe, we still talked almost non-stop.
Krista wasn't the only one I spent the weekend with - meet Tessa, Loki, and Lexi! Krista is a foster mother for the local animal rescue. She got Tessa when she was pregnant, and then fostered the kittens (4 of them) until they were old enough to be adopted out. She decided to adopt two, and she's still fostering Tessa.

My other flatmate for the weekend: Maestro the chinchilla. Krista's had her since we were in high school.
The next day we slept in, then had waffles with Nutella for brunch before heading downtown. Kingston is a city that's full of gorgeous old buildings and homes, and it has a vibrant downtown area. Part of the movie Crimson Peak (starring Tom Hiddleston *drool* - it comes out in October) was filmed right outside Krista's office building, so we did a little 'Crimson Peak walking tour' and she told me where they'd filmed, how they covered the street in dirt to make it look like a dirt road, and had horse-drawn carriages and people in period costumes as extras. Tomorrow's Wanderlust Wednesday post will be dedicated to Kingston, so be sure to come back for that!

We wandered around, went into a bunch of stores, then went to Woodenheads Gourmet Pizza. We're both missing Rome, so we decided to pretend we were in Rome and have pizza for lunch, and then went to Mio Gelato afterward for gelato (I had a scoop of chocolate peanut butter and a scoop of pineapple - YUM). 

We picked up DVDs from the video store, then breadsticks, macarons, and peanut butter nanaimo bars from a bakery, before heading to the mall. I've been on the hunt for a Castiel Funko Pop, which I didn't find *cries* but Krista and I both got Loki Pops! Back at her place, we settled in for the night with leftover pizza and all our goodies, and watched Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We were both exhausted and went to bed early-ish, then repeated our waffle-and-Nutella breakfast and watched Iron Man 2. We exchanged our pictures from the trip (almost 10 weeks later), had grilled cheese for lunch, and then she brought me home. I didn't want to leave!
 
Have you ever had a falling out with a friend and then reconnected years later? Have you had a permanent friendship break-up? Do you have any friends you've known most of your life? Let's talk here or on Twitter! Also feel free to tell me what you did this weekend - I'd love to know! :-)
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3 comments:

  1. What a sweet reconnection!! I have lost and reconnected many times, but lost again. There are definitely some friends from my past I hope to see again and keep. <3

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  2. Awesome post, Marie. I had a friend that I didn't have a falling out with but we just sort of grew apart. However, anytime we get together it's like old times. I'm glad you guys are super close again. Now quit posting pictures of yummy food! You're making me hungry. ;)

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  3. SQUEE! Chinchilla. It's so fuzzy.
    I have people I've lost connections with, but haven't reconnected as of yet.

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~Marie

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