To reminisce with my old friends, a chance to share some memories, and play our songs again (Ricky Nelson)
Out of this ‘family’, though, there are a handful of people who I have either known for years or who I feel like I have known for years. What amazes me about the relationships I share with these people is that no matter how long it’s been since we’ve last seen each other- months, years- we’re always able to pick up right where we left off.
I devote this first post to my family, and specifically to one of my oldest friends…
Our quasi-fairytale story began years ago:
We initially met while preparing for our foreign exchanges in high school. Though we attended different high schools, we were part of the same ‘district’ which meant we’d be attending foreign exchange student meetings and activities together – and we’d be developing a tightly knit group of culturally diverse and mature teens.
C and I began as friends, meeting occasionally and never exchanging more than a couple sentences. After our exchanges were done, he’d begin dating one of my best friends who also went to Germany. Their relationship began to sputter when C was more into my friend than my friend was into him- and eventually they broke it off as she chased another guy from our high school.
I was much more cold towards guys than I am today: C began hinting that he liked me, but it would take months before I finally saw him in a dateable light. It was at my New Year’s Eve party that we were in my family room together after everyone else had left: he couldn’t seem to fall asleep, nor could I. We spent hours talking, and then it occurred to me- why not? Why not open my heart up to this guy who was so sincere, caring and genuine?
Over the years, we’ve shared so many memories that I’ll spend my life treasuring. Take our first kiss, for example: in his kitchen, while making chocolate chip cookies. I will always refer to this first kiss as our “Cookie Dough Kiss”. The time we met up in my adopted hometown and drove to the beach after sundown and lay together on the beach, despite the fact we had nothing to buffer ourselves from the sand. I can’t remember a night the moon has shone so brightly over the ocean. Our last day together before we left for college: full of hugs while with each other, full of tears for me after I left his place knowing we’d never be the same. The times we met up in our “half-way point” town and ate ice cream together, had our official first dinner-out together (chicken parmigana: so delicious), imagining we had the world’s money at our fingertips as we dreamed outside a real estate office about which home we’d purchase.
As he says every time we’re together: “My heart beats so fast when I’m around you…”
When I found out a weekend trip with one of my roommates would bring me to Boston, I immediately contacted him. My roommate ended up canceling the trip- and C ended up moving to DC a couple weeks later. We were both looking forward to spending a couple days together, and I wasn’t about to let my roommate’s cancellation or C’s change of city alter the plan for us to be re-united after a year.
I struggled with the decision to go- what message would I be sending to everyone if I was traveling four hours to see an ex for a couple days? This was my own insecurity… I decided to leave my insecurity to the birds, and saw this trip in a different way.
I was seeing an old friend.
In the end, that is what our relationship status is. We are old friends. The fact that we dated on and off for years does add zest to this status, but it does not necessarily complicate things. While visiting him, I had moments of clarity. Since we initially met I have grown and developed as a person – he has too. There are certain things that I want in a relationship, and I know that right now he is unable to provide me with those things. This is why I can see him without feeling shameful for spending time with an “ex”.
Though our relationship status will remain as “old friends”, I will always look back fondly on the times we shared together. He has been nothing but loyal, trustworthy and incredibly caring – I know well that these are characteristics to be appreciated in men. Looking forward, I know that the next time we see each other we will be even more different. I will most likely still be in the city, pursuing a job in the fashion industry and he will most likely be in Med School or perhaps even be exploring the world.
Who can say where we will be in life- but as Ricky Nelson once said, we will reminisce, share memories, and play our songs again the next time we meet.