measuring sticks

Posted on January 27, 2007. Filed under: Friends, Marriage, The boy(s), today i learned |

From Kindergarten Stacey and I were inseperable. We were best friends and no two best friends could have been more perfectly matched. We got into trouble together, got lost together so many times while hiking, fought together, and stood strong and tall beside one another.

Of course, I didn’t realize how similar we were until years later when, after spending years apart we met up and were still the same person in pretty much every single respect.

Looking back, she was the only person that, at the time, I simply HAD to do something with. I have never had another friend that I shared such a dependence on. We joined everything together, we thought in the same way, were both in the “gifted” program at school and silently competed for better grades against one another. We had a healthy one-up-manship at school, and in life.

It all came to an end in eighth grade.

That was when my best friend in the whole world moved.

Now, I know this happens to children all the time and we both tried to pretend that we didn’t mind, but she was moving to Switzerland. I still remember us the last day together before she moved. We were both trying so hard to be happy. Too tough and grown up to cry, of course. For 13 year olds we managed to keep in touch via mail (those were the pre-email days) for a long time, and I even got to go to Switzerland to visit when I was 14 — all by myself, my first time on a plane.

I remember being jealous of Stacey’s new friends she had made there. Jealous that she could speak German fluently. That she was now, likely, smarter than me.

Brutally jealous. I remember never wanting to share her. Or maybe being insecure and knowing deep down inside that she was one of two true friends I had in the whole world and, without her, I would be pretty much all alone in the world. (I did, of course, make new friends and have since rid myself of almost all jealous tendencies).

Continents apart, we still excelled at school — she veered towards Science and me towards English and the arts (maybe it was meant to be that way — complimentary instead of competitive). I went to Queen’s, her family moved back here and she went to Guelph. We both finished Masters programs. We had continued, through space and time to stay even — the measuring stick was level.

And now, I just recieved a wonderful email that she and her husband are pregnant. And I am so happy for her and wonder how the even lives we had been living somehow suddenly got so out of whack. Did she speed up? Did I slow down? Of course, I don’t actually think we should be at the same place in our lives but her email made me realize that I am just so not in that same place. So incredibly far from it and sometimes I wish I didn’t feel so far away, like I didn’t feel like I knew I would have to do things like buying a place on my own just to finally move out of my parent’s house again and to try to be sure that I could make enough on one salary to do so and to not be sure that any of the rest will necessarily follow. I used to not want it to. I used to claim that I would never get married — that it was an unnecessary situation in life, a stupid piece of paper. But, as everyone said it would, that has definitely changed. Now I feel like I never will in that way you do in your twenties when the rest of the world around you seems to be getting married and you’re not – not in the way that makes you want to go out tomorrow and tie the knot (I’m much to logical for any of that). I sometimes feel like I should be further along in life, though I don’t want the pace to speed up one little bit.

So, congratulations to Stacey. My first best friend in the whole world. Thank you for still being able to teach me about myself, my life, and how I work in the world despite the fact that we have seen one another a handful of times in the last decade.

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[…] 16th, 2007 · No Comments Whenever I start to feel like I’m not measuring up, or I’m not as far ahead in life as I thought I’d be, or people keep reminding me that […]


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