Warning: this is a little sappy... but it's late, and I've been thinking about this for a long time. Also, I'm in a "Pam at the end of season 3" mode right now, where I basically just tell everyone what I'm thinking, and how I feel about them... so, yeah. You've officially been warned.
I've been facebook stalking people a lot lately, with all teh extra time I have, it just comes naturally. As I was staling a girl I went to high school with, I saw that basically all of her friends are friends we had in high school.
Later I was stalking a girl I went to junior high with. Now, she went to a different high school than I did, so she has a lot of friends who I don't know, but I can identify almost everyone in the vast majority of her pictures as the girls she hung out with when we were in orchestra together in junior high.
After considering the amazing relationships that these girls must have with these other people who they've known and been friends with for so long, I got a little bit sad.
Yes, I have facebook friends from high school; I even have a few from junior high. However, do I ever talk to them? I have one friend who I know I could talk to whenever I want, whose house I will always be welcome to come to and just hang out, even if said friend is not home, who I have known for as long as I can remember—literally: her mom babysat my sister and me when my mom couldn't get home from work in time to pick us up from the bus stop.
I have another friend whom I love to pieces who has been my best friend since seventh grade. We became best friends because we were the fat Mormon girls in the click that we were in, and ever since then we've basically shared a brain. I consider her to be my family more than anyone else I've ever known (who wasn't actually family, and even more than some who are family).
Then I have another friend who I met in high school who I share more interests with than anyone (except the aforementioned 7th grade best-friend). She keeps me updated on everything that happens in the theatre world, and lets me live vicariously through her as she performs in show after show. I enjoy few things more than getting to work backstage on a show that she's in the cast of, and I love our weekly trips to get dessert and just be happy, intelligent, theatre-nerd friends.
And that's about it. Those are my three friends who I have known the longest. I wonder how different my life would be if I had kept the same friends my entire life. How different of a person would I be? I can't speak for these girls who have had the same friends since junior high, or even high school, but I'm pretty positive that, for me, that would not have been a good thing.
My entire life I've kind of thrown pity parties for myself about how people always leave me. In elementary school I had a different "best friend" every year. In junior high my little click of best friends got torn apart first by one of the people being a stupidface, then by going to different high schools. Then my senior year my best friend moved a billion miles away and just a few months after that I lost another incredibly close friend to an even farther away destination. Then my sister left for her mission and never really came back to be my sister; she just got married right away. And I could keep going and get much more detailed, but I’m not going to.
I know that I would not be the same person that I am today if I hadn't had so many wonderful and different friends throughout my life. I won't lie: I still have an incredibly hard time saying goodbye to people, but I know that the things I have learned about people, the church, and life in general, I would not have been able to learn had I always been surrounded by the same friends.
I am thankful that I have the relationships that I have with my friends. I am also thankful for the relationships I’ve had and lost, because I am so much stronger because of them.