I am lucky to have a lot of girlfriends in my life. I am lucky to have them spread out all over the country, spread out all over my history from the first time I went through college until now, and they all mean different things to me but I would step in front of a bus for any of them. My friend Brynn is one of those friends. We met when we were both in graduate school in Boston, but really, we were both just lost. Constantly in the darkness. Neither of us realized it at the time, but we were both in relationships that now are easy to see were doomed.
When I went out to Albuquerque to visit her that first time, I was essentially at rock bottom. I couldn't decide what to do about my failing marriage, my job was a new level of stressful hell, and my spring half marathon - the one I had trained for twice and gotten hurt for twice - had just been canceled due to the arrival of a clunky boot on my right foot. My girlfriends were doing everything they could to support me, but I'm sure I was pushing them away. I was in a spiral of self-destruction - drinking far too much, behaving badly, essentially just hating myself for all the choices that had turned my life into what it was. Going out to visit, for whatever reason, was like coming up for air.
I'm not sure if it was the timing or just getting out of DC or what did it, but it changed me. When I came home, I could see clearly what I had to do to turn my life around, to move forward, and over the next six months, I did it. That doesn't mean that it was easy or that I didn't have set-back after set-back, but I turned the corner. I'm here now.
I'm glad that our friendship hasn't gotten lost in the business of our lives. We all have those friends that sometimes weeks or even months go by when you don't talk, and then you pick up the phone and it's like no time has passed. That's what this is. And this weekend I was lucky enough to stand beside her while she got married.
Both of us, I would say, are unrecognizable from the day we met (and not just because I'm wearing far too much purple eyeshadow).
Her happiness is explosive.
I am obviously not saying that we are both happier because we are married (men are not the answer, people!), but rather we were both able to figure out how to be happy and then engage in relationships that are stable and strong and filled with joy.
I'm having a hard time finding words that are not ridiculously trite to describe how much fun our weekend was, and how much I enjoyed getting to know the "other women" in her life.
It was worth the hangover(s), worth the airports and planes and smelly people eating onions in confined spaces. It was worth living in Boston for a year to find our friendship, a place that was essentially hell on earth for me, full of uppity rich 21-year-old graduate students and 18" of snow just appears for no reason and giant rats the size of my microwave.
All of it. It was worth all of it.