So far, having the place to myself has been lovely. It was a little unnerving last night when I kept hearing noises and thinking that someone else must be in the house. I had to keep reminding myself that the low rumbling was just my laundry, and I finally realized the beeping was my smoke alarm. (Note to self: replace battery. Even the signs on the Beltway today were reminding everyone to check their smoke alarms and change their clocks. What I couldn't figure out was how the two were related . . .) I was amused at my anxiety, because I had the main part of the house all to myself in March and April anyway, and I was just fine without anyone then.
I was thinking today about friends, and their various purposes in our lives. Some people have friends that they've known all their lives and have been there for everything. I don't have any of those because I keep moving too much. I've made cross country moves every eight years of my life, and the elementary school I attended didn't feed directly into the middle school I attended across town, which didn't feed into the high school I went to a few thousand miles away. For the last five years, I've moved almost every year, which means new wards, new roommates, and new parts of town.
Aside from my family, the only friend I've known longer than nine years is Captain Deviance, whom I've known and talked to on and off again for twelve years. I haven't seen him in person in nine of those years, but somehow we've managed to keep in touch, and I'm glad he's part of my life, even sporadically. It's nice to have someone to compare growth with, and directly see how we went from awkwardly slow dancing to "You Are Not Alone" to graduating from college and taking over the world.
Some friends, like some I knew this summer, are only around for a few months. You have a good time when they're around, but once you or they take off, you simply have fond memories and hope they're doing well.
Others, like my Fran, you have only known for a relatively short time, but it feels like you have known them forever. Fran and I hit it off immediately four years ago and have now seen each other through everything. I was 19 and had just finished my freshman year, and she was about to go to her 10 year high school reunion, but we're perfect for each other. I miss having her physically close like crazy some days, but talking to her everyday is something I look forward to.
The ones I miss the most are those who are a huge part of your life, but then suddenly just disappear. One in particular came back in my life three years after high school and we were instantly connected at the hip. We saw each other almost every day for the next two years, vacationed together, even independently apartment hunted and ended up within four blocks of each other. They saw me through a really hellish time in my life, and I'm so grateful for them. But they haven't returned my phone calls since July.
Some of the best ones are those you know are there, no matter how long it is in between visits or chats. You watch each other grow, cheer each other on, and mourn with each other when necessary. Then three months goes by with nary a word, but you always know you both care. You can laugh about the time four years ago when you asked them for advice on what to say to your homesick missionary or when they crashed on your couch after a late night at the karaoke club. But then you can rejoice now about their upcoming wedding or how much better life is now that you aren't dating So And So anymore. Whether it's been two days or a year, you know they're genuinely excited to hear from or see you, and you them. (Hi to anyone reading this that I haven't talked to in a while!)
And the best thing? They're is no limit to how many friends, in all their capacities, that you can have. Love is endless and it's up to you to spread that love and find those people out there who will make your world a better place.