This post is dedicated to my best friend of 19 years.
“Friends are guides at certain points in your life, standing next to you for certain, sometimes multiple, sometimes limitless chapters in your life”
I recently read an article titled “Friendships Aren’t For Ever”. I thought the title was a very bold and daring statement and continued to read why the author believes friendships aren’t forever. The article went on to explain that there are a handful of people who were best friends in her past, and are no longer in her present. She does not describe these people as “ex- best friends” but rather as people who have had a role in her life for years, but for whatever reason, is not a friend that she keeps today. She tells how we grow up, we change, and the friends we thought we would never grow out of just simply don’t make sense in our lives any more.
I don’t really agree with the author that friendships are not forever. It is not fair for me to judge her and her friends (or lack thereof), but I believe that just because someone does not play an active role in my life does not mean he or she is not a friend. For me, my friendships are one of the most treasured and special things in my life. No matter if it is my friend of 19 years or only a few months, I can’t imagine my life without these individuals. I have been very fortunate to make different friends from all over the country through many different experiences (as well as learn how to maintain them through the distance). Currently, I am making new friends, reuniting with friends I haven’t seen in months or even years, as well as creating more memories with friends who go to school with me. I know that when I return in May, I might lose touch with some of these people or never see them again, but I do know that they will have helped create my semester abroad.
Some of you might be asking why I am sharing this with you in my blog. I feel that while I have some friends I speak to everyday or some only a few times a week or month, I am carrying a piece of each one of them here with me in Israel (along with many memories from my summer with Group 7 on USY Israel Poland/Pilgrimage). Yes, I have the many pictures as frequent reminders, but each friend has impacted my life and helped shape my experiences that one way or another that has played a role in leading me here. It might have been the contagious passion and love for Israel of some that has rubbed off on me, the sheer excitement that others had when I told them what I was doing for the semester, or just the love and support from the rest as I said my goodbyes.
Today is the 21st birthday of my oldest and closest friend. Tons and tons of great memories from our friendship come from our birthday celebrations (remember the salad, L?). I wish I could be in the states to celebrate this one with her today. This is not the first birthday we have been apart, but as I have started my semester abroad and as I write this post, it is weird to think this is only like the second or third program I have participated in that she has not been by my side. This only makes me realize that as we create our own paths in life, no matter where we are, we will still be friends.
While of course there are people who were once best friends of mine or even just friends that don’t play a role in my life today, I don’t think our friendship is over. If I have learned anything by being in Israel these past few days and after a few reunions of friends from my past (talk about running into a camp friend from years ago after I left Hebrew class the other day), people really do enter your life for a reason. Even if you lose touch, there is still time and space for them to reenter, if you allow it. Luckily, I know that my 21 -year old best friend is a lifetime friend. I am so fortunate and lucky to have her and her family be such a huge part of my life. While we have grown up and changed, I believe that regardless of how often I speak to her or any of my other friends, each individual person has come into my life for a purpose (even if I don’t know what it is). I am so thankful for all of my amazing friends here and in the states and can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for all of us!
So, Happy Birthday, L! Have the best day ever and as your wise dad once told me, “enjoy 21 responsibly”. I love you! xoxo