Girl Get Away- 34 years of friendship
I just got back from a wonderful gathering of 4 of my longest bestest friends. The 5 of us met at UC Davis in 1980, and have been supporting, celebrating and enriching and enjoying each other ever since. This time when we got together I really wanted to create a map of our lives together and five-way time line of when where and what we were doing that made us stick. I dubbed those events the sticky spots. The adventures and everyday events that made us stick one to the other where drawn out on a long roll of paper that grew to eight feet long. Of course it was easy those first few years in college when we all hung out but what is more amazing is that we have stuck all these years. One of the five transferred to another school part way through another joined the Peace Corps and was in Africa for 3 years, then grad school, jobs and relationships pulled us even farther apart. But we kept creating sticky spots. Often these sticky spots happened in pairs and threes as all five of us together got harder and harder logistically. About ten years ago we had our first Girl-Get-Away gathering and have been pretty steady at every-other-yearish since then. I would like to up it to annually because life is too short to only see your longest and your bestest friends every-other year. Our lives are both similar and disparate. We are all the same age and we all have parents about the same age, we all grew up in Northern California and of course we all went for a while to UC Davis. But then we diverge – some of the 5 married in our twenties others thirties or forties. Two of us have grown semi-launched children, two of us have our first babies going off to college this fall and yet another of us just enrolled her child in preschool this week. We are teachers, artists, scientists and businesswomen, some divorced some married; so our lives are simultaneously similar and wildly different. What make us come back to each other again and again are those sticky spots, those shared experiences and shared values of friendship, honesty, support and respect. It is an amazing to know someone so long that you touch base only a few times a year but pick up right where you left off last time. I know my fall will sweep me up into the business of every day home life and work but this sticky weekend with my longest and bestest will keep me nourished until next time when we can unroll the record of our sticky spots and add to it’s length and color it with new stories of love and loss, adventure and affirmation, struggles and strength.
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