Sunday, November 16

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old...

Acquaintances. Roommates. Work Buddies. Friends. Best Friends.

I think we all have some of each. I have been truly blessed to have had certain friends at certain times in my life where our friendship has helped get through whatever I was dealing with at the time. Growing up in Houston I had several "best friends" (as best as they could have been at age 6) and I remember being very sad to leave them behind when we moved to Ohio when I was 9. My fondest memory of childhood friendship was having sleepovers at Angela Nelson's house and screaming and laughing as we watched her mom try to kill the foot-long cockroaches climbing up the walls. Talk about scarred for life...

The 8 years I lived in Ohio were not the easiest emotionally, but I will be forever grateful to the marvelous, wonderful, amazing friends that I had there. Blume and Amy T. (plus many more - Amy R, Allison, Katie, Beth...) were angels in my life. I will never forget that night near the end of Sophomore year that I told Blume and Amy T. that I would be moving to Texas. I told Amy T. first because I was too nervous and sad to tell Blume. We were sitting at her kitchen table and for a good two minutes and I kept opening my mouth but literally no words were coming out. I could not vocalize them. It was the strangest sensation to want to say something but be literally unable to say the words. When I finally told her that my family was moving to Texas, in classic Amy T. fashion, she told me that I could not move and that maybe they would find a huge deposit of oil underneath where we were building our house so we wouldn't be able to move and then we would have to stay in Ohio and so on and so on. I'll always love her for trying to make me laugh in what was one of the saddest moments of my life. I then drove over to Blume's house. We were both sitting on the floor in her bedroom and after I told her I would be moving to Texas, we sat for a long time, holding each other and sobbing. It hurt a lot to move during high school and leave friends as amazing as them. Another reason why I will always love Blume and Amy T. is that the two of them braved a 24-hour Greyhound Bus ride to come visit me the summer we moved to Dallas right before school started. They actually drove me to the school on my first day of Junior year. And then I came home to discover little notes of love and encouragement and crazy quotes hidden ALL OVER my room. It took a good 3-4 months to find them all. So, thank you, Blume, Amy T. and all of my Ohio friends for all the memories.

So I moved back to Texas the summer before my Junior year of high school. Not the best time in a teenager's life to be the new girl! On my very first day of school (after Blume and Amy T. dropped me off), I was scared to death. I knew absolutely no one. And the scariest part of the day? Lunch. TRUE CONFESSION: On my first day of school at Carroll High School, I ate my lunch in the bathroom. That's right. The bathroom. Not my proudest moment, but true nonetheless. On my second day of school (or maybe the third, I don't remember) I was finally brave enough to just sit by myself at one of the big tables in the back. I was eating my lunch and reading a textbook when a girl with bright red hair invited me to join her and her friends at their table close to where I was sitting. I said okay...and two years later I had made some amazing friends. Tara (the redhead), Kelsey, Meggie, Michelle, Megan, Courtney, Cammie... and even some guy friends! Branden, Jason, John, Nathan, Nick, Casey... and many more. Amazing, incredible friends and LOTS of laughs. Fun times on the farm...

I've lost touch with lots of the friends that I had in high school, but I still think of them often and thank Heavenly Father for the impact they had on my life.

After high school came college...and the Reign of the Roommates. I moved each year and therefore had different roommates each year. My first two years at BYU were good as far as roommates went. It was a challenge at times, but I think each experience taught me valuable lessons that I was able to recall later on when I was serving a mission. I made friends in my different wards but I never felt that I had made any "best friends" during those first two years.

I loved my mission and I loved all 8 of my "roommates" (aka compaƱeras). Again, challenging at times, but valuable life lessons were learned and filed away for future reference. However when I was in my second area, I remember very distinctly one particular night that the issue of friends, or rather the lack thereof, became very real to me. I suddenly realized that I had no friends. I did not have any friends who were waiting for me to come home. I felt that there was no one who cared about me and what I was doing. As irrational as that all sounds, that is how I felt. My seeming lack of true and lasting friendships hit me with such a force that I was inconsolable in my sadness and depression. Again, it sounds irrational and unfounded, but at the time it was very real. Needless to say, things got better, I continued serving and loving my companions and the people I taught, but the memory of that night in Algeciras never really left me.

I returned to BYU after my mission and moved into Carriage Cove Apartments. I had decided to try my luck at the whole random selection thing for my 3 roommates, but I wasn't too worried about it. I had just survived a year and a half of living with 8 different sister missionaries, so I was confident I could handle anything after that. Little did I know...

DIVINE INTERVENTION. That is the only way to describe how I became roommates with Joanna and Rachel. There were too many coincidences (I was their brother's assistant at the MTC; Joanna was in one of my wards before my mission) and we got along almost too well for it to have been anything else. They are the two halves of my personality. And seriously, everyone should be best friends with twins, because instead of just one best friend, you have two! It's great! But even more seriously, Heavenly Father knew what I needed in a friend and He knew who I needed to be friends with. And who I needed in my life then and now are Joanna and Rachel. (Sniff, sniff...I miss you guys! Billy?!?! "Tell yourself it's never gonna happen again." But you should see Diddy's! Love, Captain Moroni)

Back to BYU...I also made some other amazing friends while living at The Cove and Windsor Park (Sara, Peta, Deb...) and through my classes in the PR program (Joe Tat, Virge, Jess, Shea...). Great people and great times.

Where was I going with all that? I'm actually not really sure... I wasn't planning on writing a memoir of my past and present friendships, but I guess it kind of came out that way. The real reason that I started writing about friends is because I have realized that everywhere I have lived I have become friends with wonderful and amazing people. I was only in LA for 9 months, but I was became really good friends with the first person I met (Whitney!) and I continued to make friends during my time there. I've been back in Dallas for over 6 months and, again, I have become friends with so many amazing and interesting people (Becky, Michelle, Magen, Christy...). I will be sad to leave them in a couple of months, but I am excited to make new friends in Austin!

I guess the general message that I wanted to convey through this extremely long and somewhat personal post is that the Lord is truly aware of each of us and our situations. He knows the people that need to be in our lives - and visa versa - He knows whose lives we need to be apart of, as well. We may lose track of friends from our childhood and from high school and even from college and the mission, but it is important that we always remember the people who have helped us become who we are today. We should always be on the lookout of who may be in need of a friend because we never know the impact that our small gesture may have on their life (IE: Tara and the lunch table). Be good to the friends you have now and they will be there for you when you need them the most. And always be grateful to Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be an instrument in His hands to touch the lives of others.

Make new friends but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold

A circle's round, it has no end
That's how long I want to be your friend

1 comment:

  1. Katie, you are cute.

    Reading your post made me all nostalgic and sentimental.

    I am grateful for YOUR friendship. Seriously, who else understands my extreme passion for reading? :)

    I'm hoping you're coming up this way sometime?