On Growing Up and Branching Out

Nobody ever told me how hard it would be to make friends after college. Maybe you're working a weird job and have nothing in common with your colleagues. Maybe you went to grad school and took half of your courses online; or maybe, shortly after, you met a handful of wonderful people at your office but then moved to Minnesota a year later.

I have always been blessed with great friends. When I get married in a few months, I'll have seven amazing women standing right behind me, and I feel like much of my life has been that way. Emma is the sister I never had, Tina is the one I can always count on, Shawna has the most amazing spirit and can make me laugh like no one else, and Elena and I have been separated by oceans at times, but always manage to find our way back to each other. These women have been in my life since we were girls, but the list goes on (and isn't limited only to my wedding party). I think about all the people who will be seated there as Rob and I stand in front of them, and I just can't believe it. It's overwhelming in the very best way.

This is all wonderful, but these people live really far away, which is why I've found myself meeting up with wonderful strangers in coffee shops and restaurants lately. I've been dating a lot of girls over the past few months.

The internet has been sort of amazing in bringing us all together. Someone who once read my blog when I was writing my master's thesis in Charlottesville is now the person I refer to as "my best friend in Minneapolis." An Instagram connection and I are going to start our own little writing group. Food bloggers and photographers who I never knew until October, or yesterday, are now people with whom I make plans. Blogging has really made this big world (or country, or state, really) a lot smaller, and for that I'm thankful.


I wrote this a while ago:

I remember leaving for college.

I stood in my driveway with Emma's arms wrapped around my neck and thought, "Never." I would never find another friend like her, and I would never be the same because of it. It was August and despite the early hour, the hot Virginia morning already fell, muggy on our bare shoulders. Thick brown ringlets and freckles merged as our embrace tightened. 

My dad put the final box of my stuff into the back of our black Suburban. "I'll visit you every weekend," she sobbed into my ear. I let go of her and got in the car. I remember feeling like I'd never have another friend like Emma again.

And then, seven years later, she was hugging me goodbye once more as I packed my stuff to move to Minnesota. So much has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. You can't replace your best friends, but you don't have to be alone.


Photo: Me, Shawna, and Emma in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Blurry, but one of my very favorites.