Last night I watched one of my best friends from high school get engaged over a youtube video.
And I cried. Which is not that shocking because it was a pretty fantastic engagement and I tend to get emotional about those kind of things. But I also cried because I wish I could have been there..in person. And I wish I could still say that I am one of her best friends.. but sometimes, time and distance takes it toll on relationships and those that you used to be able to call as close as sisters, become strangers. And you have to watch one of the happiest moments of their lives happen over a computer screen, and find yourself wishing with all your heart you could hug them and tell them THIS is what we were waiting for when we were only 17. But knowing that just a text will have to suffice.
And that’s sad right? I know. But that’s life. People lose touch all the time. And each day you wake up, another sun is waiting. Life doesn’t stop because you stop trying to be in someone’s life. It just goes on without you. And so do they.
When we were 17, we were perfect.
We had our hearts broken every week by high school boys who had no idea the grip they had on our little lives. We tped houses and prank called and sang at the top of our lungs with the windows down in our cars. We made brownies just so we could eat the batter and we stayed up all night watching One Tree Hill. Sexy was just a pair of Soffee shorts. And since we started driving, freedom was the most highly coveted thing you could ever own.
We lived in a bubble. And we loved and hated it there.
But that was our lives. And we spent a significant amount of time comforting each other, that someday, something better was waiting for all of us. Really believing it.. because what else did we know? And what other choice did we have? Our grip on reality was what we saw on TV. We all wanted to be Meredith Grey. We all wanted McDreamy. We all wanted to live happily ever after. But that didn’t stop the tears when the current guy you thought you were in love with didn’t turn out to be him. And we would sit in a car, in an abandoned parking lot, talking about dreams and broken hearts. Finding meaning to our lives in that perfect song and wishing we were all anywhere but here.
And I was so silly and trivial back then. Looking around the corner for some fairy tale ending. Thinking maybe it was possible if I just waited long enough I could find that. I would get out of that town and just fly. And never look back.
Which I did. I got out and moved on. And I’m thankful I’m not stuck in a bubble anymore. But I had to make sacrifices along the way. Things you didn’t think about at the time but now years later you find yourself kind of missing.
But I guess mostly I think.. am I really that different from my 17 year old self? I spent years distancing myself from her. Trying to grow up, to be different, to change. But here I am, watching a video on youtube of a girl I used to know.. thinking she did it. She found it. What we were all looking so hard for.
So here’s to your happy ending Erin. And to all the tears and heart break along the way that got you there. And the hope you give the rest of us, to all of our inner 17 year olds that never really grow up.
That each of our dreams,
whatever they may be,
maybe they weren’t that silly after all.
To being 17 again..