21 April 2006

True friendship


I met Ayla--then, going by a different name--when I was thirteen, and she a year younger. We both had parallel, shall we say, familial difficulties and although we were silent then, somehow we knew, I think, because years later, in high school, we divulged very similar histories. For her privacy and for mine, I won't get into it. We shared alot during those years: friends, classes, linguistic abilities, interests...we even shared two boyfriends. We could talk to each other about anything.

In early adulthood we started growing apart. I don't mean that in a bad way; we still keep in touch and I am pretty sure that if I called her up right now, we could talk for hours, literally. What I mean is, we chose different paths. I'm right, though not really Republican; she's left, though not really Democrat. I'm Christian (Lutheran to be exact), she's pagan--and by that, I believe she's wiccan under Dianic tradition but to be honest, I'm not sure. I love the occasional steak and bleu cheese, she is a steadfast vegan with raw-foodist tendencies. And I mean, I could go on and on...for quite awhile. We just aren't alike. We disagree on so many things that otherwise, I'd probably despise her.

If that's the case, then why do I still keep in contact?

About an hour ago, I was going through our framed photographs, and I have one of the two of us at Ayla's 22nd birthday party. We went for a traditional tea at the Four Seasons. And I looked at the photo for awhile and tried to imagine what we both were like then. I remember distinctly that we were both going through some very delicate issues. I was wiccan then, and pretty eccentric...I use that term loosely. I had alot of problems that no one seemed to understand, except her. And there was a time that we couldn't be together without bringing up some unsavoury aspect of the past...but that was okay. I think it was necessary then.

I think she's still my friend because deep inside, we're more alike than not. Our beliefs are just an outward façade that define us to the world...but inside, I'd say we are pretty close to twins. Our experiences and the moments that shaped us, especially in childhood--the good, and not-so-good combined--have made it possible for us to see past what makes us who we are in society, and to love what we see in each other despite all of that. She knows me better than I can fake it, to paraphrase the Smashing Pumpkins, and I can count on one hand my friends who know me that well. I'm blessed for my friends; I wish we had the time to be together more often, and I wish I had the propensity to write or call more often...but I don't, and that's reality. But true friends don't always need a constant "Hey, how are you?" nudge, either...though I'll admit, it is nice.

As far as true friendship goes, I'm really very blessed. I'll reiterate that I have only a few, but that's more than alot of people have. Less than a dozen, most of whom never write. But again...that's okay. I know in my heart that when it matters, they're right there for me. For my wedding, for Gabriel's funeral...when it mattered. Sometimes that's all that matters.

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