This past week my best friend from college came out to visit me in the Azores. As we chatted, she mentioned that we have been friends for ten years now. Ten years. It’s amazing how fast time works. Sam and I were on the same floor of Maple Hall our freshman year at Bemidji State University. She was one of the first friends I made at university, and still remains one of my closest.
Most people have had the same experience Sam and I had this past week—how—despite vast geographical distance, months of infrequent contact and life’s random disasters, we reconnected the moment she stepped off the plane as if we had been apart only a few days. I suppose, this ease is simply indicative of a strong friendship. Close relationships are incredibly beautiful in that way.
It makes my heart happy.
It’s fascinating to me, how Sam and I have grown over the past ten years. From the naive freshmen girls (from rural Montana and North Dakota) we were in September of 2002 just starting college, we’ve grown into educated, progressive, creative, and confident women—still evolving into to the humans we want to be in this world.
We have cried and laughed together (as well as laughed until we cried together), we have drank wine late into the night, danced until the bars closed, sat through long lecture classes, and visited foreign countries. Aspects of those young eighteen-year-olds from the rural mid-west remain in each of us, but we are beautifully different people than we were. Life experiences, college education, ex-boyfriends, close friendships, real jobs, world travel, and our unique struggles have eroded a lot of the innocence and ignorance of our younger years. Yet, our friendship endures—even as we continue to individually evolve.
Sam is a beautiful human who appreciates life. Some Americans complain about the lack of activities and entertainment on the island, but Sam loved every moment. Her visit felt too short. However, I have no right to complain—she was the one who used her leave from work, saved her money, and bought a plane ticket to an obscure island in the middle of the Atlantic just to visit me. I’m lucky to have spent time with her, no matter how quickly that time passed.
As I hugged her goodbye at the airport (for probably the fifth time), I remembered how much I miss her—how much I miss all of my close friends who are now absurdly far from me. I love Terceria, but the island can also feel very isolating and lonely.
I love Sam. She is a kind, passionate, clever and hilarious human being. I also love her for reminding me I am not alone, for renewing a certain comfort in myself. I can successfully let people into my life. I’m not too weird in this world. Sam has seen me at my best and worst and throughout the past ten years, and we’ve had our lulls and miscommunications. But–we can sing songs narrating our actions, we can dance like awkward robots, and ultimately, I can’t really explain how wonderfully lucky I feel to have humans like Sam in my life.