I had tapas after work the other night with these ladies.

Starkville Weekend 018

We were a little less, uh, on top of each other, and we’re a few years older. But these girls have been in my heart now for a long time.

We went to high school together at The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, so for two formative years of our adolescence we basically lived together. (Well, in the case of the one in the middle, we DID live together!)

I think when you get through the years where you wear matching t-shirts and ribbons in your hair: MAO Competition

and dress up like this for Halloween: Samsung

you’re basically bonded for life.

Something about that crucible of a time has made it so that my MSMS friends are still some of the people I feel the most comfortable with in the world, even if we don’t talk regularly. I wrote once about how I chose in high school to feel home-ful instead of homeless, and these two and their families were a big part of that. I spent weekends at their homes, ate dinner with their parents after church, crashed in their rooms as a way-stop on road trips. And I am beyond thrilled that Middle-of-the-pile Friend has just moved to Atlanta! Bottom-of-the-pile just happened to be passing through Atlanta on her way back to grad school in Virginia, and after a flurry of texts (and I do mean a flurry) we managed to make a meetup happened.

And boy was it nice.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about who I am and what my future holds (somewhat inspired/forced upon me by my reading of Daring Greatly, more on that later) and I’ve sort of been feeling like I needed a friend. And friends they are. With such a build up of shared history, we don’t have to fill in the blanks. We can just pick up right here, because they know that I am obsessive and neurotic sometimes and they love me anyway. And one can talk about her new boyfriend and make reference to an ex because we knew her then, and the other can tell us about driving her dad’s truck for the week and it makes us smile because we know him, too.

I know grownup friendships take work. And just because she now lives in my city, I have no illusions that Middle-of-the-pile and I will see each other every day, and probably not even every week. But it will undoubtedly be more often than we were able to when she lived 5 hours away, and I’m pretty excited about that.

I don’t know which friends are silver and which are gold: the old friends, or the new friends. I like and need all the kinds of friends. But I sure appreciate having old friends like these in my life.

Who’s your oldest friend and how often do you see them? What are your favorite ways to cultivate friendships as an adult?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman