§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!

The Power of Long-term Friendship

Feb 25, 2020

I just had the absolute joy and pleasure of spending 3 days hiking in the Oaxaca region of Mexico with my BFF from university.

We had heart-to-heart talks. We laughed like I don’t laugh with anybody else. We acted like we were 18 years old again.
I think I became 10 years younger as a result of this trip!

It hasn’t always been easy to maintain this close friendship over the years.

We met in university and instantly bonded. We were roommates for years and studied abroad in Spain together. We traveled around Europe together. She was there to help me go to the bathroom when I broke my leg in Bali and held my hand as they put a cast on me in some dimly-lit rural clinic. We even got our first jobs at the World Bank together, bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 22.
In our twenties, we had a falling out and didn’t speak much for a couple of years. Or truth to tell, I didn’t speak to her because I was angry and hurt and had developed a defense mechanism of leaving people before they could leave me.
Looking back, what happened – a mixture of jealousies and our inability to navigate lives that were going in different directions – wasn’t something that could not have been resolved with an honest conversation. But I didn’t know how to have those back then.
Luckily, my friend persisted and stayed in touch with me, even though she later told me that she dreaded calling me, not sure if I would speak to her. Her persistence was especially meaningful because she lived in five different continents over the years. She could have just let our friendship go, but she didn’t.

I’m very grateful for that.

She moved to Washington DC, where I was also living at the time, when we were both young moms in our early 30’s. By this point, we had done a lot of personal growth work and had both matured. We finally began reconnecting in earnest.

We then moved apart again, I to Boston and she to Africa, but we always stayed in touch. We would see each other sporadically when circumstances allowed.

But it was only on an intense hiking trip together a few years ago, well into our mid-40’s, that we had a series of conversations that really changed the trajectory of our friendship.
We relived the past and talked about all the hurt feelings and misunderstandings from twenty-five years ago. We apologized and took responsibility for our “stuff”. We forgave each other. We hugged and cried.
We rebuilt our friendship on a solid foundation of honest, authentic communication.

Our friendship now feels like a rock, a place of refuge that we can both count on.

Even though we still live in different countries, we have made it a point to see each other regularly over the past couple of years.

I can’t tell you how wonderfully comforting old friendship is!

We can laugh until I’m ready to pee in my pants and I can also plop myself on her bed and make fun of her snoring. She, in turn, can make fun of my torn and ratty underwear (I brought the old ones on the hiking trip).

Even though we have had different life experiences and often see things from very distinct points of view, we can still share just about anything with each other. We both respect our differences and laugh at them. 

She knows me well enough to know that I will make a face when she orders a blue-colored, over-sugared tea drink with jelly bubbles. She also laughs at my “health consciousness” when I then proceed to take a sip of this drink trying to slurp up a few bubbles through the straw.
I have made many close friends over the years but there is nothing quite like this friendship that goes back thirty years.
I feel so grateful and blessed to have it and my wonderful, smart, funny, caring, adventurous friend in my life!

So what about you? Do you have old friendships that need rekindling, repair or forgiveness? What are you waiting for?

I love hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below.


Happy Tuesday!




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