As I was sitting down to write this, a close friend of mine called from college. I hadn't spoken to him in two months, so I found his interruption a reasonable excuse to grab the phone and pertly interrogate him as to where he'd been in the last 64 days and why he hadn't called.
At first, he was quiet and rather timid. He answered my questions with short one-liners and seemed content with my controlling the conversation. There were brief pauses, but as the conversation continued he picked up my tone and was relieved to find that I still see him as a dear friend regardless of the many miles that separate us. We hung up an hour or so later with well-intended promises to keep in touch.
As I look back on the conversation, I think what it must be like for him, a hundred miles away. So much has changed in his life in the last few months that it's probably hard to be sure which things still remain the same.
It's difficult during your senior year when your high school clock is ticking so quickly, to comprehend the major fork in the road that is just beyond the next hill. I've seen my friends leave and begin their lives, completely of their own creation. But, that doesn't mean I don't remember the first time we met.
When my friend called tonight, I played the home video out in my head. I pictured all the times he would pick me up on his shoulders and spin me around. We always had so much fun. As time continues, though, people grow and it's not that we grow apart, it's that we grow in different ways, many times just because we are in separate places.
I'm glad that life moves like this. It is not exactly progress but just the current of people through time. This current brings change and new people and experiences. I love the people I've met, even those I've never wholly known. In their variety, I've learned how much excitement and opportunity is running like a live-wire through this world. All we need is to tap into it. People have taught me this. People, like my friend I spoke to this evening, are what shape my life. Of course, I shape my life as well, but I adhere to the philosophy of taking all you can out of life. As people slide by each other in brief encounters, they shape each other into their uniqueness. This is the zest, the gusto in life, the interlocking of people at different times in separate places. It is important to remember that nothing stays the same; therefore we must take it for what it is worth while it is available and then move on. This is exactly how high school is.
As for my good friend, I know that he will spin a hundred other women on his shoulders before he is through. I'm just glad that I was one of them. fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.