The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley
It’s crazy to think that it was 1997 when these girls came into my life and changed it for the better. It seems so long ago, doesn’t it? I was in sixth grade, I was new to Cody, Wyoming…and the first day of school, at a new school, terrified, shaking, crying, and doing my best to conquer junior high with little under my belt. Everybody there was close-knit because Cody is a small town, very few people move there unless they’re retiring so new students are an object for observation. The hallways smelled like salt, and there was a rumor that the principle was an ex-Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader slash Playboy Bunny, and for whatever reason, I was scared scatless that she’d be as tall as an Amazon woman and equally scary (and I was right). The red lockers were SO tall (hi, I was from an even smaller town, and had left an elementary school behind…not a junior high with real lockers). And Jozie had seen me within five minutes and already pulled my hair. Wenchface.
Admittedly, they grew the boys cuter in Cody, Wyoming. Whoooooweeee!
A group of girls approached me in Mr Demming’s Social Studies class (swoooon, that guy was swoooooon), and invited me to be part of them.
Ashley was one of those girls. Her hair was gorgeous, and she smelled like incense and reminded me of home, and to this day I can’t tell you why.
Ashley was different. Ashley was the girl that could make me laugh. She made me realize that I could just eat Nutty Bars for lunch. She wasn’t entirely boy crazy, but enough to make me feel sane. She went to church camp with me and rebelled with me over it. She let me cry, showed me how to ski, squealed over 98 degrees and N’Sync, and protected me from her dogs. We called in to a radio show on our “friendship anniversary” and got made fun of by the DJ, but definitely jammed out to “Lean On Me” when he played it for us. We cried over Armageddon on her couch, and discovered the majestic MTV. We were fascinated by AOL chat. We ate foccasia bread and ranch dressing, we rode 20+ miles to work everyday to work at the same hotel cleaning rooms, taking our tips to the parking lot coffee shop like we were 45 or something. We were a pretty big deal, her & I. If we ever disagreed, I don’t remember it. She’s one of the two friends from Cody that started in 1997 that I am still close to, talk with regularly, and can pick up from where we left off when I moved from there. She’s taking life by storm still, raising three gorgeous kids and a husband, and continuing to be one of the bestest best friends I’ve ever had. LYLAS.
Happy almost birthday, woman!
I think, as girls especially, we get very few in our life that are so close to you that they don’t hurt you. That they stay forever. They’re the kind of people that you never lose, because they know too much TOO let them escape. I can count on one hand, the girls in my life that I’d consider “soul sisters“, and I’m pretty sure they know who they are (I’ll eventually blog about every single one of you). I think, even, that finding genuine girls is so hard that some are middle aged and still have yet to have that kind of relationship. Women are evil, we hurt intentionally, we get stabby and jealous and insecure and crazy.
Tonight, I’m hanging out with my latest gaggle of girls, that took me almost 10 years of living in Cheyenne to find. Another group that I’ve had to move away from in order to get closer to’m. They’re another group that’s out to change the world, they’re completely different than anything I’ve ever seen. Soul chargers, we call ourselves. Or kick ass bitches, even. Goodness, I’m insanely blessed.
What did your Junior High smell like?