On January 29th in our last year at James River Day School, I sat with my best friends, Caroline and Holly, on the swings. It was after school; some sort of event was going on and we had escaped to the empty playground. I remember it being serene, the sun setting really nicely. But I also remember feeling as if something were coming to an end. We were moving onto high school and we didn’t know what to expect, or even if we would all be going to the same place. We all felt this ‘something’ closing, and we made a promise to each other that we would come back to those same swings every year on that day, January 29th. We haven’t gone back, but in our own way we kept that promise. Our friendship has stuck, and through loose planning and a will to do so, we find a way to see each other yearly, wherever that may be.
I think there are people who are meant to be in your life. Caroline and Holly, are two of those people for me. In middle school we were inseparable. We were unapologetically ourselves, and acted as a chaotic good that I’d like to think was appreciated by our classmates and teachers. In PE, when we had to run the nature trail, and cover as much of the equivalent length to the Appalachian trail as we could on teams, we packed snacks and a speaker in with our clothes. Hidden by nature, we turned the run into a nice little walk. Occasionally I would take one for the team and run a lap to keep us from being too visibly lazy, but what I can say for sure is that we are the team that had the most fun. Our teachers loved us--we weren’t exclusive of others, or mean. We just found joy in everything. We were always laughing, and we pulled the best from one another. This energy continues today between us, but it’s also the sort of friendship that, no matter how much time has passed since we spoke or texted, it picks up right where we left off.
And I’ve been finding it hard to put our friendship into words. All I can say, which won’t add up to nearly enough, is that I feel the most at peace when I am with them. The endless questioning and self doubt that goes on in my head all the time ceases for those moments we spend together. What we’ve been through and the joy we’ve found in even the simplest of things is something I wish for everyone. We can joke about anything, and delve deeper into topics we want to. I know we’ll always be friends, and I can’t wait to see how our friendship evolves through the next stages of our lives.
To Caroline and Holly, DTSBs for life, I love you!