Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Through "thick and thin"


In your twenties people become; disposable. Unintentionally of course.


We're looking for closeness and for our group, for the people that we can spend hours upon hours with on futons clutching cheap beer and catching up on reality television with. Who we can wear our raggedy pajamas around and apply zit cream with, or live in our greasiness with on our days off and occasionally take naps between Food Network episodes with. People we'll then make runs to 7-Eleven for candy bars and sodas with after days of daydreaming. People who will love our souls over anything else. We look for people who will be "our people." Who will grow with us through the beginning of an entry-level position to our first promotion, to our wedding, to our children and then we'll revel together over Tuesday tea when we're old and our husbands and kids have grown or passed. We look for people to make our chosen family, the family that will be even closer than some of those who share our blood. We look for those that will be unconditionally connected through break-ups, evictions, moves, divorces, and self-discovery.



Coffee dates are made, plans that show our "creative side" are written in pencil in already full planners, stories are shared on long olive branches passed over tables of bread baskets and house wine. We are desperate to make the people we introduce ourselves to people that will remain, that will stick. People that will eventually spend the night after too many shots and ask shamelessly to use your toothbrush before they go to work.

The people we plan on sticking rarely do. Its those that we didn't try as hard with that remain, the ones who you allowed patience with, time to grow into one another's company and time to (like a house) build, from the ground up- sharing e-mails, short stories and eventually just becoming, so effortlessly; great friends.



We're figuring it out, finding ourselves, our jobs and the homes and locations we feel comfortable with. One moment someone you love and adore is there and the next, they have completely fallen out of your life. One moment you were holding each other's hearts in your hands and laughing into hours past "bedtime" and the next, you were across the country doing the same thing with someone new.

Holding hearts, sharing and introducing your past into your present, a present that will hopefully lay the foundation for a friendship, in the future.

I've loved so many people. Not in the romantic sense, there's only been one there. But I have loved so many stories, so many hours, so many expressions and tears of so many people I have known, and many of them have accidentally- through time, paths and change, have become virtual strangers. But I have loved them. I have loved knowing secrets and quirks, knowing hopes and plans, I have loved knowing people even for a moment in our quick conversations stumbling through words and awkwardness to find a genuine connection. In a time, in a past and from then until now they will hold a constant period in my life that no one presently or in the future will ever know.... and someday we all do form that endless bond with those that we share Earl Grey with, pictures of grandchildren in blue soccer uniforms and memory lanes. And until then, these people are markers in our life paths of where we have been, who we are becoming and where we eventually go.



Like my friend Ryan, who thought cemeteries were as beautiful as I did, who would take walks with me and sing, so, so beautifully despite his preference to scream awful metal... Who would sit my car and listen to me pour out insecurities over hot coffee and melancholy music, he never judged just listened anyway. The hours I spent with Skyler, writing songs after one Vicodin too many, followed by late night walks down Hollywood Blvd to meet with boy "friends" who we secretly wanted to make out with, hoping the intoxication would make us brave enough to do it. Jenn who ferociously had my back "til the end" even though the end was only a mere six months away, she'd even beg the man on the street corner for a churro when we didn't have the dollar it took to buy one. Ace, who gave me a can opener when I didn't have one and had managed to open my canned peas with a butter knife, who told me guys would get it, "one day" and let me sing songs in his closet recording studio, though never noticed my serious crush that made me stutter every time we spoke. Max, DK, Jon, Asher, Pontus (who was also and incredible kisser), and Doug who all believed in my voice, a voice I don't really use, anymore.



I have worn my heart on my sleeve with so many people, allowing them to accept or reject it. It has been dry, beating and full, tired, knocked around and then handled gently by so many, and I have loved every one of them. The people who are still in my life but are slowly trickling out purely as victim to time change and geographical location, to new circles and new titles, I love them, STILL with my whole entire heart, I love their new lives and that I contributed to them getting there, that I have known their struggles, known their late night puffy eyes, their scents, their scars and their craving for Three Musketeers at 3am.



These people aren't disposable on purpose, they are part of the seasonal friendships that happen in times of change....and that often come back around after stability settles in, strength secures us and something grounds us. This is a tribute to those that have brought me to where I am at, though they may not be here now, and though they may have never known how close I held them. I LOVE THEM.



Who are the people you have loved, that have changed or molded you? who would you say "thank you" to and who still holds a time period that know one else will know???

50 comments:

Exposed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Exposed said...

I'm still amazed by the "family" i have amassed, but would never have imagined drawing in a kindergarten portrait. Some friends take just an email, a Christmas card a year, others a quick text for every song on the radio that reminds you of them, to remain a part of your life, but as you pointed out, all of them remain a part of you.

Mike said...

Myself, I find the older I get, the quantity of friends decreases and the quality of friends increases.

And I don't mind at all.

lspoon said...

I love to remember the people who had such a profound influence on my heart. And I look forward to many more :)

Michelle & the City said...

all the girls i'm still in contact with from high school. i don't think they really know how much they're friendships mean to me. yeah, i need to work on that. :)

Eric Shonkwiler said...

I've dropped, by contrast, nearly all my high school friends. Two of which are now my best friends, but the rest, well, we've facebooked. I've often wondered what it was that caused that separation.

Very nice post.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Mike- I definitely have to agree with you there. The people who remain very close to me are my family, no matter our distance and time that goes between phone calls or e-mails. I need to dedicate a post to those people too that are THERE now.

JanelleGrace said...

I hate you and your little blog posts for making me sad...

I'm not good at making friends and I tend to make any potential friends hate me. I like to say what I think and people don't seem to like what I think.

It's interesting to look back and to see how some best friends have just become friends and then people you force yourself to talk to. I wish we were still friends but people change and go in different ways.

(And right now my family pretty much hates me so it's just me and my lovely boyfriend.)

DJSassafrass said...

Like you I have moved quite a bit and for a long time it bothered me that people who I was so close with on a daily basis are no longer in touch with me...then I realize all the people who still are and I think how lucky I truly am to have the support of the friends that I do. Most people don't even have one person they feel they can confide in and I have so many to choose from!

Hazel said...

my third college finally had my chosen family within it. There are four of us girls and occasionally the boyfriends who hang out and always have a great time. they are my chosen family and we also call ourselves the Excellent young Professionals since we all just graduated college. I also have a few friends left from elementary school and wouldn't want to lose them either!

Playful Professional said...

Wow I was thinking about writing a post today about something similar, how there are people you find that are friends and then like you said, there are some people that just stick. I've got a couple of friends from college that will be lifetime best friends, and others that were friends with just that period of time.

A Margarita said...

This was a fabulous post. I've often thought the same thing, and it made me sad when friends went out of my life, in spite of everything we shared but they're not really gone, as you so eloquently put it. Your friends definitely become your family at some point, and it can be painful when they exit. I have amassed a large number of these "transitory" people during my time in New York because of the nature of work.

bloggingbarbie said...

absolutely amazing post, chels. i can totally relate. thank you so much for writing this. it was beautiful.

Jenn said...

Great post.

I've always had a limited number of friends. The groups I've belonged to have never been too big. I've let go of many friends because of moves. I think I've spent a lot of time trying to find the right people I want to associate myself with. I have boundaries and standards that sometimes get in the way of friendships.

Lately I've been meeting great people through blogger meet-ups and hope to continue developing friendships.

As for people in my past, I'd thank them all. Every single one of them has affected me in some way, whether bad or good, and has made me who I am right at this moment.

Renee said...

Liz, who encouraged my voice in cheerleading and my crushes on basketball players.

Andy, who helped me through my parents' divorce in junior high by staying on the phone with me until 2am every Friday and Saturday night.

Abbey, Emmy, and Erin, who "knew a guy" to get us booze when we were 16.

Abby, who said snarky things about the girl who got the lead over me in the senior musical.

Kat, who graduated a year before and went to the same college I did, for making my transition to college a little easier.

Kelly, who held me when I cried freshman year of college over that stupid stupid boy.

And now Becky, who commiserates with me over roommate problems.

Miss Marie...a blog of everyday delights said...

REcently I've really noticed this. My chosen family of friends from college who I LOVED more than anything has pretty much broken apart as our lives post- graduation have led us all in different directions. I feel like I'm starting over. I miss that old family very much though.

Valerie said...

Aw, this post makes me miss "friend time" that has been so fleeting lately.

I'm giving my friend a bachelorette party this weekend, so hopefully it'll be a great opportunity to reconnect. I NEED friend time!!!

Mel Heth said...

Totally agree, Valerie, we all need "friend time!" There's nothing like it.

I'm really lucky - although I'm still friends with a handful of girls I've known since kindergarten - I've also made some true connections with people throughout my 20s. The coolest part is that each of them seems to bring something different to my life, and no matter how infrequently I see them, we're able to pick up right where we left off.

Great post, Chelsea.

Ashley said...

Gosh, this post made me realize all of the people that have come in and out of my life.

It is so sad really, but it is life and there is nothing you can do to change it.

I would say all of my college friends, they showed me who I was but at the same time showed me who I wasn't. Some of those times I would want back and some I don't.
It is so true that the friendships that take the least amount of effort are the strongest ones, I need to remember that. :)

Nico said...

Chosen families are definitely something with which 20-somethings can identify.

I even have a very close friend who I despise, but keep around because ultimately, I care very much about him, what he does, and take pains to nurture him into the person I know he can become.

Awesome post; and awesome tone and writing as of recent posts. Keep 'em coming!

Katelin said...

I love looking back at the friends I have had over the years and who I still see and talk to all the time along with the people I can see once a year and it's as though it was yesterday. Those friendships are by far the best and I always look forward to growing so much more with all of them no matter what.

ChasingParadise said...

I can't believe you knew Ace. Random! For myself, I've chosen a "family" out of selected friends that I met in college who really were there for me. My real family was falling apart, and those girls held me together. We live in different places, but we stay in touch, and nothing makes me happier than when we're all together again.

lifeintheleftlane said...

This was great post! It's always bittersweet to think about the friends you've lost touch with or grown apart from. I always wonder where they are now and what they're doing. But no matter what, they've impacted your life in some way, making you who you are today.

BV said...

You know I don't have anyone I would say thank you to. For way too long I hung out with people that just weren't good for me. They only had their best interest at heart. I think I know better now, but it's kind of hard to find new friends as you get older. I'm okay with the one or two that I hold dear.

My stepmom and family and my current long distance love.

Meesh-elle my Belle said...

A friend once said to me that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I used to think it was sort of cheesy.

Now I know it's true.

Fabulous post.

glamorous152 said...

my Club 120 girls. I LOVE them to death and they represent a time in my life that was perfect, confusing, hurtful, but mostly of growth. Even though I still consider them friends, we don't really talk anymore and that's ok.

What a great post. So relatable. :)

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Chasingparadise- Ace and I used to sing together bak in Colorado, we've known eachother for a LONNNG time :)

Meesh-elle- My mom has always said that. and I definitely believe it's true.

apricot. said...

I am just another adoring fan, as you can see. =] I really enjoy your writings.

Kate said...

I don't add to my chosen family all that often-- I usually let them make the first move. I don't want to appear needy. But when a friend of mine that I had lost contact with for a period of time and then reconnected promised me a bride's maid position in her theoretical wedding and called sobbing about a major life decision, I realized that my chosen family had a new member.

I've let a few friends fall by the wayside over the years, but there are a few that will stick in my heart until it stops.

Aw, now you're making me cry.

K.

Rebecca said...

My oldest friend, who I am still in touch with anyway, is someone that I didn't even like when I met her! But she grew on me. Even now,she drives me up the wall, but I still love her to pieces.

mentalTHREESIXTY said...

it may be extremely pointless to say this here, but i feel compelled to... so here goes:

kim we used to be so close, but we're just myspace friends now. but i just want to say thank you, i love you and appreciate everything you for me while i was going thru everything i was going thru a couple yrs ago. you helped me alot and made things better.

dancednvr said...

i love you. you're perfect. :)

BNY said...
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BNY said...

I blog about my friends all the time.

You just wrote the emotions better.

megkathleen said...

So true - all of it. It used to upset me when I thought of all these friends that were so close to me that no longer are, but that's life. I can't think of my early 20's without thinking of my closest girlfriend and now she lives across the country and we just don't talk as much anymore. At first I was somewhat heartbroken when I thought about it, but we're both at different phases in our lives and that's how it goes sometimes.

irunwithscissors said...

I find this is very much they way of being in your twenties! I have gone to more friend in the past 2 years than I even had previously! Its insane, and sometimes hard.. but your right, even if only for a short time those people were all there for a reason!

just me said...

I think I love YOU!!

Does that count?

Beautiful writing, mama.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Just me- I LOVE YOU!!! Yahoo. I am loved.

sequined said...

I love this post; it's so, so true. And your attitude is so good. Just because we're not close now doesn't limit what they meant to me at the time. You sometimes capture things like that so gracefully, in ways I'd never been able to articulate. I love it!

Alya said...

I miss my elementary-middle school friends because we shared so much those 8 years. Our childhood and pre-teen years were filled with so much energy and youth and exploration.

Here's to them. Though I don't see them as often as I'd like, I am comforted by the memory of those who stood by me thru my mistakes, my acheivements and everything else in between.

Eric the BeehiveHairdresser said...

That was beautiful how you wove everything together. Thank you for it, I'd been thinking about the same things with people whom I've called friends.

margottobed said...

heyy i can most certainly make you a new banner (although I've always liked yours) just give me a little discription of what you awnt and i can probably work on it if i get the opportunity in the next couple months

Emma said...

I love this post!

Prixie said...

so very true

ashley said...

Even though I realize that these friends may come and go...I miss them so much. I hate change no matter where it gets me.. I guess that it something that I need to work on but I'm so thankful for the people that got be there.

Well said.

NYCPonderings Chick said...

i agree with Mike...my quantity has decreased but my quality has increased for sure...

it's not a gravy train said...

I often have this conversation with my sister, who no matter what, has always remained my best friend. How it seems that now as we say goodbye to our 20s we also say goodbye to a lot of people who knew every aspect of our lives.

Friends will always be there, no denying that, it is just that now we all have so little time that the day to day maintenance becomes less important it seems.

That Saddity Chic said...

Chelsea I have lived the life that you write about here. I used to hit up the dollar store for groceries when times were really bad. But, I made it through. If you want you can send me an address for you in my mailbox at twentysomething blogers or at nourishyou23 at yahoo dot com. I have tons of great stuff to send your way. Hope it'll ease some of your burden.

Mandy said...

I only have a few close friends that really are my family. I miss all the "friends" (more aquaintances really) I used to have, but the friends (family) I have now, I wouldn't trade for anything!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

mandy- I agree, neither would I....my current people deserve a post all in their own.

 
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