The Girls From Ames

I just finished this book today.

It has really made me think about my friendships, current and past.

It made me realize that some friends are meant to be forever friends, and some are not. I try to make every friend a forever friend, but that is absolutely unrealistic. Some friends that I have now will be around forever, I feel quite sure. Some friends that I have right now won’t be. I’m finally okay with that, and there are good reasons why they won’t be around. With the forever friends, there are good reasons why they will be around. Trust. Loyalty. Fun times. There for you no matter what. Bad times. You can be yourself around them.

I’ve always had a “group” of friends. The groups have changed over the years, obviously. In high school, I had a tight knit group of 4 best friends. I was closer to one or two of them, but still friends with the other one. I was the quiet one, the good girl, the one that they were all protective of. Fiercely protective. Why? I don’t know. Because my mother wasn’t around? Because I was (still) innocent? I don’t know. I was always the last one to know about EVERYTHING, and it used to make me so mad. Now I can see why they were the way they were. I am still friends with one of the girls from high school, although we are not as close as we used to be. One of the girls absolutely broke my heart by leaving during my wedding reception, and we still haven’t “spoken” to each other except on Facebook. I’ve forgiven her, but I haven’t forgotten. It nearly ruined my honeymoon because I was so concerned with why she left without speaking to me. To this day, I don’t know why she did or what I did that made her mad. Maybe someday we can be friends again, but I just don’t know. The third one, I was never really that close to – but she made some life choices that I just could not stand behind. She was/is a better person than the one that I saw the last few months of our friendship.I take complete responsibility for letting that friendship go. I was judgmental, but I also knew she could do so much better.

In college, I became friends (again) with someone that I was best friends with in junior high. We were all of 19 and decided that we were going to move into an apartment by ourselves and be roomies. We did. Living together was what killed our friendship. Well, that and her religious-weirdo boyfriend (that she later married).

After college, I met a large group of girls online while we were all planning our weddings. Things quickly moved from online to in person. I’ve been friends with most of these girls for over 5 years. There are 11 of us. We’ve been through a lot of life events together, and will probably go through a lot more before all is said and done. Some of these girls are the girls that I can imagine being 80 years old with. Yes, some of us are closer than others. I’m not stupid. Feelings get hurt. Apologies are made. We move on. Most of the time. It is foolish to think that a group of 11 girls will always get along, that there will be no smaller groups within the 11. It’s also foolish to think that all 11 of us will still be friends 50 years down the road. I would love for that to be the case, and would be thrilled if it did end up that way, but I guess I’m a pessimist at heart.

This book hit home with me because there were also 11 Ames girls.

Read this book if you value your friendships. It has made me take a long, hard look at mine.

Oh, and be prepared to cry.

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