Somehow we were all free this weekend. Somehow, someway, we found two days in the middle of busy seasons of busy lives to all be in the same place. Somehow, it was like no time had passed.
We’ve officially been out of college for the same amount of time we were in college. That’s so crazy to me. College was so much – so much life, so much growth, so many things, all wrapped up in four years. These past four years of life have seemed like a lot, too, but also, somehow, not as much. They don’t feel equal, they don’t feel quite the same.
This weekend was a mix of catching each other up on everything we’ve missed and also reliving everything we were a part of. I forget how much these girls saw me through, how much we walked alongside each other, how much life happened. When I think of college it’s easy to remember the big moments – it’s somehow easy to overlook the 4 ladies who I saw every Tuesday, who made a community out of nothing, who chose to show up week after week and simply just be there.
We weren’t a Bible study. We we weren’t a small group. We weren’t roommates (well, never all 5 of us together). We weren’t something you can easily sum up in words.
This weekend, it all came back. I had forgotten how much salt O puts on everything, how slow K eats, how B wants to take care of everyone at all times. I had forgotten some of our jokes and I had forgotten the sweet sound of our laughter – when R faked outrage over B’s unintentional comments, when K brought up the ridiculous moments of the year we lived together.
I had forgotten how easy it is with these ladies: to dream and to reminisce and to share the small moments and the big. I had forgotten how at home you can feel with certain humans, how light your soul gets in a room of your people.
We stayed up too late, sitting on the couch talking. We woke up the next day and talked over coffee and talked at the beach and talked while we cooked lunch and talked at the pool. We went to the most delicious dinner and sat in this magical table with a private pond and talked some more. We talked about hair removal and self care and adoption and duck eggs. We talked about maiden names and texting apps and siblings and faith. We talked about pain and loss and dreams and goals and the future and the past. We relived moments we spent together and caught each other up on moments we had missed. We explained where we are in life and how we got here and where we hope to be going.
Your college friends not only know about your college memories, but they know your high school friends by name, they know to ask about your families. They saw you in that season where so much of your life was water running through your fingertips and you reached desperately for the old and the new at the same time. They saw you in those moments where you were figuring out how very different you had become but also how very much the same you had stayed. They saw the in-between while it was forming; they saw the apprehension and the wonder, the questions and the fears.
Our dynamic isn’t something you can simply find, something you can buy, or something you can special order – it’s just something that grows. Organically, but also with so much time. So many Tuesday nights in college. So many big moments but also little ones. We filled such a special role in each other’s lives, such a unique bond. We met originally at church but then we met up weekly at school. We allowed each other to be so different and also pushed each other to be better. When you hold people loosely, but closely, beautiful things happen.
“Are we going to convince Krysti to get into the ocean today?”
And just like that, I was reminded that I don’t like the ocean. I don’t go swimming at the beach (I read at the beach!) but I don’t know the last time I’ve told someone that. I just don’t go to the beach that often. It doesn’t come up often. I don’t think my last boyfriend even knew this was a thing – I had almost entirely forgotten swimming at the beach isn’t something I do, I had forgotten this strange part of myself.
Just like that, I was reminded how deeply known I am by these ladies. I was reminded what a treasure it is to be with people you don’t have to explain yourself to. I was reminded there’s a special-ness of being reminded and retold who you are by community.
These women, this weekend, reminded me of parts of myself I had forgotten about – both big and little, both silly and serious. Dreams I once held. A future I once had planned out. They reminded me of who I was, they accept me as I currently am, and they give me room and space to continually become. Aren’t those the best kind of friendships?
So, they got me in the ocean. I dove under waves. I had fun. I laughed and I got salt water in my eyes and R stepped on a live creature and I walked straight out of the water (we all did). We laid on the sand and I got ridiculously sunburned and was reminded that my life is so funny and so good and so bittersweet sometimes.
These are the people who shaped my college experience in the most unexpected ways, in the best way. I can’t imagine surviving those four years without them; I don’t know who I would be. Their faces are forever imprinted in my college memories: sitting around tables in various dining halls and apartments, laughing over cookies, catching up over french fries. They taught me so much about life, back then, and continue to teach me so much today. They are full of life and full of love, they are wise and sassy and outspoken and deep thinkers, they are bold and humble and strong and kind. They are the best kind of people. And I am immensely grateful they are mine.