This year marked the first New Year's Eve I've spent in the States since 2007. I wanted to spend New Year's Eve in New York, partly because I love NY and haven't been in a long time, and partly because I wanted to catch up with one of my best mates who lives there.
Khalil and I met in middle school, when one of my neighbours wouldn't stop hitting him. Girly hitting, but still. It was weird. She had a tiny crush on him.
And we went to nerd camp together. By the time we were in university, Khalil was the guy who would drive 7 hours up from New Orleans if I told him someone hadn't treated me right.
But I hadn't seen him in about 5 years. In that time, Khalil had gone to grad school, gotten married, moved to NY and who knew what else? I had moved across the world, and then moved halfway back, gone to grad school, broken up with Craig and oh, oh, loyal readers, you know what else.
Seeing Khalil again, I was slightly worried everything might have changed. What if we have nothing in common anymore, and what if we don't laugh at the same jokes? What if his wife finds me annoying and doesn't really want me in her house?
All those worries were for nothing, as Khalil and Meghna (his wife) are super lovely and we all got along so well.
It felt like some friendships, the really good ones, never go away, even if you leave them unattended for awhile. Like some friendships are super sturdy succulent cacti. They'll just wait, reserve their water, and survive until the next rainfall.
Steven is another. I hadn't seen him in 7 years. He's had the American middle class life happen to him since then. He works for the government, he owns property and he's married. He's happy and so different to who he was when we were in high school. He's sincere now, and not guarded like teenagers are. We had a beer and chatted about who we are now, who we've become and what's shaped us. And even though we have both changed immensely since we first became friends in the 10th grade, we are still friends. We still laugh at the same jokes and we care about each other. It was nice to be reminded.
And Shetu, too! We hadn't caught up in at least 5 years, and he's married now, to a lovely woman named Megha. They even have a cheeky little 2 year old who has her own Twitter account!
But we sat down to a lovely dinner that Megha made, while we chatted and laughed. We found that our friendship, too, was just fine, even though we'd forgotten to make it rain lately.
I don't really do New Year's resolutions very well, but I do like to reflect around this time of year. In the last year, I have lost some friends. There have been disagreements and hurt feelings and miscommunications and dark dark times.
But I'm excited about 2013, because I've learned something that really matters, at least to me.
Lives can change completely. You thought you'd never have to plan past 35, but now, you're thinking about 40. You can move anywhere you want and you can fall apart and lose yourself. You can think you've screwed everything up and have a meltdown if you want. You can lose track of the people you care about, and the people who care about you. You can leave and leave and leave. But when you come back... if you come back... your friendships are still there. You just need to make it rain sometimes.