People change and that’s okay.
This wasn’t something Ali told me one day, but it was something I had to learn when we both entered college.
We go to school three hours away from each other. We never went to High School together, but she lived ten minutes away from me. We hung out and told each other everything. We weren’t over at each other’s houses every weekend, but we saw each other every week at Youth Group and we were able to catch up then. She was wanted by almost all the guys in her school, dating a few of them, but not taking advantage of her prospects like I would have. She never did more than hold these guys’ hands while I was on the edge in my school, dating people from her school and those who dated me hoping to get closer to her.
I was never jealous, somehow. Our friendship wasn’t based on one up-ing each other and we didn’t need to be in close proximity. I had a friend at my school who I had sleepovers with each other where we sat trying to tell each other better stories than the other and though we went to the same college, our differences didn’t make it. I haven’t talked to her thoroughly in four years.
Ali, on the other hand, is still my best friend. We hardly talk, but I would still consider her the best. I went to school the year before her and I wasn’t happy. I didn’t make friends right off the bat. I go to a party school and I love being by myself with a few close friends that I can see when I choose to. A party would be too overwhelming and I didn’t drink. In High School, I said I might when I get to school, but this never happened.
Cue Ali going to school. She was against drinking and drugs. When I told her I might drink in college she was disgusted. She said she wasn’t interested in it though she would judge me. Two weeks into her first semester, I get a call. She got drunk, cheated on her boyfriend, and didn’t know what to do.
Let me tell you, I helped her out with the boyfriend issue. They ended up breaking up and she had an on and off thing with the other guy. She went out on the weekends and made friends. I had a small group of friends, but it was a stable, happy life. I was okay with it and was dating a guy I had been with since High School. I knew that people thought I was crazy and needed to get out of my old life, but if I had done something different, it would have been a downward spiral.
We began to fight. I told her that she needed to realize what she was doing to herself before it got worse. I pointed out that she wasn’t happy and was always complaining about her life. She needed to get her life together and stop acting the way she was.
She retaliated. She told me I was stuck in this life and relied on my boyfriend too much and needed to stop being so anti-social. It seemed like the fight would continue, but Ali wasn’t a friend I wanted to lose. Though I had made new friends, there was nothing like Ali. Ali and I just got along and this was the first fight I had ever had.
I brought my anger back and told her that I wasn’t interested in a life like that. I’d be willing to go out to parties, but it’s not a big interest of mine. I was glad that she was doing well in school and that I was in a different way. I told her I was only concerned with her happiness. She texted back and told me that wasn’t what she expected and said she was fine and she was looking at her ups and downs as a learning experience. She said that she complained about it to complain. She didn’t have a problem with her life.
End of story.
We’re still friends despite our differences. She ended up reigning in during her second semester and I make sure that when we go to parties together I do drink and she realizes her limit. Generally, I end up drinking more anyway, so there hasn’t been a problem. She’s taught me a lot, but this was an important lesson. We keep changing, but it doesn’t stop us from still staying friends and learning to accept each others differences.