The Friendship that Almost Wasn’t

Reverb 10, Day 16 Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

One of my 101 goals was to make a new, good friend, the idea being that it’s kind of difficult at this young professional  stage of life.  I was surprised by how quickly I crossed that one off and the number of people I’ve grown close to this year.

One of those friendships did not start well.  In 2009, my good friend’s girlfriend, Kanga, came to visit him for a week in the summer.  They had been dating a while, but I’d never met her since she lived in a different state.  I had met his last girlfriend, however, and on that visit I called Kanga by the ex’s name.  To her face.  Nobody likes that.  I thought she would always think of me as “that girl who called me that bitch’s name,” but in January she moved here and over happy hours, board game marathons and shared love of nail polish, we became friends. 

 

Kanga recently graduated college and is 22 and sometimes she acts like it and I think that’s why I like her.  Spending time with her is like being an outsider looking in at what I imagine I was like at that age.  She just moved away from her family, got her first apartment, landed her first real job, heck, she even bought a new Toyota when she drove her old car into the ground (yep, did that the summer after I graduated too). 

When I look at Kanga, I see the mix of excitement and apprehension that comes with those big changes.  I see the fierce determination of a woman who has declared herself an adult, although she’s unsure of what all that might mean. 

I see the innocence and bright-eyed, bushy-tailedness of a girl who hasn’t hit her quarterlife crisis.  Maybe she won’t, but I certainly did and now that I’m (maybe) on the other side of it, I see how far I’ve come. 

Through her/22-year-old Emjaye’s eyes, I see that people are truly good.  And, honestly, let’s remember that she’s 22, so I see the drama that I’m glad I no longer have in my life (because I’ve replaced it with OTHER drama, obviously).

I imagine Kanga might be better than the little sister I never had.  She doesn’t need anyone telling her what to expect and how to handle it (she’s a capable chick), maybe just a little guidance and a good listener, who every now and then will offer a , “yep, I totally understand, girl.”  As we continue in our friendship, I’ll enjoy watching her grow into herself as a twenty something, looking back down the path that I’m still on myself.

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