Savannah Page discusses how time has affected how her circle of friends interacts.
Fourteen steps, give or take a couple, was how far I lived from one of my best girlfriends. Through the living room another. Just across the street a few more. That was college, life on campus. Ah, the beauty of college life. You’re out of the nest, nearly living in the real world, and the friends you make along the way … Priceless!
A year out in the actual real world, diploma hung on that cracked wall of that shabby just-out-of-college apartment, those dozen or so steps turned into a mile-long drive … and even one drive that required ninety minutes and a chunk of toll booth change.
Then many years, handfuls of weddings, a few career moves, and several U-hauls and overstuffed cars later, my best girlfriends and I now find ourselves journeying thousands of miles to make it from one front door to another.
That’s life, that’s change for you — it happens. You can embrace it, you can fight it, but it’s always something you can rely on. The same goes for relationships with your best girlfriends. As much as you may have loved living a cheese puff’s throw away from your besties (as well as the taste of those nasty snacks you’ve sworn off since), you knew going in that college life would be that special window in time with a bold and unavoidable expiry date on it. So while you’re cramming for exams and trying to gather up the blocks to build up some semblance of an impressive resume, you meet some amazing and inspiring (and downright hilarious) women along the way who are rowing in that same college boat as you. You cherish the unforgettable moments you make together (and perhaps second guess the forgettable ones). You become each other’s family — an extended family — and when graduation day comes you cross your fingers those fourteen steps won’t stretch to too many over the years.
I was fortunate in that many of my college girlfriends and I still stayed in our college town (or at least a brief afternoon’s drive away) straight away out of college. We may not have been able to pop our heads in each other’s door to ask who was hosting Bachelor night, but weekly girls’ nights and always being within a text’s reach was a comfort in the scary new career world.
Then over time, jobs, boyfriends, husbands, family, opportunities, and a desire for a change of scenery pulled one here, one there, and over the years we found each other where we are now — Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, and Germany — spread all over the place! But as with the best of close female relationships no amount of time or distance can wedge its way between the very best of girlfriends.
It may not be ideal living all over the map, and if I had it my way we’d still be next door neighbors; but now each text, each email, each phone call, and certainly each visit is that much more special. And the fact that we continue to stay in touch and remain such great friends all these years — the fact that I am fortunate to have such amazing women and relationships be a part of my life in any capacity — is why I consider my college education worth every single penny, drop of sweat, and lost night’s sleep. College gave me more than a degree (and a husband), it gave me true and dear friendship for which I will be forever grateful.
I recently returned from spending a glorious five weeks visiting family and friends in the US, and had a girls weekend reunion. I’m an author, but words truly cannot express how fantabulous it was for my college girlfriends and I to come together again after so many years! With so much going on in each other’s lives and with tricky logistics coordinating so many schedules, not to mention the traveling we’d all have to do, it was probably a miracle we made it happen. But I am so grateful we did. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in four years! It was a reunion that, like college, went by in an unforgettable flash.
Life and circumstances have changed, and my relationships with my girlfriends have, too. But with change comes a more seasoned friendship, a stronger and more palpable relationship with one another, even despite (or perhaps because of) the distance. We can’t run from the change, so we choose to embrace it. Because at the core of our relationship with one another is a friendship we recognize as one worth keeping and nurturing … and one that’s worth another four year wait for the very best of weekends in the history of weekends! (Although, I’ll put in my vote not to wait another four years!)
I don’t know when we’ll have another reunion like the one this summer, but I do know that, like the memories made in college, I’ll hold that weekend close, my girlfriends closer.
Jackie Kittredge is the consummate drama queen living the charmed life. She’s enthusiastic, outspoken, and is always looking for a good time.
At twenty-seven she’s got a swanky Seattle townhouse, a wealthy husband, a designer wardrobe, the best of girlfriends, and a calendar filled not with meetings and deadlines, but spa appointments and happy hour reminders. On the outside, she’s got it all.
On the inside, though, Jackie’s charmed life isn’t as it seems. She’s seeing a therapist, battling the demons of coming from a broken home and a past of promiscuity and heavy drinking. She can be selfish and demanding, sometimes even wearing her best friends thin.
And now her marriage – what she thought could be her solid foundation – is on the rocks. Her husband Andrew spends nearly all his time at the office (and possibly with his secretary), and apologizes for his absence with lavish gifts and empty promises. Miserable and desperate, Jackie questions if her marriage is worth fighting for. Then a string of events begins to put things into perspective … into a perspective she didn’t quite anticipate. With her best friends by her side and some tough love, Jackie finds herself not only asking if she’s where she belongs, but if she’s who she’s supposed to be.
This is a passionate story about having to answer some of life’s most important and difficult questions. It’s a story about fear, courage, and personal growth. About what happens when girlfriends let go.
Savannah Page is an American expatriate indie author living in Berlin, Germany. Savannah is the author of six chick lit novels in her When Girlfriends… Collection: When Girlfriends Let Go, When Girlfriends Take Chances, When Girlfriends Chase Dreams, When Girlfriends Make Choices, When Girlfriends Step Up, and When Girlfriends Break Hearts. She is also the author of personal/travel narrative, Bumped to Berlin.