Friday, November 12, 2010

We Share a Brain

In 1995 I left home to go to school at the University of Florida. Within weeks of being there I pretty much found a new circle of friends and only held on to a few friendships from High School. For the most part, the friendships I formed, or held on to, that first year of college are the friends I still call on today too.

One of the friends I kept from High School was Andrew. We were both in most of the same business classes and before pagers, cell phones and Facebook, we managed to keep in touch. It was during one of our study sessions at the library (the one by the French Fries fellow Gators!) when he first mentioned Meredith. They hadn't been dating very long, he was worried about it being long distance, and he REALLY liked this girl. I heard a lot about Meredith over the next year and when we graduated he moved back to Jacksonville, home, where she was too.

I still kept up with Andrew over the course of the next seven years. I knew he married Meredith. I knew they had a baby boy. Our families exchanged Christmas cards every year and that was pretty much it except for the big "global" emails announcing births and big news to our closest friends and family.

But then we moved to Jacksonville too. And I connected with both Andrew and Meredith, who I had yet to officially meet, on Facebook. It was three years later though when Andrew gets the idea to invite my family and another friend and her family over for dinner. I finally got to meet Meredith and the kids.

Something clicked with us that night. As Andrew will later tell you he knew we'd either love each other or hate each other. I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am that it turned out to be the former. A few weeks, maybe a month (?), later we started running together because I conned her in to running the River Run with me. (Yay me!)

And so began a friendship that was (is) dirty, sweaty, gritty, painful and raw. While we ran we talked about a lot of shit. She could finish my sentences, and I often knew what she would say before she said it. It was like we shared a brain. And that soon became our mantra. We share a brain. Sometimes it's creepy.

I can't tell you though how much I needed her to appear in my life when she did. Sure, I'd "known" her for years, over a decade in fact. I wrote out Christmas cards to her. But the timing of our face-to-face introduction and the need I think we both had in our lives for the type of friend we could truly relate to and depend on was pretty much perfect. Yes, we share a brain, but to me, well, it's more than that. Starting a friendship with her helped towards healing a lot of hurt and pain I have had. I felt... likable again, worthy of a new person meeting the me I am today and wanting to be my friend. And I think that even with the greatest of friends (and mine are wonderful) who stick by you through the thick and thin, who get that you aren't the sum total of a few encounters, that still... everyone needs to know that you can make friends as a new you. And I needed that.

At some point many of our running conversations centered around blogging, what I use it for, and how I thought she should start one too. Eventually she came up with a name, bought a domain, came up with a theme, and opened up shop. I know most of you know how scary and crazy that can be. But I think that if you read her, if you know her, you'll love her as much as I do. So go check her out.