We grow out of things our whole life; the terrible twos, clothes, apartments, and (usually) our aversion to vegetables. And for some reason, growing up, I believed I would grow out of my small town as well. As I met new people and visited bigger places I thought that’s where I was headed, that’s where I wanted to be.
Not only did I want out of Corinna, I wanted out of the state, too. “Maine is so boring…” “There is nothing to do here…” I lived 18 years in a town with about 2,000 people: I knew everyone and they knew me. I didn’t want to be stuck in the small town I grew up in, all the same people I always knew.
So I went out and tried new places. After high school I spent time living in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Spain, and Germany. I lived a city life and a country life and none of them really seemed to compare to what I had at home.
I have always loved Maine. I have always been proud to say that’s where I’m from and I even encouraged all the new people I would meet to visit my home state. I knew no matter where I went it would always be my home. It would be where my family and best friends were.
My friends and I had a pact, which was easy to keep, to always be friends no matter what. Sara would tell me, “No matter how long it is that we don’t talk, we always pick up right where we left off.”
But I have been realizing more and more that I don’t want to test those promises anymore.
This past summer I got to rekindle my relationship with Maine and my childhood best friends. We took a little vacation together, just the four of us, and it made me feel so lucky. I am so fortunate to still have the best friends that I’ve known since grade school.
Apparently most people grow out of their childhood friends. You move apart, change, drift away, or make new friends, and that’s the end of it. But the four of us have stayed together through good times and losses, bad relationships and weddings, distances, kids, and quarter life crises.
It’s not easy to make new friends. After college and once you are in the work force you are kind of forced to just be friends with your colleagues. While that’s great and all, I really wish my long time best friends were my colleagues. If I saw them every day around the office I think I’d probably be in a constant state of laughter (and probably a constant state of procrastination as well).
What I’m trying to say is: I guess they never specify which friends (new or old) are “silver” and which ones are “gold.” But it’s really nice to see that my small town friends (who all stayed in Maine after high school) are still the same friends I’ve always known and loved. And while we’ve all grown up, we haven’t grown out of each other.