What has happened to the sisterhood? Since when has there been a war of mummies against those of us who either don’t want children or haven’t had any yet? Is it really that hard to understand that we all go through our lives at different paces? Some of us may be single, married, have children or childless all at the same time. Why does this mean we suddenly can’t remain friends? Or at least friendly to each other about our life choices. Just because one of us is single and the other is raising a family doesn’t mean we’re polar opposites. We both still get lonely. It’s just different. And it’s time to find some common ground.
Ten years ago I met my best friend on the dance floor at a rave. Classy, I know. Doof doof music and everything. I was 17 and she was 22. I was still at school and she was working and had a lot of life experiences under her belt. We were different but we clicked. There may have been five years between us but I’ve always felt that we both had each other’s back, as I struggled through those last years of high school and she was settling down in a long-term relationship and wanted commitment.
We shared a love of music. At one stage we wanted to both become DJs as there aren’t too many female DJs in the scene. We spent A LOT of money on turntables; records; state of the art headphones; expensive needles; customised slipmats – the list goes on. We basically lived at OneStop DJ. Every Sunday evening we’d hang out and mix together and eat toasted cheese sandwiches. Life was fairly simple. As I left school and got a job and started to go to uni, she was growing up and spending a lot of time with her man. If I was struggling with uni she was there to give me an outlet as we drove around in her RX7 and listened to music at deafening sounds. We went clubbing, shopping or to the movies and did stuff that regular young 20-somethings do before life gets all complicated.
As her relationships ended and others began, I started dating myself and our love lives did cause us to spend less time with each other but the love I have for her never stopped. As she moved up to Queensland to be with her new man things began to change and I thought maybe we’d drift apart. I knew she’d always be in my life but I wasn’t sure how she’d fit in it anymore. I was scared and I missed her a lot. This probably sounds terribly silly as she was only moving to another state, an hour’s plane ride away, but I felt part of our friendship was dying. Change can happen so quickly and without our catch ups face to face I felt like our long-distance friendship wouldn’t survive.
As I finished university and was planning a trip to Europe for the first time, her relationship started to crumble and she told me she was moving back to Sydney. I was ecstatic but she was arriving at the wrong time. I’d be not even half way through my trip when she was moving back in with her parents and I so desperately wanted to be there for her during those difficult weeks. I felt I could’ve done more for her during that time as I know she was grieving. But as I was overwhelmed with happiness at having just finished my Bachelor degree and spending time on sunny Italian islands, our lives couldn’t have been more different.
But this is what I’ve learnt from our friendship: We’re never in the same stage at the same time.
There was a time when we were both in relationships, happy relationships, but we were usually always out of sync. Perhaps I could’ve held it against her that I was single and miserable while she was newly in love but that just didn’t make sense. Her happiness made me happy and gave me hope for my future.
Two years ago, as she was sitting on my balcony just having realised that her ex wasn’t in love with her anymore she told me how much she wanted a baby. She felt she’d never meet the right person and life just wouldn’t work out for her. Being unlucky in love, as most of us are, I held my friend’s hand and assured her things would work out for her. I didn’t have a fucking clue anything would work out for her or even for me for that matter, I just knew that I loved her so much that it simply wasn’t possible a man couldn’t do the same.
These days she’s raising her six-month-old daughter and she’s back up in sunny Queensland with a new man who she was always supposed to end up with. During the happiest moments of her life I was back in Sydney with my life in disarray and my heart well and truly broken. I didn’t get to meet her little girl until a month later, but as the text came through that she’d had a baby girl I was overwhelmed with emotion for my friend. But I missed her more than ever.
Sure we may not be going through the same cycle right now – while she’s changing nappies and breastfeeding, I’m out dating again and finding that I’m much happier in my own company at the moment. But we both have moments of loneliness. I feel it sometimes when I’m on my own at the most unexpected times and she feels it when people are constantly around her and she has no time for herself. Yet we both reach out to each other and remember that we’re just those same girls who liked a mix on the turntables, bought each other Jack and coke and who danced right up the front of our favourite DJ’s set well into the early hours.
Just because she’s now a mother doesn’t change who she is to me. She’s my best friend, my rock and my confidant. Sure life has changed a lot but who’s life doesn’t change? When I look at how much love she has for her daughter and her little family it reminds me what a great friend she is to me. We may have very different stories to tell one another but then again, we always have.
Do you have a friend that you’re out of sync with? Should our life choices really make old friendships fall apart?
This image was found at onefemalecanuck.
Rose Russo has written 56 posts.
Rose is a freelance writer, blogger and self confessed chocoholic who could quite easily live on a diet of turkish delight and English breakfast tea. She loves the fast paced nature of online media but sometimes feels like she’s the only member of Gen Y who still gets excited to pick up the newspaper on weekend mornings. If anyone has a Sportsgirl addiction cure please let her know [I may be on a first-name basis at my local store] She also writes a weekly column focusing on relationships, friendship and life stuff on her blog at The Budding Rose
Follow on twitter: @thebuddingrose