26: Lifelong friends

This picture (above) was taken during the weekend that I spent in San Francisco with my dear childhood friend S last year. We came across the intersection while walking around the Mission District and I stopped to take the picture and to pause and cherish for the moment how lucky I am indeed that I was granted this special time with her.

I never got around to writing about it last year, didn’t have the words in me to describe what this time with her meant to me. This weekend, I was reminded that she spent Thanksgiving with us last year and how I missed having her here this year and all the feelings came flooding back.

Not many people can say that they’re still friends with someone they have literally known for most of their lives. S and I met in kindergarten when we were 4 years old. We attended the same elementary and secondary school, graduated high school together. We maintained only loose contact after that for a few years, but she was never far from my heart.

When she called me a few weeks before her trip and told me that she was going to be in San Francisco for four weeks (for a language class), I was very exited! When she told me that she was hoping to spend the weekends with me, I was ecstatic!

Not only was she the first person (besides family!) to come and visit me here in California since I moved here, she’s also one of my favorite people and I couldn’t believe she would be here to hang out with me.

She got here in late November and I first got to see her on that Sunday when I ran my first official 10k race in Berkeley. We had arranged that she would meet at the finish line, and can I just tell you really quick how absolutely strange it was to see her there — so completely out of context in my adopted home country and not in our home town or a restaurant in Cologne? It was surreal and absolutely amazing at the same time. We had lunch afterwards and walked along the marina, marveling at the Golden Gate Bridge and the City from afar, which felt so strange, but also bizarrely normal.  

We spent the next few weekends together. She came out to Sacramento for ThanksFriendsgiving, then we drove up to Tahoe for an overnight trip and practically talked the whole time straight. There was so much to say, so much to talk about. It felt like we would never run out of things to say to each other.

The next weekend, she came out to Sacramento again. On Friday, I took her to the Fremont Diner in Sonoma and we went Wine Tasting in Napa Valley. On Saturday, we drove back to San Francisco, walked around the Mission District, watched a movie in a tiny old theater and went to dinner. Just as if we would do that every other weekend. On Sunday, we biked the Golden Gate Bridge (in the rain), had dinner in North Beach, and it was one of the most memorable experiences and the most perfect day. 


You see, her visit opened my eyes to a few things…

+ how much I really miss my close friends from home and how hard it is to make new friends like that,

+ how effortless and comfortable these old friendships are,

+ how you can always pick up where you left off, regardless for how long you might not have talked,

+ how openly and freely you can talk to someone who has known you for so long, who has been through so many stages of life with you,

+ how such deep conversations just don’t happen over email or brief Whatsapp exchanges, and

+ how I have no doubt that she’s one of those lifelong friends.

It’s really hard to put into words what that time with her meant to me. My heart was so FULL. It hadn’t felt this full in a long time. I forgot what it’s like to have a best friend around, to talk until the wee hours of morning, to talk some more in your PJ’s over tea at breakfast and then go out and do stuff together, making more memories. These have been things I definitely took for granted before I moved overseas and I wish we had the opportunity to get together more often. 

At the very least, thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime, I guess?!

Do you have any friends that go back to your childhood?
Do you get girl time like that on the regular? If so, never ever give that up.

  1. I know how you feel. I do have a friend I know since kindergarten. We only became good friends though when I moved away and our deep friendship was based on weekly letters we wrote throughout our teenage years.
    After school she moved to Berlin.
    However lately we are not very close anymore because our lifes are so very very different. But there still is this very deep connection and understanding of growing up together, knowing the struggles to arriving in adulthood and the craziness of each other’s families.
    Yeah for Friends

  2. I do but we live so far apart and only get to see each other every other year. It’s already been way to long since seeing her and I really hope to change that soon! Friends, true friends, are so hard to find and to keep. I have learned to let go of some who weren’t worth being called a friend. Unfortunately some don’t understand that it’s not only take but also give.

  3. My bff and I were in the same kindergarten class, she’s still my best confidant. There’s just nothing quite like a friend like her.


  4. Those kind of friendships are so rare which makes them so precious! My only childhood friendship is the one with my cousin who is 11 months younger than me. We grew up together but don’t see each other as often as i would like as I don’t go back to our hometown as I see my parents at the lake instead and I don’t go there as often as I used to so I can sometimes go a year or more without seeing her. But I am hoping we can see each other at Christmas. The great thing about friendships like that is that you always seem to pick up where you left off!!

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