I'm a sap. In the past, I always prided myself on being a "girly girl" without being a "drama queen." Oh, I had my moments, I'm sure—especially in those pre-teen and teenage years. But overall, I was never one to cry at movies or say tearful goodbyes or… things like that. I didn't even like to think about doing those kind of things. Shudder.
But that person moved out about the time that I got married, and she has been replaced by a sappy, emotional glob of a woman. Being a mom has only exacerbated this condition.
And so tonight, I give you a sappy tribute to my evening.
It was a rare—much too rare—girls' night out. Yes, I posted the last time I had a night out with my girlfriends, too. Sap, sap, sap. Tonight I had Praise Band practice at church, and a babysitter for the entire evening, so I arranged to meet two of my closest friends at Panera after practice. (An interesting side note… don't schedule an outing at Panera at 8:30. They close at 9:00. And they will vacuum all around you until you leave.) As we caught up and gabbed about our days and our kids and our hobbies and our kids' hobbies and our news and our victories and our struggles… it struck me that, at some point, we entered a new phase in our lives. And it's an exciting one.
These girls and I have been friends for about 7 years now—and they have known each other for much longer than that. We went through the "young married" stage together… and even though one already had kids when we became friends and has parenting issues that I haven't reached yet, we were (ARE) still "young parents" together (and her youngest is in between my two, so we're experiencing that baby/toddler/preschooler stuff together too)… we've had date nights and girls' nights and play dates and birthday parties and all sorts of different stages together. And now we're all embarking on a new stage in life… the stage where we're really figuring out who we are, why we're here, what we're doing with our lives.
One of us is considering getting her doctorate. One has a book coming out. And me… well, I don't have anything that notable to brag about, but I think I'm finally starting to hit the "sweet spot" of where God wants me in ministry. It's amazing. We've all got so much going on.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying, "We're busy." We've always been busy. That's just called life. But tonight I realized we're all growing up, realizing our potential, becoming real, actual adults. Scary. And exciting.
Friendships change as you grow up. I've always known that, but I kinda thought once you were an adult, your adult friendships would just stay the same. I'm finding that's not the case. They keep changing, because we keep changing. I've seen friendships come and go, even as an adult. I've seen friendships take off like a rocket and then fizzle out. I've seen some that fail to get off the ground. But the true test of friendship is adaptability. My friendships with these two girls haven't stayed the same over the past seven years, but they have stayed.
I know I'm all over the map tonight. If you're still reading this, treat yourself to a cookie. (And if you have an extra, can you send it my way? In addition to becoming a sap, I've also turned into a bit of an emotional eater…….) But I guess I've just been thinking a lot lately about the fact that I will be turning 30 next year. (Yes, I know, it is still TEN MONTHS away… but I'm a planner, what can I say???) I think it's easy, especially in our youth-oriented society, to feel like you're losing something when you leave your 20s behind. But I just don't think so. My focus is clearer than it ever has been, my wants are deeper, my friendships—though different and harder to fit in than they were in my pre-kid 20s—stronger. I'm entering a new phase in life, and I've got great company. Thanks, friends. I'm excited to embark on our separate journeys together.
Alright, I need to go do something less sappy now. Like eat.