We recently returned from a stay in the state that terms itself ‘Vacationland,’ and I definitely agree with that claim. We laughed, we explored, we relaxed, and we caught up with old friends and new.
We went to Maine to celebrate a belated birthday of one of my best college friends and favorite travel buddies. Our friendship began over shared stress about physics homework and was cemented when we made up ridiculous song lyrics to pump up our gymnastics team. Over the past decade, Gina and I have adventured to several places together (from touring covered bridges in Amish country to doing handstands in Ankor Wat), and we were excited to have our husbands along for the ride this time.
For our stay in Vacationland, we stayed in a little house just a few blocks from the beach, and Gina soaked up all the sun that time allowed. We picked up steamed lobsters in town and brought them back for a messy and delicious dinner. We scrambled over coastal rock that looked like bark and sought out quintessential Maine lighthouses. Oh and the lobster rolls at this little food truck – divine! Our husbands both laughed at their own dad jokes, and we all had some friendly competition over skee-ball at the local arcade.
Being reunited with an old friend resurfaces some of my recent thoughts about friendships and how they change in different stages of life. As much as I’m so thankful to be in the life stage I am, I do miss the friendships of your college years and early twenties when you would share everything with your girlfriends. Now, it seems, conversations with friends are pieced together between attention spent on a curious or fussy child (no judgement, I hope I’ll be that person someday too) or over dinners planned months in advance. I know that much of this is because my husband has become my best friend, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the deep friendships forged over nights stayed up late doing homework or conversations about what jobs to pursue as you form the foundation of your working years. A depth created because in that season, those few close friends knew me better than anyone else. I look back wistfully, because I wonder if we don’t get to create new friendships like that. While I certainly hope we do, a weekend like this only deepens the reasons why I’ll hold on tightly to the ones I’ve got.
Before we parted to head home, the four of us collectively dreamt of our next group adventure. We listed half a dozen places we want to see together, knowing it’s too early to settle on one.
While our collective trip will probably take us some place new, Bill and I decided that we aren’t done with Maine. Much more Vacationland still awaits us. -M