It hasn’t been that long, and yet it feels like a lifetime. My family and I moved from New Jersey to Arizona nearly six years ago. We all left huge hunks of our hearts behind as we said goodbye to friends who were more like family. Friends who we’d known all of our adult lives. Friends whose children never knew life without each other. We entered a new phase of our lives, where we had a blank slate on which to draw new pathways and possibilities. And new friends.
You might think it’s difficult for children to assimilate to a new environment and create new long-lasting friendships with those who have already formed tight bonds with others, but let me say this. Being an adult, in a new environment, surrounded by new people ain’t no picnic either.
I have been fortunate, however, that after about a year or so of being my own best friend, and calling characters from novels my circle of friends, I can now say I have connected with some extraordinary women. All thanks go to my desire to be an author and joining RWA. Island no more, I came to find women that I could laugh with, cry with, plot with, and scream with. Women who understood the woman I had become. I bless everyday that I wake up, knowing that these women “get” me and like me, warts and all.
And yet, there’s something to be said for the long-standing friendship I’ve left behind. No one knows me in and out like she. I can pick up the phone and the conversation begins where we left off. She’s the first one I think of to share news of my life.
So what of my new friends, so dear to my heart? Well, I consider them my FRONTLINE FRIENDS, too. They are the first ones I think of to tell exciting news, to share a laugh or a private joke. The ones I think of to plan and scheme wonderful things. But there is a rub here. They may be MY frontline friends, but I am not theirs. You see, at this age, these women have had years to establish long-lasting friendships like the ones I left behind. And although I am thought of frequently, there are times when I am, shall we say, an afterthought. It’s a harsh realization, to be sure. But it’s a mature realization that I must cope with. And it doesn’t have to hurt my heart beyond the realization point. I know that, given time, our relationships will grow stronger, and I may very well become a frontliner for them.
All I know is that I cherish those friends I’ve left behind and cherish the new ones I’ve made. So, have you thought about this idea at all? Do you have FRONTLINE friends of your own? Are you one to someone?