Thirteen. That’s the number of years I’ve been in the United States.
Seven. That’s how old I was when my brother was born.
Twelve. That’s how many years I’ve been writing.
Ten. That’s how old I was when I left my home to come to the United States.
Nine. That’s how many years I’ve been friends with the people I saw last night.
Twenty-Three. That’s how old I am today.
In my life, nine years is a significant number of years to know someone, let alone be good friends with them. Nine years later, if I can sit in a room with people and know that nothing has been taken away from our friendship, that is absolutely huge for me. Especially someone like me who’s been raised to believe she’s worthless and inadequate…someone who’s been burned one too many times by toxic friends who made me doubt my own worth as a friend.
Last night was something that I was desperately needing. It’s not like we had heart-to-hearts or significant discussions about life. It was just five friends, hanging out in a basement…relaxing.
I felt home.
I don’t even feel home in my own house because home is not four walls and a ceiling. Home is a feeling.
It’s not very often that I feel home. So when it happens, I cherish it. When it happens, it’s usually at a pretty significant turn in the course of my life, whether I am aware of it or not. When it happens, it reminds me that all the negative happens for a reason and it makes me that much more grateful to belong.
To grow together instead of apart is an experience not a lot of people with people in their lives. Marriages fall apart because people grow in different directions. Solid friendships end because someone gets married or moves away or just…fades away. People come in and out of our lives, recklessly…sometimes not caring whether their footprint leaves us bleeding…and sometimes, people come in our lives quietly and suddenly, it’s 20 years later and they are still there. Remembering who you were that first day and never forgetting who you are deep down, regardless of how life molds you. These are the people that sing our song back to us when we forget the lyrics or the rhythm. These are the people that make us feel at home even when we’re feeling tossed around by the angry winds of life.
Of course, the length of a friendship doesn’t signify the importance of one. Case in point, my best friend has only been in my life a little over 3 years.
Nine years, three years, four months…the right bonding of two souls is worth a lifetime because time becomes insignificant when we’re home.
What gives you the feeling of being “at home”? What have been some of your strongest friendships? Who has left a footprint in your life, even if it was for a short period of time?