The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Crossing the line between "acquaintance" and "friend."

That can be a really hard line to cross, especially when you begin to travel in different circles. When I gave up my life and went back to school, a lot of my 'friend circles' began to wither away and I found myself with many more acquaintances and many less friends, which can be a hard thing to deal with. Prior to law school, I had all my circles of friends perfectly in place to keep my comfort zone in check. I knew who to call when I was in the mood for a quiet evening on my sofa with some movies and who to call when I needed a hardcore evening of alcoholic indulgence. Sometimes I did not even need to call to call...things just worked themselves out. I had the group of girlfriends that had monthly slumber parties to decompress. I had the birthday friends that always got together to celebrate someone's "another year older." I had the football friends, the museum friends, the sorority friends, the work friends, the Louisiana friends...you get the picture. Granted, a lot of my friends traversed group lines, but nevertheless, I only had occasional acquaintances, and even they were usually introduced through a friend.

Then came law school. I fought very hard to keep ahold of my really close friends. There were a few that I was not going to let get away regardless of how tough this was. This is not to imply that all of my friends were not worth hanging on to. I tried to generally keep ahold of my life as I knew it, but my futile attempts did not last long. The nature of the law school beast forced me to decline invitations, back out on dinners, miss weddings, completely forget birthdays, and frankly lose a lot of friends. It is surely a crappy feeling, but this is a life choice I made. I am going to be strained for free time for the next few years (and by "next few" I mean forever) and chances are, I will not get back some of the friends I have lost touch with.

I guess I never realized just what it takes to cross the line between acquaintance and friend. To make it into someone's cell phone; to get a greeting card in your locker; to take a study break and go to a movie; to have someone say "but not good friends like you and I"; to get a phone call on your birthday; to share a holiday with; to know you can cry to that person. To have someone welcome you into their world...to look at you and say "we've hung out a couple of times now and you are pretty f-ing cool." It's not an easy line, but so worth it to cross:-) To my new law school friend: thanks for letting me in. Glad you are more than just that random acquaintance at school.