Remember when you were a kid and you and _____ were BFFs? Then in the summer after Grade 4 her family moved to another city and by the first week of September you had a new BFF and could barely remember _____’s name?
Okay, so I never actually went through that, but you get my point.
I’ve written previously that I consider my sister to be one of my best friends. There are only two others who fall into that category. Both of them live outside Ottawa. One of them moved to Toronto fairly recently and the other has lived in Vancouver for years. I miss them both a lot and don’t talk to them nearly as much as I should. However, that doesn’t mean that our friendship has faded. That really hit home last night when I was feeling down and struggling to write. Suddenly a message popped up from my friend Katie (the one in Vancouver) wondering why I was still up so late and how I was doing. I didn’t really want to rehash everything that was on my mind right then, so she told me a story about the difficulty she was encountering with planning her wedding, putting it into a ‘Once upon a time’ third person tale. We co-miserated a bit and made plans to Skype soon and I finally went to bed. This evening she called to check in on me and see how I was doing. We chatted for a bit and promised to Skype tomorrow. I hung up with a smile on my face. Despite the fact that she lives over 4,000 kms away and that we’ve only been in the same place 3 times in the past 5 years (I’m counting our going out to Vancouver for a week and her staying with us for our wedding as one time each), I still feel as close to her as ever. We can still talk about anything and we’re still there for one another when we’re upset. We’ve seen each other through a lot of good and bad.
I find it difficult to get close to people. I’m insecure and incredibly self-concious. I worry sometimes that I may come across as cool or aloof, when really I’m just painfully shy. So I find it particularly difficult to be so far away from the people I love, trust and feel completely at ease with. I’m glad that despite the physical distance, we’re still so close. We’ve proven that long-distance relationships can work, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
My husband Chris and I met in our second year of theatre at Ottawa U. We were in several classes together, but didn’t really get to know each other until I ended up working on his set crew for a Drama Guild show in the winter. It was early February and the skating conditions on the Canal were great. I liked skating, but was terrible at it. Chris on the other hand was quite good. We decided to go skating together between classes and working on the set. Thus started a regular outing. We kept our skates in my locker and headed over the the Canal frequently. I was terrible on my skates. I fell frequently. Luckily Chris was there to catch me most of the time. I had fun hanging out with him. Then one day he was showing off and took off down the Canal ahead of me… and proceeded to fall on his butt. My first reaction was “Aw, that’s adorable”. That’s when it hit me that I had feelings for him. It wasn’t long after that that we started dating. We continued to skate on a regular basis and I got to be a much better skater, thanks in part to switching from figure skates to hockey skates – I was always tripping over those darn toe picks.
Last winter I was pregnant and we decided to play it safe and not go skating. My centre of balance was different and we didn’t want to risk me falling and having anything happen to the baby.
Today we collected our skates and headed over to the community centre for their public skate. I was nervous. I hadn’t been on a pair of skates in two years. I was also stressed out before leaving the house for a multitude of reasons that I won’t get into.
We got to the arena, laced up our skates, and I took that first step out onto the ice. And I didn’t land on my ass! I didn’t even need to hold onto the boards. My first few laps were slow, but I steadily picked up the pace. Suddenly I felt fantastic. My body remembered what to do and it brought up all sorts of memories of falling in love with Chris. My crankiness melted away. I did fall once, but I think I did pretty well all in all.
All this to say that today I am grateful for the ability my body has to remember how to do something I haven’t done in years, and that it brought back so many good memories. I can’t wait to go again.