This feels lonely to admit and I feel weird typing the words, but it’s true: I feel grief about my best friend’s pregnancy.
Of course, I am also deeply happy for her and excited to become an aunt. But these positive feelings coexist with a sadness I desperately want to shake. My heart aches for the friendship that we will likely have to say goodbye to in order to make space for the changes ahead.
I met my best friend during our first week of college. We lived across the hall in our un-airconditioned dorm, where we’d frequently stay up laughing until our stomachs hurt. There was the “music” video we made during a snowstorm and the night we tried to take a trip to New York but missed the bus. There was the summer we interned blocks away from each other in D.C. and sent live updates about what we ate for lunch every day. During our senior year, she sat with me on our living room couch and dress rehearsed the first date I was about to have with the guy I ended up dating for the next 12 years. When he and I broke up last year, and I felt nervous about spending our first anniversary apart, she took me away for the weekend so I wouldn’t have to be alone. “It’s okay,” she told me. “We’ll make new memories.”
Although she has shown up for me in many big and small ways, there’s one moment I’ll never forget: the day I found out I had cancer. After spending the afternoon in shock, I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night unable to catch my breath. We were staying at my parents’ house that weekend and sharing a room like we had for most of college. In an effort not to wake her, I climbed out of bed and sat on the floor, trying to stay quiet, but she heard me crying and, without a word, joined me. She grabbed my hand, and we sat with our backs against the frame, side by side, in complete darkness until the world stopped spinning.
When I recall this moment, and many others like it, it occurs to me that my grief might be misplaced. Perhaps the flip side of this heartbreak is an overwhelming gratitude for having a friend like her in this lifetime. It also occurs to me that she is going to be one heck of a mother.
It’s been 17 years since we met, and though we no longer share a room or even the same zip code, and free time is getting scarcer and the gap between our lives is growing wider, I am hopeful that we will find ways to meet each other in between.
“It’s okay,” I tell myself. “We’ll make new memories.”
I’d love to know: How have you navigated changes in your own friendships? How do you continue to show up for each other when your lives head in different directions?
Jenny Jin is a beauty editor, writer and on-air expert based in Los Angeles. She shared her week of outfits and wrote about breakups and success. Find her on Instagram @jyjin, where she will happily reply to any DMs regarding life, sunscreen and K-pop sensation, BTS.
P.S. Eight women on choosing not to have kids, and an ode to five-minute phone calls.
(Photo by Studio Firma/Stocksy.)